I recently found a book at the library called Addiction. It's a supplement to a small series HBO produced in 2007. S and I watched the first two dvd's last night and I have to recommend it very highly. Please check it out. It includes interviews with the top doctors and researchers in addiction and it clearly explains how addiction is a disease of the brain and how relapse is part of the disease. In their words:
"Addiction is a chronic relapsing brain disease. Brain imaging shows that addiction severely alters brain areas critical to decision-making, learning and memory, and behavior control, which may help to explain the compulsive and destructive behaviors of addiction."
This is the theory and thinking in which I place my hope.
I don't believe that an addict has to reach "rock bottom" before they can get help. I desperately hope that this is a disease that we're just beginning to understand and that someday soon we'll have the tools to treat it. I want to believe that soon the stigma will begin to dissolve and we'll no longer see addicts as weak, as morally degenerate or as criminals. Maybe our loved ones will be treated no differently than someone with heart disease or hypertension.
If I prayed, that would be my prayer. I wish I prayed. I wish I believed in some greater, mystical force that could hear my hopes and grant my request (it's not like I'm praying to win the lottery, after all). Mostly, I believe that power is within each and everyone of us. The power of the individual to be the change they wish to see in the world. But I'm afraid that while I rent the movies and read the books and try and try and try in every way I can think and analyze the best ways to talk about it and the best ways to make him happy, I also somehow know that in the end, it's all up to him. And in S I've placed a lot of hopes and dreams for the future. And I don't have control over him or his actions. There is a lot of fear in acknowledging that. That exact fear and lack of control over my future is why I wanted the divorce. So why am I back with him? I never stopped loving him. I still love him and I still hope and dream about our future. But while I do that, life keeps rolling along. So I try to remember that too, and to appreciate what I have each and every day. And I have so much that I'm grateful for--my sweet house and amazing town and friendly neighbors. I've actually made friends with another woman my age who lives two houses up from me. I can't tell you how huge this is for me. It's beyond amazing and I'm so grateful for it. I've never had a lot of close friends and have a hard time opening up to strangers.
I'm grateful for my job which may not ever make me wealthy, but has me outside every day, working with some terrific and quirky people on some stunning gardens. It's still the honeymoon phase of this new job, but for right now, I love it!
It just feels good to be able to appreciate what I have, what we have. I want so much for S to be able to see the world as I see it. Is that ridiculous? I want him to appreciate all the amazing things in his life and ours.
Goddammit, I want him to turn off the TV and talk to me.
Big dreams. Big world. Little me.
It's Been a Decade!
3 weeks ago