Just Do the Next First Thing

3:48 am

I think I’m almost tired enough to fall asleep but he’s awake now, turning the TV on.

I try to cover my head with the sheet but it doesn’t help. I try a pillow, but it’s already so hard to breathe I’m afraid I might suffocate.

I ask him to turn the TV down but either he doesn’t hear me or he’s asleep again.

I turn over and let the tears fall on my pillow again, start to wipe my eyes and remember I didn’t take my makeup off.

My suitcase lays beside the bed, still packed. Knowing I’m only home for a few days. Thinking if I don’t unpack the days will go by more quickly and I’ll survive them.

5:14 am

He’s awake, out of bed. I hear the familiar sounds of him getting ready for work.

I want to get up and tell him we can’t just pretend life is normal again, but I can’t move.

6:25 am

I hear him walking up beside me to kiss me goodbye. Like he does every morning. Like this is a normal morning. I protest his leaving. It falls on deaf ears as he walks away.

8:22 am

I must’ve finally fallen asleep. I am awakened by a text message. I pull my laptop onto the bed. The world hasn’t stopped. I still need to work.

A friend who knows this world I live in first hand texts me. Prays me through surviving the morning. Reminding me to just do the next thing.

I can’t. Not yet.

So she tells me to remember to breathe. She tells me I can do that.

She has no idea how important that reminder is right now.

Eventually I make it from the bed to the chair in the living room. Make my coffee.

The tears won’t stop.

More texts.IM’s. Emails. Work.

Offers to come here. To pick me up. But I can’t face people right now.

I need something out of my bag but I can’t manage to get up and get it.

My phone is at 9% and I am sitting here waiting for it to turn off. One less way for anyone to reach me.

11 am

I join a conference call for work and I have to say hello. I hit mute as quickly as possible. The call goes on and the laughter is just more evidence of life going on around me and I can’t control the tears.

But I can control who hears them.

I don’t even hear them myself. Silent tears. I don’t allow myself to make a sound.

11:52 am

I keep expecting a text from him. I try to decide what I will say to him when he gets home.

Nothing is all I can think of. I think maybe I could just hide in one of the girls’ bedrooms this weekend.

He kept telling me last night I can’t blame myself. It’s all I do.


This is happening to me. I know it’s happening to him too, but I am not an active or willing participant. I am just a casualty with a front row seat and with no say on what happens next.

I try to imagine how this weekend will go. A dozen scenarios if he keeps drinking. A dozen if he doesn’t.

They don’t matter. It’s all outside of my control. My needs are second. Always. My wants…I can’t see that they even matter.

I play this song on repeat in my head.

Thy Will Be Done (Hillary Scott)

“I’m so confused
I know I heard you loud and clear
So, I followed through
Somehow I ended up here
I don’t wanna think
I may never understand
That my broken heart is a part of your plan
When I try to pray
All I’ve got is hurt and these four words

Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done


I know you’re good
But this don’t feel good right now
And I know you think
Of things I could never think about
It’s hard to count it all joy
Distracted by the noise
Just trying to make sense
Of all your promises
Sometimes I gotta stop
Remember that you’re God
And I am not

Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Like a child on my knees all that comes to me is
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will

I know you see me
I know you hear me, Lord
Your plans are for me
Goodness you have in store
I know you hear me
I know you see me, Lord
Your plans are for me
Good news you have in store”

That’s the only next thing I can do.

I try to remember how I survived this the last time. I think I must have been stronger then.

Or maybe just not broken in to so many pieces. I remember telling him the last time that I couldn’t go through this again. Then quickly changing my words to – I will, but I don’t want to…

I try to remember feeling like I couldn’t pick up the pieces but always managing to find a way.

I can’t remember yet. I can’t remember what the next first thing is.

Except writing. Writing is healing to me. So I sit here and write.

And breathe.

I can do that.



About angelastricklin

Thanks for stopping by! If you're on FB, follow me: www.facebook.com/lifewithgreeneyes Instagram @angelastricklin Twitter @angelastricklin Pinterest @Angela Stricklin I'm a wife, mom of three girls and one fur baby. By day, I'm an HR manager to pay for all things girly girl and fur baby treats. I add things to my Amazon wish list instead of my cart because my girls cost All. The. Money. Instead of sleeping, you can find me writing about faith, addiction, recovery, marriage, parenting and my favorite things on Facebook , Twitter , Instagram , and Pinterest.
This entry was posted in Addiction, Addiction is a family affair, Alcoholism, Dealing with relapse, Marriage, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Just Do the Next First Thing

  1. Cate says:

    I wept all the way through this. Praying for your strength, peace, answers, direction, healing, and comfort. You are loved. Dearly and deeply loved.

  2. Jo says:

    You have come to mean so very much to me, love and prayers for you all. If you need anything please know I will always be here for you.

  3. Oh my goodness, this was heart-breaking. I’m praying for you right now. Praying for healing, for comfort, for peace.

    Bless you.

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    I hope you can stop by tomorrow!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s