The words were not any I was expecting…or even ready to hear. Not this time. I hadn’t prepared myself for this. Other times, yes. But not this time.
We made plans. 2015 was going to be a better year. It had to be. 2014 was too hard. I needed a good year. An easy year. A year where life was…maybe not easy…but just not so hard.
All I could do was cry. I knew he was right. We were going to do this again. It was the only way.
I took my husband to the ER and they admitted him to the hospital. Started the IV…shots…drawing blood. It was different this time.
Different. And harder.
Maybe because it wasn’t my idea. None of this was my idea. I needed it to not be true. And if it was true I needed him to be able to stop on his own.
But when we sat in our pastor’s office and he told me Rob needed to go to the hospital and then to a long term rehab, I knew he was right.
Rob hadn’t eaten for almost three weeks. I was traveling and either barely noticed or chose not to notice. Every week when I got home he would say he would stop. That he was done.
But he was never done. He couldn’t stop.
The next few days are a fuzzy memory. No sleep, driving back and forth to the hospital. Trying to get him into rehab. Trying to tell the girls it would be ok when I didn’t believe myself. Bracing myself for the questions. Telling a few people. But not many. Being the wife of the not-so-much-recovering but now again a full blown alcoholic.
I didn’t want to be her. I don’t want to be her.
The girls telling me they didn’t want to see daddy right now. To tell him they love him but they just weren’t ready to see him.
I think they didn’t want to see him in “that place”. I don’t blame them. I didn’t want to go either. But I went.
When they released him and I was late getting there. And couldn’t find something he wanted me to bring. And brought the wrong clothes for him to wear. And did everything wrong. And was making him worry about me because I wasn’t acting like I was strong…enough. And I tried to defend myself. And I tried to hold back my tears. Because if I told him…I’m not. I’m not strong enough to do this again. If I was the reason he didn’t get the help he needed…I couldn’t be that.
I could be strong. I could hold back the tears. I could pretend my world wasn’t falling apart. Just for a few more hours. I had to. And I did.
And as I left him and sat in the car. I stopped being strong. I let the tears come. I cried out loud. I poured out all of my fears in a desperate prayer. I let myself be angry. And sad. And afraid.
Just for a few moments. Because to give in to those emotions for too long would have had me running back inside and begging him to come home and couldn’t we just figure this out without him being gone.
For fourteen months.
I don’t even know how to comprehend that. It’s too long. Maybe not long enough. Maybe so long that…
All of the fears started again. Will this work?
I’d told him as we sat in that office a few days earlier…I need this to work this time. I can’t go through this again. I will. But. I don’t want to. It’s too much. It’s too hard.
I need this to work.
It’s too hard.
But then. I look again. And I think.
But maybe not too hard.