A week later

I haven’t really had time to reflect yet but I wanted to say that a week after he was discharged, we are having a really lovely time. I am on tenterhooks, yes, and I am trying to sound casual when I say ‘How are you?’ but for the first time in years I can say ‘How did you sleep?’ and he says, good, yeah. Not ‘Didn’t go off until about 2, woke up at 4’ etc.

However, he did come with me to a friend’s 40th this weekend and it was (certainly from my perspective) good. He had told his friends what has been going on and it helps that we are all either 40 or nearing it so the days of shots by 8pm are long gone. Importantly, I was relaxed. I knew he was ok and if he wasn’t OK, he’d come over and tell me. In fact, when he left at about 10pm, I decided to go with him. Pretty good decision as even by being reasonably sensible, I still had a monster headache on Sunday morning.

And no, the irony of talking about MY hangover is not lost on me.

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He’s back

The kids were going crazy waiting for him but it’s happened, he’s back home. The kids are overwhelmed – my son looked at me at one point and just whispered ‘Dadda’s back’. Amazing feelings, mainly a huge sense of optimism. Please let us be right.

Fathers’ Day

Not what we’d normally do, and in fact I probably make less effort usually as Fathers’ Day seems like a bit of a con, invented by Hallmark, by a man I should think.

But a picnic in the sun (grey skies and not very warm at all), knowing he would be home in 24hours, was actually quite fun. Not enough fun to make me want to repeat next year because I have high hopes that next year will be very very different.

Let it all out

Wow. We had our session with his therapist today, a way of talking through some issues before he comes home. I had made a list of the things I wanted to say, and I wasn’t sure that I would actually read it out. But I did. And it was really hard to do. It’s easy to feel really angry with him when I’m not with him but that changes when I’m in his company. I’m really pleased I read out my list though (I will post it later).

I really did let it all out though. I suppose this is the first time I’ve actually really cried over this and of course it was liberating. It’s also quite frightening to let your emotions go in case you can’t get reign them back in – where will it end? At one point I thought was just going to cry. But you know, I’m made of pretty steely stuff and I pulled myself together….

Well, I had to, otherwise we wouldn’t have got through ‘The List’. To summarise, I have made no promises about our future, except that I would work with him to help this marriage.

At this stage, I feel that sad and negative feelings clearly outweigh the good and I explained that until the good times outweigh the bad, it was going to be hard to forgive and forget. My memories of the past few years have been tainted and scarred by his breakdown, his drinking and his depression.

This is where we are now and I admit that it was good to hear from his therapist, who described herself as being in his corner in the session. We did discuss the elephant in the room – the risk of relapse and what happens then. The elephant grew to mammoth proportions when she said that he could relapse in many ways – drink, drugs, exercise, food….not exactly comforting. How the hell am I supposed to monitor that?

A weekend away (back home)

DH came home for the weekend this weekend, we picked him up Saturday afternoon. I was very very very anxious. And not really looking forward to it. It didn’t help that there was supposed to be the mother of all storms hitting the UK on Saturday. In the end though, the storm clouds on actual and figurative horizons didn’t turn in to storms at all – the weather turned out nice and the weekend at home was fine. Normal. Abnormal as there was no alcohol, no pub, no moodiness from him, although I was a bit chippy. We had a barbecue for the kids, I bought loom bands (BIG MISTAKE, the buggers are everywhere) and then we had a takeaway curry. There was a moment when I muttered something about not being entirely convinced that we could get the relationship back on track, so I hurriedly amended it with ‘straightaway, it will take time’….

DH apologised for not being very chatty, I pointed out that I was quite happy with and very used to evenings without conversation.

Sunday involved a walk and picnic, all good, and he was deposited back at the hospital for his evening meeting.

Bit weird sharing the bed again, but all in all, it went a lot better than expected. And right now, I’ll take that.

Dreamland

Don’t worry, I won’t bore you with a detailed account of my dreams but before he went in to hospital, I used to dream that I was furious¬†with him, in my dreams I would scream at him, punch him, attack him. He was normally dressed for work, not drunk, and just standing there while I went beserk.

Now in my dreams I am still pretty angry with my husband. He is either drinking again, or in last night’s dream, too tied up with his new 12-step friends to have time for me. I don’t think I need a dream dictionary.

I suffer from a stiff neck and shoulder and in the last few days it’s come back, having been fine since he was sectioned. It was really sore at the family therapy session and that really annoys me because I’m being put in to situations that make me very tense. Much more so than I realised, although I do know that I’m very anxious about him coming home. Borderline dreading it. I still wonder if I’d be happier without him and I currently think that I would be. Can’t say the same for the kids though and that’s what it’s all about right now.

My parents divorced when I was quite young and I used to say, ‘Better to have parents apart and happy than together and miserable’ but I am not so cocky these days and I do find myself thinking that perhaps my parents could have tried harder. Not that I’m going to rush out to tell them that now as it was three decades ago….

The first step

The 12 steps programme reigns supreme currently. We are so far at step 2. When I say we, obviously I mean him. I had to write a letter for his step 1, telling him how his drinking and depression have affected me and the kids. I thought I was going to write forever, but actually, I was very brief. Naturally I realised afterwards that I’d missed a few key points. At the family therapy meeting this week we had a really good chat and I was very honest with him. I don’t want to be going over and over things, nor do I want to be saying in a year’s time ‘Oh, yes, about that time you did xyz’. So I told him that over the last few years, I have realised how unhappy I have been with our relationship and him, how other aspects of my life were happy, and yet I’ve just said to myself on many occasions ‘ I just want to be happy’. I have also wondered why I haven’t been, or at least, what I’ve done to be unhappy. The conclusion I’ve come to is that he was making me unhappy. Not all the time, but quite a big chunk of it.

Do I want the marriage to continue? If we didn’t have kids, I would have left a long time ago. I ask myself if I’m sticking it out solely for them and really, yes I am. I’m not really doing it for me. Is there anything left in our marriage? Well, yes, the kids. For their sakes, I am prepared to give him another shot although I think part of me would just prefer it if he lived with us as their dad, but not my husband. That would be the easiest, less hard work option. Getting our marriage back on course is definitely not going to be easy for either of us because without wanting to sound dramatic, something inside me has died. Or perhaps is in a coma? Definitely in hibernation at any rate.