If my life were to flash before my eyes today, it would include a series of stills from my marriage to an alcoholic. The moment when I sat at the airport because he overslept following an all-night bender, alone in our apartment taking in as much as he could before I returned home. The morning following a friend’s wedding when he told me he was done drinking. The moment one month later when I found the first hidden drink high up in a cupboard, blocking the cookie cutters I needed for Christmas baking.
The moment years later when our young son asked him about the bottles hidden in the basement – his distillery – after finding them with his friends one day. Our daughter’s high school graduation, where I sat alone because he was so drunk he chose instead to sit high up near the rafters on the other side of the gym.
That moment long ago when I asked him why and wondered aloud if it was because of me.
These stills are the picture – for better or for worse – of our life together. What has emerged recently, though, is a hero. For years, I waited for someone to sweep in and make this all go away. To answer the questions I could not, and bring solutions to the problems I couldn’t solve. I needed a hero. So that is what I became.