Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Because He Loves Her

"She doesn't understand the depth of her drug problem," Bud wrote about his wife Olivia in his personal diary. "Nor the impact her addiction has on others."

Bud and Olivia have been married for nearly 30 years, and they have two adult children. But in recent years, Olivia has been.in and out of rehab multiple times for alcohol addiction. When she comes out, she rejoins Alcoholics Anonymous and gets a sponsor.

And each time, events overwhelm her, an intervention takes place, she goes to rehab and she returns home sober with the vow of remaining that way. But with time, alcohol rears its ugly head, secretly at first, as Olivia claims to be sober, even as she sneaks alcohol into their home

Then her secret slips away in blackouts, a dented car, slurred or misguided words and an occasional fall onto the floor. And many alcoholics do worse then that, literally losing control of their bowels and pooping on themselves, sleeping with strangers, getting into drunken tirades or driving drunk and turning their vehicles into deadly weapons, are common examples.

"I should let her hit rock bottom," Bud wrote in his diary. "But rock bottom for an alcoholic can be to die from that disease, as the body and mind are destroyed, taking what is left of one's dignity with it.

"But how many times must our family and I endure this heartache," Bud asked himself , as tears ran down his cheeks and dripped onto the page of his diary. "She will say and do anything to satisfy her cravings and her need to dull the pain in her life, much of that pain caused by her drinking."

But on the day Bud wrote those diary entrees, he decided he couldn't take the heartache and pain any longer, and he refused to hear another lie from Olivia's lips. "The next slip you make, the next lie you tell, will end our marriage," he told Olivia in no uncertain terms.

And as Olivia had done on so many prior occasions, she promised the drinking would end. That was two years ago, and so far to Bud's knowledge, there have been no slips. But he can never know when a slip may happen for he has no control of such events.

The only control Bud has or will ever have is control of himself. He also has the self-confidence to say to himself, "Whatever happens, I'll handle it." If he needs help, because alcohol and other drug addiction is so common, there are many places he can turn including numerous support groups.

So why does Bud stay with Olivia? In his diary, he asked himself that question, and after pondering it, he wrote, "Because I love her."

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