It’s been nearly a year since my fight for the alcoholic in my family really took flight. Since then, the alcoholic has become my ex and now I know I am on the outside “looking forward.”
It’s in that time of looking over the horizon when one constant thought continues to pop into my brain. A sobering question when I allow this dark part of my life to come to the forefront.
For anyone who knows my ex, they know she has this problem. They never really had to live with it, nor see what it could do to the family as a whole. However, my one dilemma to this day continues to be this… “Why would they never stand up and say anything to the ex about her problem?”
If you say you are a friend, why would you never say anything to show care, love, concern, or just true friendshp towards that person? Why is it seen as something so hard to do. From going to work under the influence to driving in her car with her children while consuming alcohol, the signs were always visible. So why say nothing?
Did she not deserve a chance? Your honesty? Your true friendship?
You might be wondering why I would fight in defense of this since this person is now my ex. Well, I was the first one to bring all of this mess to light to a degree where everyone would have to face this head on. It was me. My fault! Blame it on me! I did it… and it was worth it. She was worth it. Her kids were worth it.
I didn’t confront her with kid gloves for four hours on one afternoon last year because I wanted things to horribly fall apart. I wanted to show that concern, that friendship, that love. I might not have known all the right things to say or do. But my heart was definitely on the right track and I tried.
But you quickly find out why so many never stand up for the alcoholic. They know the ramifications of doing such a thing. The alcoholic will never stand for you… standing up for them.
The abuse I allowed to happen to me was physical, mental, and just plain nasty. From the punches thrown, to the attacks with things not intended to be weapons, to the attempts at convincing me on how horrible everyone else was and that nothing was wrong with her at all; standing up for the alcoholic finally became to much to just bear and grin.
It was through these attempts to hang in there and be there for someone who didn’t want help of any kind for the addiction that I realized that I was standing up for the wrong people. I have children who were being hurt indirectly and directly. Well, once the finally straw moment was reached, the proverbial switch flicked on in my head and that was all she wrote.
I was ready to stand up. It was just that I need to stand for other things first. Like children who didn’t deserve to be second and third fiddle to a full-fledged alcoholic who had no plans of taking on the demon that was pulverizing me and my children from the inside out.
I have a real friend I work with who has this belief. You don’t let cancers stay in your life. Now, he’s not saying that you no longer love the person. He’s not saying that you speak poorly of the person. He’s simply saying that sometimes you do have to put some people in the “box to the left.” You have family and freinds that need you to be a positive light and need your support, too. If someone is hurting you to a degree where it is hurting those closest around you, you have to make decisions.
I was told early last year by a long-time friend, one of the best I’ve ever had, that you have to look at these type of situations like project management. You can’t take the addiction or the addict, personally. As a result, my life took a turn that I never expected. I’m moving on without them.
But now, I have children I’m standing up for and showing with each day of my life that sitting down when there’s something worth fighting for is the last thing you should do. Like the last call at any U.S. bar, it’s the last chance to take advantage of a situation. Think and decide.
I did. I chose my kids. Kids that the alcoholic tried to put in a box long ago. A box for those who didn’t get another chance.
PSST. Hey, ex. Even you get another chance. It’s just without me. Make the best of your life and maybe those around you now will get something special they deserve.
If you are someone who is currently “sitting down,” please take a chance and “stand up.”