One facet of addiction that continues to cause me pain is the way that it robs some of life's most glorious moments of their glory.
For months I trained for a race. I ran and ran in preparation for that day, those miles, that finish line.
Race day came, I ran my heart out, and at the finish line was my family. But instead of the man I love, there was a shadow. Hollow and empty. In my excitement I soaked up the atmosphere and the praise of my sweet children. But I longed for my husband, and instead was someone I could hardly make eye contact with, let alone embrace in joyous celebration.
It makes me sad and angry.
Like a black hole, shame and resentment suck the life and thrill out of meaningful experiences.
Pete is the person I long most to share everything wonderful with. He believes in me. He helps me execute all of my concocted plans. He encourages me, he is there all along the way.
And then, when it was all said and done, when I wanted most to thank him for all he'd done, he was gone. In his place was the addict. The self-absorbed, apathetic, justifying man who occupies the body of my husband.
I've learned to deal with relapses, or I thought I had. What I can't handle is the way, like a shadowy bandit, addiction sneaks in and steals away life's greatest treasures in life's most magical times. Peace. Joy. Satisfaction. Contentment. Euphoria. Snuffed out like a candle.
Addiction is a package deal. It's more than just relapses and sobriety. It's an attitude of entitlement, it's pride and it mocks respect for others. It justifies all selfish thoughts and behaviors. It is cruel and cold.
And today I hate it. I hate it so much I cry tears of anguish.