When I was actively drinking and drugging, my husband called me “Hurricane A——-.” And it was a good name for me. I wrecked everything in my path when I was drunk/high.
I especially liked to take my emotions out on my husband. I would dig up old wounds from the past – little things and big things, but always old things – and throw them at him, looking for a reaction to justify my drinking/using.
It wasn’t long before he learned to ignore me. But still I railed, storming around the house with my anger and bitterness, utterly lonely and feeling nothing but hurt and pain.
There was nothing he could do for me. I was actively destroying all that was good between us. Anything he tried to say I used against him. Anything he tried to do was met with scorn and suspicion.
I was more than a wreck. I was a black hole, and I fought to suck all that I loved, all that was near and dear to me, into my darkness because I thought that would make me feel whole.
I nearly destroyed my marriage.
I will be forever grateful that my husband held on to the good he saw in me. That he didn’t give up hope. That he stayed and weathered the storm.
Things aren’t perfect now. It’s great that I’m sober, but there’s much to repair. I practice what is called a “living amends” to him. Repairing relationships takes action – it’s not enough just to be sober, though that is the first and most important step. The storm must stop before you can start repairing the structures damaged by the hurricane.
Every day I try to show him that I am trying to do the next right thing. To do that, I must work on improving myself and my connection with a Higher Power, which is something I still struggle with.
The AA Big Book tells me that “The spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it” (pg. 83). I do try to live it. I try to pray every day. I try to live in a spirit of humble gratitude. I try to surrender my defects and mental illnesses to my Higher Power every day, recognizing that I cannot control or cure them.
But I still have questions. I still have doubts.
In the AA Big Book, there is a chapter called “We Agnostics.” I have read this chapter many times and still find myself unsatisfied. On page 53 it states:
We agnostically inclined would not feel satisfied with a proposal which does not lend itself to reasonable approach and interpretation. Hence we are at pains to tell why we think our present faith is reasonable, why we think it more sane and logical to believe than not to believe, why we say our former thinking was soft and mushy when we threw up our hands in doubt and said, “We don’t know.”
I have written before about my quest to find a Higher Power – a God of my own understanding. Some one or thing I can pray to without fear. This is because I have found saving grace in the rooms of AA. And AA presents me with a conflict. “God either is or he isn’t.”
For those of you who are more inclined to answer that God is not, I found this article to be very interesting: Critique of Chapter 4 — We Agnostics
For myself, I am throwing up my hands and saying, “I don’t know.” That’s where faith is supposed to step in. But my faith is small and shaky. So I depend on the voices in the rooms and G.O.D. (Good Orderly Direction) to guide me at times when I cannot feel the spirit of my Higher Power.
I want to accept that my Higher Power is. I don’t know if I will ever be completely certain. But the spiritual vacuum in my soul is slowly being filled, and as it fills I find that I can be a useful and happy equal to my husband.
As I heal myself and immerse myself in the AA program, my relationship is healing. I try to practice honesty, slowly rebuilding the trust that I destroyed. I try to practice faith, rebuilding my spirit. I try to practice love, even though I feel I deserve punishment for the rest of my life.
There are moments when the wreckage of the past rises up, like ghosts in the fog, and we talk about things I did and things I said while I was in a black out. One time he had to tell me where he hid the keys to his car so I could bring them to him at work (it was a really good hiding spot). I try not to beat myself up over these moments. I can’t undo the past. I can only try to live a better life now.
And my husband has been gracious. He has accepted me back into his life with open arms. He gives me space when I need it. He never questions when I need to go to a meeting. He supports me in all I do to stay sober.
And he calls me Beautiful.