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Possible breakthrough

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I had something of a breakthrough yesterday that I wanted to share. For the newer folks, my husband died from alcoholic liver failure four years ago next month. Our daughter was 3 months old. We also had two beautiful dogs, and my husband loved his job. He had everything. But he was secretly drinking. I have struggled over the last four years trying to understand. He had everything. We loved each other for 15 years. He was adored by everyone. Why wasn't it enough? Our marriage, our daughter? I know it's a disease. I know that. But there's still that barrier, one I think many of you share, that always takes me back to why? Why weren't we enough? Anyway, yesterday, my boyfriend and I were talking. He has been wonderfully supportive about my grief and my husband. Anyway, he said, "Dan had a hole. And it wasn't a Chris shaped hole, or a K (our daughter) shaped hole, or a Gracchus (our dog) shaped hole, or a job shaped hole. There was nothing in his life that was the shape of that hole, but drinking. For whatever reason." I don't know why, if it's something about the metaphor he used, or the fact that I have an emotional connection to him that I've been unable to form with anybody else since my husband's death or what, but man. That really hit me. It really resonated. I'm not saying it makes me okay, or that I've fully accepted that truth, just that it moved me further along than anything else has. So I had to share it here.


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Thanks for sharing this, it resonates.  I have been working with a new social worker (for trauma) who is also an addictions specialist, and I was just asking the question today about why humans do things they KNOW are bad for them.  And she said because the urge to escape, avoid, or whatever the nature of the urge is that underlies the use of the drug or alcohol or eating disorder is much stronger than that information, that knowledge, and stronger than "willpower" (which she emphasized was not part of healing with respect for addiction).  I am sure that is self-evident to most but not to me--I will be thinking about your post, thanks again.

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Both posts resonate big time for me - I spent 17 years with an alcoholic husband albeit off drink for the last 3.5 years before he died suddenly in an accident. First 5 years accepting that there was a drink problem, next five years working up to him coming off the drink and for me stopping enabling and the next years living with someone coming off the drink. If anything it all got worst and using the metaphor of 'the shape of the hole' myself and our 3 kids were just not filling that. But since he died I have had clarity around why there was a 'hole' which was I think baggage from his up bringing and family. When he was drinking there was an excuse for inappropriate behaviour towards me, this intensified after he gave up drinking and I sadly realise that we were the easiest target to take out his frustration with 'the hole'. All more horrible as we were I think at the peak of it and his family have chosen to scapegoat me for everything almost like that awful side to our relationship is carrying on from the grave. An awful thing to say I know but just so sad, my husband portrayed a totally different life to his family as to how he was with me in the good times and to how I always hoped we could become all the time. His passing leaves me with such complicated grief as the reality starts to set in - what you miss and what you don't miss and that flipping between different states of mind about it all in the space of a few hours. Amazingly I think I have accepted our time together and have resolved a bit of the why around his drinking and later behaviour. None of this will ever now be accepted by his family, they will hold this image of the perfect idolized son and brother and leave me as the unsuitable wife and now widow in their eyes. Sudden bereavement is just horrible and messy for me and my kids, I will keep checking in as I feel like I don't even want to try to process anything anymore and at least reading here lets me understand that each widow is different and that this is ok. Hugs to the above posters as addiction/abuse mixed in with grief is a nasty cocktail...

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