I thought I would be writing a post all about our early thanksgiving day of cooking and prep. The smells bubbling in the kitchen and filling the house with warmth and growling stomachs, but I'm not today. Instead I've gone about my cooking and prep, with joy and pleasure alongside Joe, but with this constant sickening, hollow pit in my stomach. This ache that has been there for a very long time because someone I deeply love is an alcoholic. I have this hideous feeling of helplessness and guilt, mixed confusingly with anger and frustration. And so instead of writing about cornbread stuffing and turkey brining, all I can think about is my loved one. I opened a heartbreaking email first thing this morning from my loved one. Full of pain and hurt and self hatred, and a plea for help and a desire to go into rehab and frankly there is nothing I can do. Other than offering my support and my desire for their good choices and strength, this is a path that I can't walk for them. I can't call around and find a rehab for them. I can't and won't pay for it and until they decide to make an effort to get better I'm going to be deeply skeptical and cynical. I hate feeling this way. I want to fix it. I want to make it all better.
And this is my personality flaw. This desire to take the pain away for my loved ones when it's not my place, or my responsibility, or even a healthy way to help them. I can't fix it. I can't solve it with good advice and a shoulder to cry on. I have to put up these barriers because they've hurt me so many times. I have to keep myself apart a bit for my own self preservation. I don't want to be an enabler, so I have to stand back and just watch. Alcoholics can be manipulative, deceptive and so often passive aggressive. They can also be intelligent, passionate, loving and dynamic, but their addiction makes them deeply selfish and stuck sometimes. They control the people around them with their addiction. They can suck all of the energy out of their family. But this doesn't stop you from loving them. It just stops you from being able to get too close. So thanksgiving will wait. And I'll sit here for the rest of the day questioning myself. Wondering if I've made the right decision, wondering if I've done enough and only letting myself cry for a few moments. Because this isn't my addiction. This isn't my responsibility and even the strength of my love can't solve the problem. So I'll eat some turkey and hug my family and the day will go on. And in the back of my head I'll be wondering what he's doing and thinking right now.