It seems almost funny that on the same day when I discovered memories that became important in recovery, I was suddenly overwhelmed by bad memories. H. came home tired with a nasty cough. For some reason, I immediately thought he drank alcohol. Don’t ask why, it was a quick mental reaction. He spoke slowly, his eyes were puffy. That’s all I had to see to become paranoid. I felt fear creeping up in my throat. I was worried and automatically spat out the typical questions: Have you been drinking something that you were not supposed to? Why are you feeling bad? Tell me about your day! I felt like an ugly leech but I could not hold myself back. „Investigate, investigate” – I chanted silently.
Six months ago, he would come home with similar symptoms (speech and eyes). Back then I knew he drank even when he viciously denied it. We both knew he drove like that. I was also afraid that my mother-in-law would recognize his tipsy behaviors. The only thing I could do is telling him to take a nap because in that way he couldn’t cause any problem…most importantly, I did not have to face him. Sometimes I reached a point when I made myself to believe that he was indeed just tired. Or he didn’t eat enough so his blood sugar level went down. Deep inside I felt terrible of course. What was even worse is that I used it and my crappy mood as excuses to drink wine. I had to numb myself, right? Everything turned out to be okay in my mind that enjoyed every form of denial.
After my paranoia faded away, I had to admit that my fear was only based on those memories. H. did not drink alcohol. I learned my lesson though and this was not the first time. We are responsible for ourselves. No matter what others do or don’t do, we cannot take it personally. I can keep my promises and work on my own sobriety. I can offer empathy and support but everything else is out of my hands. „God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change”…again. I cannot change another person’s decisions and behaviors. Once I can immerse myself in this thought, it actually becomes liberating.