In the past two weeks, I have moved swiftly to fill every empty threat I have made in response to Swenny’s alcoholism. I’ve stood firm in my request that he move out, I have not retreated from my plans to divorce, and I have forced separation with the purchase of a home. But the hardest thing I have done is to finally accept that nothing I do will change the course of his disease.
After his option to move to a sober house was eliminated, he was left with two other possibilities: twenty-eight days of inpatient rehab or stay with a friend in longterm recovery. He chose the latter, trading his best chance at sobriety for the opportunity to work toward recovery in the comfort of the routines of work and relative independence. He achieved fourteen days without alcohol before succumbing to a pre-mediated night of drinking one night last week after his host went to bed.
The following day, he stopped at my office to sign papers relating to our new reality. It was clear to me that he had been drinking. Standing in the vestibule of my lobby, crowded by the smell of alcohol, I asked him if he was okay. “Yes,” he answered.
Later that night, he shared with me in a phone call that he had relapsed. “Don’t give up on me,” he said. I never will, I told him. “I will never give up on you.”
And I won’t. Even though never is a very long time, believing in him is the only thing I can do.
“Just always be waiting for me.” ~ J.M. Barrie