Rob started going to Celebrate Recovery (CR) several months before I did. I had no desire, or need to go. It was just another place where people were going to make me label myself. I didn’t need a label. Rob was the alcoholic. I was just the wife of an alcoholic. Every issue I had stemmed from his drinking, so if he could just stop everything would be fine. 7 or 8 months after he had quit, almost all of the problems we’d had when he was drinking were still there. We were getting nowhere.
Plus, I had tried Al Anon. I know there are some great Al Anon groups out there, but the one I went to was very negative and very supportive of wives leaving their alcoholic husbands. I assumed every other group would be the same.
And. I was going to a recovery Sunday School class. And since I didn’t even need recovery, once a week was plenty!
I finally agreed to go to CR with him. But, I wasn’t going because I needed help. I’m just here to support my husband. It was a fight for me to agree to let the girls come. This was not the life I wanted for them and I was not about to make them spend their evenings going to meetings because of the mistakes Rob had made. But, I put on my happy face and gave in and said, ok, we’re going to do this as a family… I guess.
Then I realized I had to go to small group. OK, well, codependent seemed like a pretty safe label, so let’s start with that. Everyone’s a codependent right?
I didn’t want to like anyone here. I didn’t come here to make new friends. I never wanted my life to be spent in recovery meetings. This was not the life I asked for.
Then, a month or so in, I started drinking the kool aid. I’ve talked about all the reasons I didn’t want to come, but this is why I never want to miss.
I started wanting to heal, wanting to work on my issues. I stopped saying I was just here with him. I heard other women struggling through the exact same thing, just with different circumstances. I heard other women talk about their struggles with addiction and a lot of what Rob must have been going through. Things I never heard him say. Deep hurts I never knew he probably felt. I felt in community with people here. I didn’t feel like an outsider. I was welcomed, even when I thought I didn’t need to be here. I have never felt judged. I am able to talk about real things. Real feelings. No mask. CR is a place where I can be real. When someone asks me how I am, it’s because they care, and I don’t have to say “I’m good.” I can say, today was hard. Because they really want to know how I really am.
I started wanting to reach out to other women. CR has taught me that I won’t go thru my recovery on my own and I can’t go thru my recovery without reaching out to other women who are going thru theirs.
God worked thru CR to bring Rob out of his addiction. God is working through CR to restore our marriage. God is working thru CR. Every day.
Y’all are my family. A family I got to pick. A family that does everything family does. Nurture, love, correct, counsel, annoy, eat together, hug, listen, pray…and you get it. You get it when I say I felt broken. You get it when I say I have a real marriage now. You get it when I say, even though my husband’s been sober for over a year now, there are still some trust issues. You get it when I cry over the really hard years and what that’s done to me and to our girls and to our marriage. And you get it when I just need to be silent and listen. You get it because you’ve been there too.
Joel 2:25 I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten.
CR is not a place we go. CR is how we do life. CR is who we do life with.