June 12, 2007

I hardly know what to say in the face of all your amazing, supportive comments, except thank you. I feel better for having told the tale.

Before I turn this blog back to lighter topics, there is something else I wanted to talk about. Some of you mentioned how amazing JB has been to stay by my side during that whole mess, and you are right. You don’t know the half of it, what he’s gone through with me.

JB and I used to drink together all the time. For the first few years that we lived together, alcohol was a huge part of our lives. We had our favorite beers, our favorite mixed drinks, our favorite places to go out and get drunk.

Somewhere along the line our individual relationships with alcohol changed, and JB’s fundamentally healthy take-it-or-leave-it approach began to seem very different from my daily drown. Over time I infected my marriage more and more with everything that comes with a major drinking problem: lies, booze-fueled fights, emotional trespasses.

JB tried to help me, but I didn’t want to be helped. When I look back on it, I realize I was sabotaging everything so I would be free to pursue my path of ruin, with no one around to make me feel guilty.

We came very close to divorce. JB had every reason in the world to walk away, and he almost did.

But he didn’t. He stood by me after I had taken a sledgehammer to our marriage, and he stood by me after I promised to quit drinking then got a fucking DUI.

He quit drinking altogether, so I wouldn’t have any temptations. He gave up what was for him a harmless but very pleasurable activity, for my sake. That was years ago. He’s never had so much as a beer since.

Every single thing in our lives has changed since we first started dating. We once had a completely carefree, booze-fueled lifestyle devoid of responsibilities, and it is like we have traveled some unimaginable distance to where we are now. And we are still together, still finding new things to love about each other, still making each other laugh.

I think of the vows we took, how for richer, for poorer can mean something entirely different than money. JB has been with me through both, and I will never, ever know how I got so lucky.

Our lives are nearly bursting with richness these days. (It’s exactly what he deserves.)

540257063_ffbee76242.jpg

539896054_13e710ec85.jpg

537487169_549b40ef95.jpg

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
95 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jessamyn
Jessamyn
15 years ago

I love you and your family.

warcrygirl
15 years ago

Amen!

jenna
15 years ago

And exactly what YOU deserve, m’dear! The fact that the richness of your lives is the result of much hard work makes it all the sweeter, doesn’t it?

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
15 years ago

Wow you guys have been through a lot.
Stuff like that only makes you stronger, and now look, you have a wonderful little boy that makes the cutest howler monkey face!

zoot
zoot
15 years ago

I’ve tried to write you 20 emails since yesterday’s entry and leave 20 comments but my words never seem to say what I’m trying to convey. I tried again with this entry and have failed miserably again.

So – I’ll just say that you are both amazing and Riley is a lucky little guy.

Pete
Pete
15 years ago

Yet another good post.

ginger
ginger
15 years ago

That’s so amazing.

Mary O
Mary O
15 years ago

Yea to JB and yea to you both for making it work and not giving up!

Kaire
Kaire
15 years ago

All things happen for a reason. No DUI, continued drinking, no family as it is now. As you said, you were heading to self ruin and I’m sure you were doing a great job of it.

It is truly amazing what can happen down the road when you would swear at the time your life is permently fucked up ;)

sunshine
sunshine
15 years ago

Your post gave me a wakeup call–in describing your and JB’s relationship with alcohol and how they started to differ, I realized you just described my fiance’s and my relationship with it as well. I know I need to cut back, because the same fights and emotional trespasses you described? I’m always the instigator, and my patient man just takes it.

Thank you for writing about this.

-A longtime reader

M.A.
15 years ago

Again, cannot tell you how timely this is to me personally. Someday I hope to have the courage to be as forthright about it as you have been. Thanks, L. Remember that JB and Riley are luck, too — you enrich their lives, as you have enriched ours (not meaning to minimize JB’s sticktoitavenss (oh dear), but to remind you that you are worth fighting for. I still heart you.

Michaela
Michaela
15 years ago

Damn, girl…..you are an amazing writer….an amazing person. You touch me.

sniff.

I’m so glad that your journey has brought you to this wonderfully rich place in life…in your family…in yourself.

You should be proud.

Liz
Liz
15 years ago

Hey! Is that Kelsey Creek Farm? I love Riley’s hair.

JB amazes me, and it kind of makes me feel bad about myself. When I was in his situation I could not do what he did. I wonder what was different? I mean, obviously JB and I are different people, and you and my ex are DEFINITELY different people. I dunno. This has been bothering me for years even though I would not give up what I have now for a billion dollars. Maybe I need therapy.

canknitian
15 years ago

It’s what you both deserve. I’m so glad you have each other and lots of love to share with Riley.

