One of those movies where I could get lost in the plot and not relate to anything in the movie.
The movie is Black or White so in case you haven’t seen it: spoiler alert.
It starts with Kevin Costner’s wife being killed in a car accident.
Followed by dibilitating sadness.
Minutes in, I realize. His drinking problem is going to be a big part of this movie.
Which is a big problem for me because I just wanted to relax and not even think about any of that for a few hours.
My eyes start leaking. Slowly. Then the faucets break and I can’t even turn them off.
You see, one of my biggest…longest lasting…deeply rooted struggles is reconciling Rob’s inability to stop drinking and his love for me and our family.
The two seem opposed. In its purest form love should conquer. In its darkness addiction should severely diminish if not completely distinguish light.
Being in the middle of this battle has left me torn. Confused. Often choosing one side just to jump ship the next day…hour…moment.
If he loved me he wouldn’t…
When he’s drinking he can’t…
Being on the receiving end of the actions and consequences of both his love and his addiction I have separated the two. I could not see the coexistence.
When he does this, he loves me.
When he does that, it’s the addiction.
I’ve lived with two men.
Compartmentalized him into two people.
Interact this way with the man who loves me.
React this way with the addict.
Because if he loves me he won’t drink, then who he is when he’s drinking isn’t the man who loves me.
Without ever speaking this out loud, this is the truth I have lived in my heart for years.
Then this movie. That isn’t about alcoholism….but is.
Where I see a man so in love and so entangled in his addiction.
Not in love or addicted.
Where I am far enough removed that for the first time I see the tortured coexistence of one man inside himself.
Addiction and love working side by side….working against each other yes, but still there simultaneously. One not voiding the other.
From the outside it may seem obvious. The and instead of the or.
From the inside separating them was survival to me.
Conjoining the two seemed to only lead to more hurt and disappointment.
I needed the man who loves me to be separate from the man who has over and over lost his battle with alcohol.
To protect my heart I had to disengage the words of the addict from the man I want to spend the rest of my life with.
But he was never two men.
His love is not voided by his addiction.
His addiction does not obliterate his love.
Now I have to learn how to live this truth.
He has always been a man who loves me and is so often entangled in addiction.
The two are not separate. One does not void the other.
And. I desperately hope…in time…
The two are not separate. And love wins.