How does one get used to living a life of pain. How do they adjust to the chaos, the uncertainty and the very real possibility that each new day may be in fact their last. As a matter of fact, they often pray that it is their last.
I can remember more clearly now the days at the very END of my active addiction then I can say two years before. Those days before everything got so desperate, so painful that life had become black and white...survive or die.
It was the time where I was still married, with two kids in high school, working 60 hours a week on 3rd shift in management at a furniture factory. Living for the weekends but drinking and using prescription drugs every day until I passed out....
We traveled, went out to eat, visited the lake (where I live now), went to high school sporting and Boy Scout events...it was by all appearances a normal life.But it really wasn't. I know that I was living a lie, I wasn't honest about my drinking and drug usage to wife, family or myself. And I don't think my X was being honest with me either actually though I can't say that I blame her. I found out later all these "art" classes and stuff she was going to every week were in fact therapist visits. She was preparing to leave me well before she actually did.
Thats hard to take because it really hurts, it did then and to a degree it still does today but as I said, I do understand. I hadn't anything to offer anymore to her or our relationship. My focus was solely on self and survival.
My life was already out of control...I was caught up in the white water of life, rushing madly through the rapids on the River Of Ruin, with no clue how to stop it or get off. That feeling I do remember, it was one of being trapped: in a marriage that I really didn't want to be in but on the other hand I was so co-dependent that I didn't want to let go of it either. I think I just wanted or thought I wanted to be left alone...except I didn't! Confusing? I'll say...
Have you ever been sitting in a chair, say at school and you were leaning back in it like you weren't supposed to? Then you experience that feeling that it is going to fall back but at the very last second you catch it? Do you remember that feeling of pressure/anxiety in your chest? That state of fear when you were in limbo? I basically felt that way all the time, 24/7...
I do recall that feeling quite clearly. I think one of the reasons I haven't fleshed out the details of this period of my addiction and the end of my marriage, say the last 3-4 years of it is that I am still repressing some of that hurt. I loved her, as much as I was capable of love anyway and it was a great blow to realize that I had screwed up so badly that she didn't want to be around me any more. She was afraid of me? That hurt the most...
I also just don't have a clear memory of that time, I was not healthy at all. I rarely slept, I was drinking a lot though I wasn't doing Cocaine yet. But I was taking a ton of Narcotic Painkillers in many forms. And not as prescribed either, by the hand full. So I really can't recall a lot of that time.
I was touchy, moody and quick to get angry. I was one of those guys that yelled and it frightened those who lived with me. I don't like to remember that I frightened people. I was not a physically abusive drunk but there were a couple times when I shoved my wife away while drunk or squeezed her arm. Another time where she threw shoes at me and I retaliated by breaking a chair. I am not proud of that but it happened and I have to be honest about it.
But I think that time is difficult to recall because there was so much unpleasantness and lying involving other people. Near the end, as I have described often in Shell Shock, I was pretty much physically alone or with K-Sue. We were both junkies, in the same boat and there weren't incidents like there were when the kids were home and I was married. We just existed to get high
I know that this period of my life and the other years of my marriage to M are still periods of time that I still have a great deal of work to do. I still really have not put it all in perspective. there hasn't been even an attempt on my part to forgive. And I'm not talking about forgiving her, I have done that. I'm talking about forgiving myself for destroying the marriage.
I spoke to her a couple of years ago to make amends and I thought it went well. when I articulated that feeling of not forgiving myself I think she made an attempt to make me feel better by saying that we should have never gotten married. She felt it was a mistake from the start. Well that was not at all what I felt and that comment invalidated everything that i had felt about her. I felt like a fool for ever loving her, that she never loved me and I was living in a fantasy land. perhaps that is all true. Perhaps that wasn't what she really meant and I am just coming to an incorrect conclusion.
It doesn't really matter because that really set me back in a lot of ways and THAT I feel is a main reason I don't care to talk about that time in my life. But it is relevant and left un-dealt with it is going to fester, like a time bomb it could blow up at any minute so I need to put my false pride away and deal with it. And so I begin that process tonight with this post.