Don’t worry, this isn’t isn’t a soppy sentimental account of yesterday’s wedding anniversary! It most certainly was another “first”, another special occasion that can be ticked off the list as completed alcohol free. However, it was a moment of reflection that was much more than that.
We were in Portsmouth. My youngest son was competing in a sporting event to raise money for Cancer Research UK. It was a cage fighting/wrestling event. Not something I am a fan of for many reasons. I was extremely nervous. My son had embarked on an eight week training programme for this event, having never done this kind of sport before. I was proud of him, but not looking forward to seeing him step into the cage where I was petrified he was going to get hurt. My ex-husband was going to be there on a table with some people from our past who I hadn’t seen for many years. Mine was a standing ticket. I was so worried as to whether I would be able to stand for the duration. There was alcohol everywhere. There was a constant flow of huge pitchers of beer and full trays with an array of drinks being taken to the tables. Lots of pressure points.
I got through. My legs may not agree. My son survived, but not without some trauma. I was a very proud mum even though the outcome wasn’t what he wanted. He is an amazing lad, not without fault, but he is so determined. He is in control of his life and not frightened to put himself outside of his comfort zone. I would like to think I have something to do with the way he has turned out. Hold your head up high son. You did good.
It was then time to spend some quality time with my husband. We had a luxury apartment in Gunwharf, a great location. The apartment actually could have been anywhere. Reflection wasn’t planned, but it happened. I guess that anniversaries have a habit of doing that. My husband spoke more about my illness than he ever has before.
It started, for him, with quite a shocking realisation that I looked different. He told me I looked gorgeous and I looked better than I had on our wedding day. He told me how ill I had looked. The one thing he kept saying over and over was that I had looked so yellow. He told me that I looked the best I ever have since we met. He told me my hair was beautiful and my skin so healthy. He told me that it seems like I have turned a corner. He also told me that if I hadn’t stopped, I would be dead. There would have been no second anniversary.
I complain about my husband too much. He knows that he is hard to love, but I love him. He loves me. So many emotions as the realisation of what he has seen over the past few years which must have been so scary for him. I also know that I wouldn’t be where I am today without him by my side, holding my hand, whilst taking the shit that I gave through my frustrations. It was like I fell in love with him all over again.
What I will say, is the alcoholic does love the people closest to them. They don’t always show it in the right way. They struggle with the showing of emotions, in my experience anyway. There are two messages here. The first is that it is worth staying close to the person you love and supporting them in their recovery. Someone good, or at least better will come out of the other side. The second is not to underestimate the pain that people go through when supporting you in coming out of the other side. That takes one hell of a person. I believe that what we have been left with is something to be very grateful for. We are on this journey together and we are doing good together.