This past weekend we were busy. As in overbooked, overcommitted. Busy. Hubby and I were talking Friday night, right before all 5 of us went in different directions that night, about everything we had going on.
He stopped for a minute and said, “You know, I never had plans when I was a drunk. Now that I’m sober, it seems like we always have something to do. It’s pretty awesome.”
There were so many things that came to mind when he said those words. So many family gatherings that I took the girls to alone. So many school functions where it was just me standing in the background. Soccer games, choir concerts, parent/teacher conferences, church events… But when I stopped to look at him after he said those words…all I could think of was how amazing it is to have him here…present…involved.
The “old me” probably would have brought up the things he missed. Or told him how hard it was for me to go through life alone all of those years.
But those were not words that needed to be said.
Because his eyes told me that those were the words already going through his mind. He knows how much he missed. He knows how hard it was for me to do life alone. He lives with those thoughts every day. And it’s not my job to berate him. Or remind him over and over how much he missed out on.
Because, he missed out. On a lot. He missed out on things that will never happen again. He wasn’t there to make memories to look back on. He doesn’t have the same family moments to remember from years past, because he wasn’t a part of them.
Sometimes when we’re talking about things we’ve done in the past, I have to remind myself that he wasn’t there for that. Or he wasn’t sober enough to remember he was there. And I think about how left out he must feel..knowing that for the first 17 years of our family, he has very few memories of those life moments the girls and I lived through.
And you can think whatever you will about how it was his fault..his choice…because that is what I thought for years. He is choosing this. He is choosing not to be a part of our family. He is choosing to drink. He is choosing to hurt us. He is choosing…
But now I know…I understand…not the addiction he experienced, because I don’t think you can understand that without going through it yourself. But I understand it was not a choice he made. Addiction is overwhelming. It takes control of you…of your life…and until you either reach your bottom, or until God gives you deliverance from your addiction…you really have no control over it.
And so I made a choice. And I am trying to make that choice everyday. The choice to not dwell on the past. To not focus on the long term effects his addiction has had on our family. To not throw in his face things he did wrong…
He does that to himself enough. My purpose is to encourage him. Support him. Engage him. Treasure him. Cherish him. Love him.
And to thank God for those moments that we’re busy. And my husband is there. To be busy with us.