Time does help

The early hours of this morning marked the three year anniversary of when my life changed dramatically without my foresight into any of it. My dreams of houses and babies were crushed as I realised that I needed to put myself first for once. This meant separating myself from the marriage that was constantly messing with my head, hurting my heart and suffocating every other bit of me that was left. 

It wasn’t an easy decision. I struggled for months to make it a final one in fairness. Looking back I feel sorry for myself if I’m honest. I was battling with everyone who loved me and wanted the best for me, telling me to walk away from him versus my own confusion of loving him and thinking he loved me back, wanting my marriage to work and the frightening thought of being alone. 

Without going into the events of what happened fully,as I am not sure whether that is fair, I will say that a bad decision on his part affected both our lives more than he could have imagined. I will also say for a while I was unable to contact him which had me out of my mind. The past few months had our relationship falling apart. The trust was gone and he kept making things harder instead of easier. I found that I couldn’t bring myself to say I love you in response to his. I knew I loved him but I struggled at times as it was so hard. In the few hours when I did not know where he was it was something I regretted in case I never saw him again. The next time I got to see him, even knowing in my heart that we would probably separate, I made sure to tell him because I meant it. I really did.

In the proceeding months I continued to prove my love with supporting him and talking to him when I really should have told him to go fuck himself a lot of the time! Sorry if that offended anyone but dealing with an addict can be very challenging at times. Especially when they don’t want to work on their issues yet they use part of it ” GA tells me to get better I have to be selfish “. This has to be the most infuriating part of GA as the addict has always been selfish anyway and you have always put them first. Is there ever a time when you get put first? Or your marriage that you both entered in to willingly??

Basically the three years since separating have been a rollercoaster. People told me at the time that it’s like a death and they are right. You go through all the grieving stages over and over again. In Ireland you have to be separated four years before applying for divorce. It has been mentioned to me about lying to get divorced quicker however I declined as that’s not me. I am honest even in hard times and I am also learning to put myself first. I will not be forced into something that doesn’t feel right. Don’t get me wrong, I am not dragging this out. I am ready to end this chapter of my life, I may even celebrate it with friends. I just am not willing to change who I am as a person to do so. 

So the countdown is on. Twelve more months and a new life awaits. I am under no illusion that this will be easy for me. I honestly believed when I married it was for life. I thought I would have two kids and a house by now. However I have a fabulous dog and so many travel plans that I can’t even keep up with myself! I have dealt with what life has given me and adjusted my priorities. 


A look into my past..

Ok so I haven’t posted in a while so I decided I better write something. A couple of weeks ago I drafted a piece about this fab evening I had and how content I felt. But when it came to completing it, I couldn’t. I felt it was too deep and people may not want to read it, so it has remained in my draft section and I’ve been unable to write anything since. 

Yesterday I had the complete opposite type of day. I felt extremely unhappy and sad, not being able to understand where it all came from. It was possibly the after effects of the cider the night before but in my opinion that only enhances feelings that were already there in the first place. 

So after a long walk by the beach I thought about my blog and why I started it in the first place. I came to the conclusion that I chose for this to be a lifestyle blog, one where I would love for people to read it and feel like I helped in some way. When I read blogs about solo travel it helps me believe that I can do it also. When I read people’s stories about addiction I don’t feel alone. If I could do that for anybody then being completely honest would be worth it. 

So here it goes…

Ending my marriage was the hardest thing I had to do. But I’ve never regretted it. At times (like yesterday) when I feel lonely, surrounded by couples and families, I remind myself of the loneliness I felt in my relationship. It’s the worst version of it that there is. When you have someone who is meant to love you and support you but they are never around even when you beg them to be, you can’t help but feel alone. 

After I found out about the debt, well some of it as more seems to come out, I told my ex that I wanted every Sunday to be a family day. A day for us once a week to try get our relationship back on track. Sounds simple right? It lasted about two weeks. After that my husband forgot about the agreement and what he had put me through and went back to doing whatever he liked. He would use the fact that he owed so much money as a manipulation to not have to spend time with me. The evenings he had free he would do nixers and tell me it was for our benefit. He also agreed to fight in a charity boxing match without consulting me. It meant more time away from home than he was already spending. This lasted a few weeks before he got hurt in the ribs. My dear husband couldn’t attend a public hospital, God forbid. No he went private which meant further debt. He also chose to go back to his therapist instead of the free GA meetings which added more pressure onto us. I know this may seem heartless but in retrospect I’m not sure if he even attended a therapist. Everything in our life seemed to be lies. 

