It’s late – past 4am my time – except I’m on Canada’s east coast and it’s closing in on midnight here. It is a thick 31C, the air unmoving in the house where Rosie and I are staying. Outside the window, crickets scratch out a familiar ostinato. It is hot. Even my fingertips are sweaty.
Sixteen hours ago, Rosie and I left London for a long-awaited holiday from Ben. In the old days, I might have said that the objective of this sojourn was to see my family who live out this way. But over the months, that primary motive has been eclipsed by the greater urgency of escaping the stultifying atmosphere of our flat and – let’s be honest – Ben.
Coming here, I had to compromise on one thing. I had said in an earlier post that I wouldn’t let Ben stay at the flat while Rosie and I were away. In the end, Ben left his admission to residential rehab so late that I had no other choice. Yes, I could have played hard ball and kicked him out, but he has pledged to go into rehab now. What good would it do to jeopardise that over something as shifting as my boundaries?
On Monday, he was in severe withdrawal, shaking and vomitting. Nevertheless, he travelled the 1.5 hours to the rehab centre in South London to attend an assessment. He spent most of Tuesday lying on the futon, drying out. On Wednesday morning, the day Rosie and I left, Ben took the train back down to the rehab centre to be breathalysed again. He will go back on Thursday, and if he tests negative, he will be asked to come in on the Friday so he can be breathalysed again and finally admitted.
Given his stated commitment to the programme, his declaration (which sounded sincere) that he was ready for it now, I couldn’t take his keys and throw him into the street. We have come too far for that. He is so close – so very close – to finally getting the treatment he needs. At some point, I have to let go and leave him to it. So, I’m trusting him, counter-intuitive as that may be.
Of course this means I will be on high alert until Saturday, fearful of another relapse. With him, it is all so unpredictable. But if he is admitted… well, I dare not indulge in that possibility, for fear of being disappointed. I hope he doesn’t let himself down. I hope he really is ready and that he stays strong over the next crucial days.
As for me, I am many times lighter than I was in London. There’s more room here, for one thing. And no one occupying half our living space and most of my head space. Today, I walked into this house – the house where I spent my childhood – and saw the sun reflecting off polished wood floors. It was an image that I have carried with me all these months – one that would open up in my mind whenever things became too awful – reminding me that an end, even if temporary, was in sight.
- Counting down to lift-off (marriedtoalcoholic.wordpress.com)
- If only it was always like this (marriedtoalcoholic.wordpress.com)
- Actually, it’s him… and me (marriedtoalcoholic.wordpress.com)
- The truth will set you free (marriedtoalcoholic.wordpress.com)