Today, Ben and I took Rosie to the South Bank for the day. Ben has been dry for at least a week, and although my suspicions are on high alert, he has been fairly constant. Still, one week is no time at all in the broader scheme of things. I suspect all this good behaviour is a bit of smoke and mirrors – an effort to lull me into contentment.
You see, I’m taking Rosie and leaving the country for a month. We’re going on holiday. It will be a holiday in every sense – a break from work, London and (most of all) him. So now he’s decided to pull his finger out and put in some hard graft. That hard work is making a difference.
Still, I tell myself, I must be strong; I must not be fooled by this good behaviour. As soon as he sniffs a softening disposition, he’s liable to go down to the off-licence and help himself to a six-pack of Polish beer. Next thing I know, he’ll be caning it in the living room, and I’ll be back to zero.
So, no, he will not be coming with us on our holiday. Neither will he be staying here in the flat – an option he has tried, but failed, to secure. Last time Rosie and I left to see my family for a month (last year), Ben’s drinking went off the rails. Put it this way, we returned to the flat after a 5-hour flight to find poop on the toilet seat. How he managed to even collect us from the airport, I have no idea. In retrospect, I realise he was pissed when he came to get us.
So, this time, he’s going into residential rehab. He has no other choice. I’ve left him with no other choice. He’s in a day rehab programme right now, but I don’t trust him to stay clean while we’re away. I told him if he didn’t arrange something for that month, he would be out on the street. I told him this at our counselling session, which made it much more real for him.
And now, he’s investigating rehab options. He is preparing to go. He’s left it very late – we leave in less than two weeks – but at least he’s making an effort.
And today, he got up and joined Rosie and me on a day out on the South Bank. Rosie and I rode the Victorian carousel, she had ice cream, Ben helped her on the various climbing ropes and frames in the park. We ogled the buskers and searched for the Appearing Rooms fountain sculpture (it’s been removed – big disappointment). When we got home, Ben set the sprinkler up in the garden so Rosie could have a chance to run about in the water.
After that, we played Snap and Snakes and Ladders, and watched the end of Chris Packham‘s Waterworlds. It was a chilled out Sunday – our first real day out as a family without tension – without me looking over my shoulder every minute.
Actually, I lie. I had my eye on him the whole time – even when I was whirling around with Rosie on the carousel. It’s a reflex action now – the distrust.
But I think today was the first day I’ve gone without sniffing him out.
- Relapse (marriedtoalcoholic.wordpress.com)
- Chris Packham – the next David Attenborough? (guardian.co.uk)