He needs no introduction, beyond saying – once again – he is the most wonderful man in the world, my best friend and the most decent human being I’ve ever met. My favourite human, in fact, alongside Bambino and my two bonus sons. Hubby, the great love of my life. We have talked so much and so often about my addiction and descent into the dark pit of alcoholism, and ages ago I asked him to give his perspective of what it was like to live with Drunk Me. Last night, after we spoke on the phone – me at home, him just having checked into his hotel in Dubai – it landed in my inbox. I asked Hubby’s permission to re-post it here and I’ve done so in its entirety, only removing Bambino’s real name and the area where we used to live, but those things are irrelevant here anyway. Some stuff is painful, some stuff very personal and embarrassing, but this isn’t a space where I gloss things over and nor do I hide anything. Not even the stuff that makes me blush or cringe (or both).
Proceed with caution!
So, with no further ado, Hubby’s frank account of life with Drunk Me – answering my question “What was it like living with Drunk Me?” warts and all, full disclosure:
Thought I’d give this a go while on the flight to Dubai, so here I go.
Maybe just to start off with – you are the same wonderful person today as the first day I met you. It’s just that today, you are a better version of you. I loved you then and I love you now – even more so now if that is possible. There maybe some things in here that you’ll want to talk about further, and that’s great, happy to.
Drunk you was often a lot of fun. When I look back on the first few years of our relationship, we had many great times and may laughs along the way. We did some crazy shit too – [area where we used to live] orientation day where I think I piggy-backed you home for part of the way, making the taxi wait while we went into the sex shop, dancing the Swedish bygg, sushi making…………Getting to know you was arguably easier (or perhaps happened more quickly) fuelled with several sauv blancs. So for the first few years, living with drunk you was fun and a respite from the life I’d been trapped in while married. And of course the sex was awesome and at times risky, with inhibition levels lowered by higher amounts of alcohol.
But of course there were signals along the way that flashed amber, and perhaps red at times. I mean this relative to your drinking, not our relationship.
What first struck me was that you drank a lot, and quickly – no handbrake. I’ve always liked a glass or two of wine and would happily do this 2-3 nights a week, sometimes more. But I’d always buy wine I liked, and drank partly to savour the taste. When we drank together it was more about getting something nice down the neck in the shortest time possible. Most of the time I couldn’t keep pace with you, so I’d be a glass or two behind. Sometimes I’d try to slow you down to my pace, but I know that irritated you.
As time went on, I think I felt I needed to maintain in control by drinking less, as one of us needed to. In a way I felt I had to be the “sensible” one, and needed to look after you a bit in case anything got really out of hand. Thank god nothing ever did, but many nights I had to wake you on the couch and make sure you got to bed.
Of course I was worried about the health impact – for both of us – particularly when we were smoking too. More days than others it would be a hangover in the morning and feeling lousy for most of the day. I think I always saw it as a fun period that would end soon, or at least slow down a lot – but of course I didn’t really understand for you that was not possible. I knew that drinking that often and in that quantity must have been damaging for your health (and mine), but I always thought that when it slowed down to a “normal” level, it would all be OK.
One thing I observed was that you had (have) big dreams but it seemed booze was the thing holding you back. You are an incredibly talented writer with plenty of ideas – so the question was – why didn’t you get on and finish your book? I put it down to the drinking, and not having the wherewithal to follow through. Similar story for your running – something you always talked about as enjoyable times when you were at your best. And again for your work – where you’d seemed to have settled for something well below your capability, that didn’t really challenge you, but that you could do easily while at 50% power level. As a partner, you always want the best for the other and for them to reach their potential, so this was a little always something I used to think about. Now that you are on your sober journey, it seems like you’ve taken massive strides forward and becoming the person you are destined to be.
There was the impact on [Bambino] too. I worried for him, but I guess I thought that was what he knew of his Mum. Remember, I’m his responsible adult too so it’s as much about me as it is you. There were times when I was away that I’d text him and ask if you were OK, as I couldn’t reach you – that’s probably unfair of me to put him in that situation but I felt I needed to know you were OK.
Over the final year of the drinking, I think we began to argue more and more – and with more anger. That was a worry for both of us I think – when we woke we knew we’d argued but neither of had all the details – just that yucky feeling. I doubut that it was anything serious, but clearly it was not going to be sustainable at that level.
I think that’s about it for now. You’re a million times a better version of you now and I’m so proud of you for taking the step(s) that you have. It will only continue to get better from here.
Love you xxxxxxxxxxxx