I promised myself I would go to meetings, and so I set off after dinner to attend one. Only I copied down the information wrong and ended up walking around in the drizzle looking for a meeting that wasn't going on. Once I got wise to my error I looked up my next available option which turned out to be 45 minutes away from my location, and I would be at least 15 minutes late. I decided to go anyway, but was more like 30 minutes late.
The topic was "getting to higher ground", or essentially learning how to take care of oneself and be happy despite the presence of an addict in one's life.
"Figures", I thought ruefully. The shared story was written by a woman who learned how to find happiness even in the face of her husband's non-stop drinking for the remainder of his life. At the end of the story, he dies, but she felt the two of them had lived a "mostly happy life".
I can't even fathom it. Not possible. I shared briefly that the very reason I was there at this meeting so far away from my home was because I'm seeking higher ground, but right now I'm feeling that every step I take up is met with hands gripped on my ankles dragging me back down. That I couldn't even fathom living out my life with an active addict when I think of all the ways he makes his problem my problem. That it didn't seem possible, or even right, to consider staying in it -- not what with all the accessories to addiction my addict presented.
I admitted that it all seemed improbable, but nevertheless, I was here to take steps.
Later another woman shared and spoke of her son, and something in her story resonated. Her eyes met mine, and we held for several long seconds and exchanged sad smiles and near invisible nods.
When the meeting was over, she made a beeline for me and told me she had been the victim of abuse in her first marriage. "You don't have to stay", she said.
My hand flew to my mouth and a black bile rose in my throat...the tears, instant. "Can I hug you?", she asked, and I nodded. Her touch was warm, firm, and she held me there, held my pain, held my body as the others cleaned up only inches from where we stood.
The tears didn't stop for 45 minutes.