After a few months he started heading out after work without telling me. I would expect him home and he would come in drunk hours later after drink driving. He lead people to believe that he deserved it, that I was being too hard on him. I was the one person who was there everyday for him and I was being made out to be the bad person. All because I wanted my partner to spend time with me. It was like a kick to the stomach. It got to the point of where when I did get to spend time with him, I hated being around him. This person has taken everything from me and taken my dreams away from me. All I wanted was a husband, two kids and a nice house somewhere. I’m not ambitious at all but I thought that wasn’t much to ask for. 

When everything came out one of the hardest things I had to deal with was putting my dreams of children on hold. I really struggled with that even though I knew it wasn’t the right time to have kids. When I would hear of friends becoming pregnant it would hurt so bad and I would be filled with jealousy and resentment. Jealousy towards them and resentment towards Him. I hated myself for it but couldn’t stop how I felt. Then I ended the marriage and I discovered that it never happened for a reason. My husband was so unreliable, never keeping his word, letting me down. I ended up being glad that we didn’t have children as I don’t think I could have put up with him letting them down. 

I eventually have got used to the fact that kids may not be part of my future. I’m trying to look on the brightside by focusing on the positives, not having to get up early on weekends, pitying myself when I’m sick, planning trips to places I’ve never been. It might come across as selfish but it’s survival mode. I can’t be focusing on self pity, it will make me a person I’m trying hard not to become. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t still hurt, it just means I’m good at hiding it. 

So that’s part of my past, hope I haven’t bored you too much. Maybe now I’ve been honest I’ll have a more uplifting post soon for you to read xxx 

It’s good to talk…

So today is Wednesday and for over two years I attended meetings on this day. These meetings were/are Gam-anon. For those of you lucky enough to not know what they are for I will explain. They are for people affected by addiction. To be precise they are for family and friends of compulsive gamblers.

I began attending in 2013,a few months after I discovered that my husband had a problem. He finally agreed to attend Gamblers Anonymous and I felt it was my duty as his wife to give him as much support and help that he needed, so I started going to gam-anon.

I actually went wrong there though. Unbeknownst to me, these meetings weren’t about him. They were for me. I went to understand Him better, his illness and try to fix our marriage. This lead to me leaving after a number of weeks. My husband didn’t want me going so he would question why I was going, manipulate me with guilt over leaving our dog alone for hours whilst we went to our meetings or try make me late for the meetings. I also was filled with resentment as to why I had to go. I hadn’t got a problem. He was taking so much from me already, why did I have to sacrifice my Wednesday’s too?? So I left..

A few months later my marriage had self destructed and I was seeing a counsellor. I was a mess. A shadow of my former self. His illness had affected my mental health without me knowing. I was being so strong and supportive for him without getting the same in return. The vows “in sickness and in health” choked me for months, the guilt of considering ending my marriage weighed heavily on me for so long. That,on top of stuff I had yet to realise was not a normal part of a relationship, brought my counsellor to suggest that I give gam-anon another shot.

So I dragged my ass back and they welcomed me. There is no judgement in the rooms. If anything there is a solidarity because they have been there, they know your pain. They have tissues for you when you break down. They tell stories that you can relate to and you begin to realise that you aren’t crazy. You aren’t paranoid. You were right to question where money went, why time keeping was so bad, why you had this gut wrenching feeling that you continued to ignore. You also realise that as a result of the addiction you picked up bad traits too, however these can be fixed if you are willing. You no longer have to feel alone.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference 

This quote is what is said at every meeting and eventually I started taking comfort in it. I no longer attended to help Him. He didn’t want help. No matter how I tried I couldn’t change that. However I could help me, I did want it and I accepted that to survive I needed it.

I no longer attend regularly as I am not as in need as I once was. This doesn’t mean that I have stopped. I still have my bad days/weeks and they welcome me back every time. The people there are stronger than they give themselves credit for. A lot of them still have relationships with their compulsive gambler therefore the struggle is constant. It’s a one day at a time process, there’s no quick fix like I ignorantly once believed!

I attend gam-anon however I am a big advocate for support groups in general. Whether it’s addiction, mental health or physical illness that you are dealing with, there is no better release than speaking to people who understand. As much as people who love you try to understand, unless they experienced it too they can’t. If you feel like cracking up, screaming or running away from the person in need this does not make you a bad person. It makes you human. It’s good to feel that others feel the same too and will help you feel sane.

Everyone has personal shit, however if there’s a support group for yours please give it a try!!