Dear Saint Anthony, Please Come Around…
It’s been a roller coaster of a week. I waxed poetically about my wonderful meeting on Monday, hit publish, then had a humdinger of a situation with my son (more precisely, the icing on the cake of a situation with my son, as the incidents seem to flow like a revolving door, to be continued at some point!). Still trying to collect myself and behave like a rational human being (instead of the raving lunatic my head told me I should be), I find a series of various communications on my phone giving me condolences on the passing of Robin Williams. There is a whole post to be written at some later date about my special “relationship” with this beloved comedian, but I’m figuring the existing story will run long enough.
From there the week continued to devolve. However, before I continue with the present situation, I am going to describe a past one, which I think will help illuminate why I’m writing about what’s going on at all.
It is late January/early February, 2012. I have a few days of sobriety under my belt. I am living with my Mom, but allowed to visit with my kids for several hours each day. I am reasonably certain that I will be served divorce papers in the very near future, I am alienated from all of my closest friends, and I am awaiting catastrophic news in terms of legal consequences from my addiction.
In other words, my life is a mess, and putting one foot in front of the other takes a Herculean effort.
I find myself at my home for the short daily visit with my children one day in that first week of sobriety, and I look down to my left hand and see my engagement and wedding rings not on the finger where they are supposed to be.
For me to try to describe what I felt in that very moment would be difficult, as so much time has passed, but I know my stomach clenched up, and I was panicked. My Mom was with me, I quickly told her, and we spent the next couple of hours until my husband got home from work searching for the ring, to no avail.
Which is what I did for about two weeks, every time I was in that house for those few hours. As each day passed, I grew more convinced that it was a sign telling me my marriage was over.
In the meantime, marital relations that were strained to begin with became downright hostile. He never quite got to the point of accusing me of anything directly, but he made enough snide comments, and was angry enough, to alert me to the fact that he did not believe that I had lost the rings.
And that is the most lasting memory of that time period, the sick feeling that goes with knowing you will never convince someone of your innocence, after all the lies you’ve told.
There is a happy ending to this story, to go along with the happy ending of my life, my marriage and my recovery: mid-February, I am sitting in a meeting, I get a phone call from my husband. He is celebrating his parent’s anniversary with his family (note I am not there), and he brought vegetables with him to make, because they were starting to turn and he was either going to use them at that function, or just throw the Ziploc bag away. My rings had fallen into the vegetables as I was transferring them into the bag. By the way, if it were me in charge of those vegetables, they would have been trashed much earlier, so thank God it wasn’t me in charge.
Truly, it was my first honest to God sign of hope that things might turn around for me.
Back to the present: in addition to dealing with the shenanigans of my son, I have some separate tense “goings-on” with my daughter. This post is going entirely too long as it is, so I will wrap it up by saying she is trying out for high school soccer, tryouts are ongoing this whole week, and this process has been a roller coaster all by itself. Again, this subject could be a post in and of itself, but I feel like I’ve been trailing along behind her as she makes a series of decisions with which I disagree, and I am just waiting for this drama to unfold to the logical conclusion of her not making the team (which, by the way, it has, and why I currently have the time to write this novel). Yesterday, I am running behind on every errand, of which there were quite a few. I pick her up, already late for her doctor’s appointment, and I am catching up on the latest bit of bad news about the soccer tryouts. I need to qualify here: this is not a situation where she went, tried her hardest, and did not make the team, that I could handle just fine. It was a situation where she was given some opportunities and did not follow through, and it was those decisions that were (are) not sitting well with me.
We rushed home, got her changed, threw groceries into the fridge (I mean this literally, I was throwing meat and cheese into the fridge), and rushed to the doctor’s office. I am sitting in the waiting room, catching my breath and trying to dispel the vaguely sick feeling I have about this whole soccer business. I glance down at my hand.
My ring is gone, again.
I could write quite elaborately of the dread I felt in the moment, as this incident is quite a bit more recent that the one I described earlier. However, I would guess that the feeling is obvious, particularly when you consider the part about all of the errands I had run earlier that day. This ring could be anywhere. For the record, I spent the next several hours after the appointment retracing my steps, to no avail.
When you look at the bullet points of this story, I really sound like a whiny baby: woman lost her ring, and her daughter didn’t make a sports team. Cry me a river, lady.
It’s the totality of it all that has me still out of sorts, even as I type (I am really hoping that as I hit publish the sick feeling will disappear). First, the soccer issue: it’s that feeling of knowing the right thing for someone to do, feeling it in your heart, and then watching the person do the opposite. We’ve all been there: friends that stay in relationships we know are unhealthy, alcoholics that continue to drink, the list that goes on and on. But when you are a parent, it’s as though you should hold some extra power, like a magic wand, to create the best possible outcome. And you keep second guessing yourself: should I have said something different to make her see what I see? Should I have laid down a law and forced this to go a different way? Should I be THAT parent and intervene, cutting out my child’s involvement?
It’s enough to make my head spin, and then throw into the mix the time travel that went on with the lost ring, and it should unsurprising to say that I did not sleep a whole lot last night (which again conjures memories of active addiction, talk about a vicious cycle).
So that’s my tale of woe from the last few days. I will end, as is always my intention, on the positives. First, that I can recognize and verbalize what is going on emotionally is incredible progress from pre-recovery days. That I can at least start talking back to the sick feelings about the events that are disturbing me: the ring is an inanimate object, and my marriage and life will continue to thrive without it. The world does not end if my daughter does not make the soccer team, she will not devolve into a life of crime because she has this new free time on her hands. My worries and fears are natural, but they are not facts, and I will come out of these feelings eventually.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I am blessed with the ability to express this to my wonderful friends in the blogosphere, and the simple act of putting fingers to keyboard is healing, so thank you, friends, I truly am starting to feel better, and I haven’t even hit publish!
If anyone has stuck around long enough to read this, then there’s the miracle! Also, I suppose the silver lining of the soccer issue is the loads of free time to finish the summer strong with the kids.
Posted on August 14, 2014, in Parenting, Self-Care and tagged Alcoholism, family, lost wedding ring, Parenting, Recovery, Sobriety, St. Anthony, when life repeats itself. Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.