There was the time before no awareness. When I knew only what laid in front of me, when I could only see as far as my ego would let me. I can’t even say when it happened but I slowly became aware that there was something more. 

I know I was catapulted by a relapse my husband had, where I felt my world crumble like a muffin in the hands of a two year old. And it was just as quick and painful and an ultimate demolition of everything I thought I could hold on to. 

Before these moments of awakening I was a puppeteer, attaching strings to everyone and everything in my life. I wanted ultimate control over everything and I used my strings of emotion to make this happen. I would wiggle a string this way by saying something I knew would spark the ripple effect of reaction and have my husband right where I wanted him, guilt ridden, shamed, and just below me as he should be. After all, I was never addicted to a substance like him, so I was the better one. This would go on for years, my manipulation skills became better than his, but fortune for him, he had an outlet, an escape, a refuge from the shitty crap I dumped on him for being a terrible person for using alcohol to escape. I knew subconsciously that I had the ability to hold him down, building him up never even crossed my mind - in an authentic way of course - there was always an alternative motive, to have things controlled and to be my way. Notice here I make myself sound like a monster, like the one who caused the turbulence that kept our hearts in the shadows of despair, as far from hope as possible. And I was this monster, ignorant and unknowing, it never actually crossed my mind that I could be contributing to the loathing self hatred that already stirred in his soul. 

Again, I cannot pinpoint a moment when I made this realization, and maybe it makes this story less than thrilling but it happened and it was like coming out of a damn coma when I woke up and saw that I was the bully. 

You can choose to believe that addiction (to anything) is a disease, or not, but what I came to see in the sad eyes of my husband everytime he relapsed was that he did NOT want to be doing this. He did not want a substance to have a death grip on his heart, let alone his marriage. His self torture became stronger each time, and each time I threatened to take more away from him, like telling a child they can’t have candy because they said a naughty word one too many times. My anger may not have subsided in the moment, however I realized now my rage was not because he was being a dick who drank and drove, it was because he was killing, slowly killing, that person inside of him, the true Andy who came to this earth to teach something special, as we all do. And that person was withering away to an unrecognizable case of a human, containing a dwindling light that had the potential to be blown out by the softest breeze. 

As I saw this through new and compassionate eyes, I could see the potential that when he was sober was just going to soar. And not only that, but my own potential, that I deserved so much more than being the one with the strings demanding the puppets go up or down or twirl around. I was now in the center of myself, somewhere I hadn’t been since I was a child, somewhere I didn’t remember yet was so damn familiar because it felt comfortable. I now have the ability to see the beauty in everyone, from the heroine addict on the street to the tortured CEO living someone else’s life, both of whom consequently, had the vision of being firemen before someone told them no. 

I stand in this place now being imperfect, judgemental and unloving at times but knowing I can make the choice to come back to my heart at any time and see the truth of love that is everywhere, ever present, and always surrounding us.