I felt a lot of anxiety leading up to his birthday. He did it, Paul went without drinking for almost 2 months. He said it was a piece of cake.
He said he would try to quit drinking until his birthday.
But then it was his birthday. I was worried. Now what would happen?
That night we had a few friends over. They had pizza and he drank a bottle of wine. I felt a sense of loss. I didn’t belong. I felt like an outsider. I had been dairy free for over a month by that time. As they ate pizza and laughed, I brooded in the corner.
I felt triggered by Paul drinking again. I felt angry and hurt like I did on the night of our anniversary when he drank too much. Paul was in a jovial mood. He drank another bottle of wine out by the campfire while I sat inside.
He wanted me to sing while he played guitar. When he pushed close, I pulled away. He was gone and I felt like I couldn’t trust him anymore.
What was going to happen going forward?
Slowly and steadily he started drinking more but nowhere as close to as much as before.
We got hit pretty hard in the next couple months with bad news about my dad. It will be a long time before I am ready to talk about that. I can tell you this, my dad struggles with addiction. My mom ignored it. She buried her head in the sand. I have to wonder maybe things would’ve turned out differently if she gave him an ultimatum.
I think I did the right thing. I never wanted Paul to stop drinking. I just wanted him to be in control of it instead of it controlling him.
I found myself triggered by so many things, not just Paul drinking. What happened with my dad threw me into a deep depression. I wish I could say that trauma only happens from your parents in childhood. Sometimes it tends to be a lifelong roller coaster ride.
Paul thought he was going to lose me this time. He was so stressed out that he started to drink more which stressed me out more.
Because of the ultimatum, he knew it was a problem he needed to address. In January, he stopped drinking for a few weeks in a time of prayer and self-reflection. Then he came up with a new plan.