Today marks the third anniversary of my divorce being final. Today is a day of thoughtful reflection. Three years ago I was still in love with my husband, yet I had been so pulled into the chaos of his disease I had nothing left of myself. Pulled in so much that I didn’t realize how little there really was.
He was the man I was supposed to grow old with. Yet in our last years together, we were both pulled further and further into his alcoholism, to the point where he was drinking every day and the majority of my thoughts and actions were taken up with it.
Alcoholism is a narcissistic disease. Our loved ones who are afflicted may not be this way, but the disease takes over. Alcoholism is sneaky. It screams – “me, me, me.”
I worked longer hours to avoid going home. I tried to build a bubble around him so things would be perfect and he wouldn’t want to drink. I avoided going out with friends because he couldn’t keep it together and I was mortified and though it was a reflection of me.
In many ways, I was a reflection of his disease. I had a great job on Wall Street, but my insides had little happiness or joy. I went through the motions of life. My life felt very dark and I was on empty. The divorce culminated the 18-month dance we had done after he got out of rehab. He needed to save himself and I needed to do the same.
Three years ago I had no idea where my life was headed, yet I knew it couldn’t stay the way it had been. I had hope. Three years ago I never could have imagined the richness of my life today.
Sometimes we have to let a dream die in order to live.