Long distance anxiety

Repeat after me. I am on holiday. I am on holiday. I AM ON HOLIDAY.

Except that I’m not. Today I rang Ben, because I hadn’t heard from him (he usually rings a few times a day to speak to Rosie). I tried him several times, but couldn’t get through. Eventually, I reached him on Skype earlier this evening. Big mistake.

I could tell right away that he was intoxicated. There’s this thing he does with his eyebrow – it goes up in a distracted sort of way. I asked him whether he had been drinking and he replied: “Not yet.”

Apparently, he’d bought a couple of beers and was thinking about drinking them. He told me he went in to the rehab centre to be breathalysed this morning, and tested positive. He said he’d drunk one strong beer the night before. I asked him why. Actually, I didn’t ask. I shouted at him – through my brother’s iPad: WHY? WHY? WHY? And then I told him he’d messed up everything. Even as the words hit the air, I knew they were the wrong ones. I shouldn’t have said anything. In saying them, I’d given him license to  wallow – and drink.

He hung up. His mobile is on voicemail. The landline is not working, apparently.

I knew it was a bad idea to leave without ensuring he was already in rehab. I knew he couldn’t be trusted. Now I have a migraine and am desperately trying to arrange a detox for him so he can be admitted to the rehab centre. His mum, who lives on the other side of the world, is trying to do the same.

You see, the centre doesn’t do detoxes. So, he needs to go somewhere else for it. There is no way the NHS is going to pay for another detox, so this, too, will incur a cost.

I keep thinking, if he really wanted it, he would have stuck it out – he would have kept away from the booze these last crucial days. If he had made it to Monday, they would have admitted him, and there would be none of this anxiety, none of this wasted money.

At one point, I even found myself offering to pay for the detox. But the thing is, I’m already paying. I pay every day for his condition in sweat and worry, and given that I have to support a family and pay all the bills, I really don’t think it would be responsible of me to blow the money I need for Rosie on him.

So, what next? First, I need to find a detox centre for him. Then it’s rehab. And then? Then he doesn’t get to come back. I’ve had too much of him tearing my life apart, too much disappointment and despair.


13 thoughts on “Long distance anxiety

  1. I want to like this post but that would not be appropriate. I would like to send you strength and good will. Your turmoil is raw, obvious and awesome. Awesome in that this blog demonstrates the human will, his and yours. You still need to accept that this is a disease, behind it all, behind all the lies, behind the self-destruction… there is something holding your husband, holding you, holding your family. Unfortunately it holds your family together in the wrong way. I wish you the best and I will continue to read every word and send you positive thoughts.

  2. There is this show here in the States called “Intervention” and as you can imagine they do interventions for all sorts of addictions. But whatever the addiction, the intervention is always the same and the main point that the family has to get across to the loved one is that if they don’t go to rehab (of their own free will, no physically forcing anyone to do anything) then they will be cut off. Completely. And the professional that leads these interventions stresses that the family must follow through with this ultimatum. An empty threat does not help and will not get the addicted to make that change. Why? Because they know that safety net is there.

    If Ben doesn’t do what he has to do to get into rehab, then maybe it’s time for you to make that kind of ultimatum. You can’t help him kill himself anymore. This might be the way to help him live.

  3. I agree with the above comment. What would happen if you told him that you aren’t returning from your holiday, unless he gets himself into rehab? However, if you say it, you will have to be prepared to do it….as it seems like he will test you. I know this wouldn’t be easy to do…I have no idea of exactly how difficult this all is for you, (as I haven’t gone through anything like this myself). I am keeping your family in my prayers and praying hard for you to have the strength and God’s guidance. Take care.

    • Thank you, everyone. I’ve been trying, and failing, to get some sleep. I can’t quite believe what is happening right now, even if it was all too predictable. I know I have to do something, because nothing else is working. Right now, I’m feeling too defeated to do anything.

  4. It must be the middle of the night in Canada now. I hope you are sleeping. Exhaustion makes everything seem insurmountable, makes defeat feel inevitable. I wish you rest and sweet dreams. And a delicious breakfast x

  5. When we love people there is almost nothing we will not do for them. What we forget along the way (as I have done) is we can not change people.It is their decision, their free will. You have to be firm and I agree with Simple Heart Girl’s comment. His problem has become yours and is that fair to you and the child?

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  8. I am so sorry that you are still taking the responsibility of it all even though you are far away “relaxing.” You didn’t say the wrong thing and cause him to drink. If he wanted to drink, he would drink, just like he did with the “strong” beer the day before. He would have twisted your words for the reason that he wanted or needed.
    I’m worried about you. It seems so apparent that, despite his words and promises, he isn’t ready. And if he isn’t ready, then the rehab won’t work for the long-haul. It will be a temporary fix and you will have drained your funds and your energy.
    It’s hard to see it or accept it. You want what is best for him. You know what is best for him. Unfortunately, you can’t convince him. He has to find his way on his own. He has to hit his bottom, whatever that is.
    Try to change your focus to you. He will get help when he was ready. He will surrender when he has nothing else. Let go and let God take over.
    I know that you are blaming yourself for leaving without getting it all handled, but if he isn’t ready, then he wouldn’t stay. You would have stayed and wasted your efforts.
    You have done EVERYTHING that you possibly can. Don’t take the blame for his actions. You have loved him and helped him. Let him help himself. It’s the best thing that you can do.

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