Saturday, August 23, 2008

Addiction is a Brain Disease

Alcoholism is a disease, an illness. Like cancer or heart disease. I knew this when I divorced S. But the sheer panic I felt at having committed my life to an alcoholic overwhelmed me, and I asked for the divorce ten months after we eloped.
It's a disease, right? But S chose to continue drinking, and he chose to deny the problem. Or so I thought. Turns out, that's what the disease does. It's all chemical and the chemicals in alcohol changed the functions of his brain so that his choices were not choices at all.
I suppose I should change tenses here. S still drinks. We're back together. Or still together, since we really only split for a couple months. He stopped drinking after the divorce (so he can stop, which makes it all the more confusing). When he's not drinking, he's the man I love and wanted to marry. That made it easier to get back together. Plus a really great couples counselor (more on her later). We've been together now for over six years. One year long distance, one year living together, one year engaged, 10 months married, two months not together, one year dating/pseudo living together but with separate places, and now living together again. The relationship is better, as is our understanding of his drinking. It's still difficult, and I think will always be. For a while, he would go for one, two or even three months of sobriety. I remember when we moved into our current home, only four month ago, he drank the day before I had to move my things out of my apartment. We were fighting while moving in together and I thought I'd have to start looking for a new place right away. But I didn't. And we kept going to counseling.
The past month or so, he's been drinking more. Several times a week. I've stopped keeping track. In fact, since he's not home now, I'm worried that he's going to come home drunk. And knowing that he can't control it, through no fault of his own, does help me to cope. But it's not easy.
Any readers of this (whoever you may be), may wonder if he really is an alcoholic. Perhaps I will post on that in depth at some point. But for now, please trust me when I say that he is. It's a disease. Do you question the person with cancer if they really have it?
I think writing about all of this will be very difficult. I feel drained after four paragraphs.
He left at 5:20pm to go work on the boat and pick up pasta sauce for dinner. It's now 7:40. I can't help but wonder in what state he will come home.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I came home sober