Um, yeah, it’s the end of June and I’m still continuing on with a hop that ended in April. Hopefully, Arlee will forgive my tardiness. I think he will. He seems like a gentle and kind soul.
I first heard my husband described as my “qualifier” at an anon meeting I attended a few days after my second disclosure. I wondered what he was qualifying for at the time. First place at breaking my trust? Perhaps it was first place at breaking my heart? Either way, I was so crushed I felt he deserved gold medals in both competitions.
But alas, that wasn’t what he was qualifying for in those rooms. Instead, it was his behaviors that earned him the nickname and led me to open up those doors and say, “Hey, I think you guys might understand what I’m going through. Probably even better than I do right now because, at this very moment in time, I’m a freakin’ hot mess.”
At the beginning of my journey, I was in the word vomit business. Some of you may understand. The pain of what I was going through was so raw it needed to escape and my verbal outlets were usually where I found the most comfort. Those rooms, they were my newfound freedom. Nowhere else had anyone experienced the same kind of absolute anger only to be followed by absolute love for their partner like I did. Those beautiful people nodded with understanding, week after week, as I spewed my anger, cried through tears that needed to be shed, and spoke about what my qualifier had done. They empathized with me through each emotional share. They’d all traveled similar paths.
Through gentle guidance, I began to understand that there was another qualifier in the room: me. No, I wasn’t at fault for my husband’s addiction or his behaviors. Not at all. I was spending the majority of my precious time on him though. Time I could’ve been invested in me. I had no control over what he did in his recovery, but I sure had control over how I healed my heart and soul from the hurt and trauma.
My focus needed to shift over to me if I wanted to have calm in my world again. I was so blessed to eventually have a person in my home group who had that stillness within them no matter what came their way. I wanted what they had. So I asked them to sponsor me. I did whatever it took, followed all of their suggestions, read whatever they wanted me to read, did the work they wanted to be done (oh my gosh it was painful!), and then I was set free.
I finally had what they had: pure serenity. If my husband’s recovery was slipping, it’s wasn’t the end of the world anymore, because my recovery was built on cement rather than shifting sands. Because as much as I love the sand between my toes, I only want it at the beach. Not beneath my recovery. So by focusing on me and not him, I was able to get a firmer footing and become a healthier me.
Let’s hope by the time you’re reading this, I’m at the beach because it’s been a month since I’ve been able to go. Have you been to the beach or lake yet? Any other fun plans for the weekend?