Amy M.
Amy M.
15 years ago

I’m getting all veklempt! And Riley doesn’t look the least suspicious!

No really, congrats to both of you for making it through that difficult time & for your wonderful little boy.

Caitlin
Caitlin
15 years ago

Oh I just love you guys.

DDM(Sonia)
DDM(Sonia)
15 years ago

*Smooch*

Lawyerish
15 years ago

This is awesome. What you posted yesterday was stunning and brave and probably helped more people than you’ll ever know, and now this is a beautiful tribute to your husband and son. It’s wonderful to see such a great example of how, by living by the vows we take on our wedding day, we become stronger, better people and eventually are rewarded with life’s greatest riches.

JB and Riley are blessed to have you, as are we, your lucky readers.

Heather
Heather
15 years ago

i’m glad you guys made it. it’s nice to know it’s possible to go through something like that and make it out the other side.

gabby
gabby
15 years ago

I am just bawling like a crazy woman. I have many pet peeves, but the biggest is how much grief husbands (in general) get in this world. That they are dumb and lazy and thoughtless and and cruel and unkind. I hate that so much because I know it isn’t true (for the most part) and I wish people could see my husband and how great he is and how I wish everyone had a husband so great.

What I love and what makes me realize that not everyone feels that way is when I read things like this. It restores a little bit of faith in humanity. In marriage. In life. I’m happy others know what I know. That there IS still love worth fighting for and holding on to. That there are men in this world who are great and noble and love their families mightily. That marriage is hard work and sometimes it sucks, but the rewards are endless. Thanks.

Sadie
Sadie
15 years ago

A life bursting with richness is what you deserve, too. It’s what most people deserve, even if they HAVE fucked up, made mistakes, hurt others…because who among us can say we haven’t? The point is, you’ve learned, and changed, and done what you had to do to make amends and be the partner and mother your husband and son deserve.

Your post yesterday was touching to me but I couldn’t imagine you’d scroll through nearly 200 comments to read mine, so I didn’t write. What I wanted to share with you was this: my father is a recovering alcoholic. He has been sober for seventeen years, more than half my life. And both as a child and now as an adult, I have never thought he was a horrible person, even though he did some straight fucked up things to me and my family while he was drinking. I always knew it was because he was sick; sick with a real addiction. And the hardships we suffered as a result, and the road he traveled to get clean – those things made my father real & human to me. And there is no one on this earth I will ever respect more than my father. Because he has been two kinds of fathers to me in this life, and I have loved them both.

What I am trying to tell you is, you are not a lesser person for your trials – you are a better one. And everyone who loves you will know that, now or later.

Josh
Josh
15 years ago

That sounds nice. Maybe one day I’ll get to taste a happy stable existence. For now I’m too busy trying to hold together all the things that keep sabotaging themselves to try and push anyone away. But I do like to imagine that one day I will find somebody to love and make babies with. And I can buy myself a LaZBoy and sit at home and stew in my own contentment until I kick the bucket. Maybe I’ll even buy two and rip them down to make one big ass one with a giant recliner arm. Then I can snuggle up with my woman and watch 24 on TV Land while I yell at the kids to go cut the damn grass.

Cari
15 years ago

This one made me cry. Thanks for sharing, again.
For all of their annoyances, husbands do kind of rock, don’t they?
I heart you and your family; thanks for letting us in time and time again.

Michelle
Michelle
15 years ago

Damn you!!!!!!!!

I’m at work and you made me cry–even worse, I have no eyeliner in my purse to repair the damages you have wrought!!!!!

Deanna
Deanna
15 years ago

:) I second Michelle’s comment…I’m crying at work! Such a wonderful follow up to yesterday’s post. You are proof positive that while life can heap a huge helping of crap on you…it can also turn around and heap an even bigger helping of something totally wonderful on you. Riley is a lucky boy to have you and JB as parents.

Please, never stop writing here. Even when you are a rich and famous author, keep a blog just for us. :)

Lacey Noel
15 years ago

How dare you make me cry at work. Serves me right for reading blogs on the clock though, huh?

jonniker
15 years ago

Oh man. It goes without saying that I have had a sort of affinity for JB ever since – you guessed it – the Sausage Incident.

I kid. Sort of.

I am so pleased and happy and oddly proud of you for reaching this happy ending/beginning. It does indeed restore my faith in humanity, and it’s a beautiful reminder that life can be very, very good.

Janssen
15 years ago

Usually I don’t comment once people have twenty or thirty comments, since I tend to feel like “they’ll never get around to it anyway” but I just can’t not say how much this touched me. In a world where divorce is the answer to the smallest issues, it’s beautiful to see you hold on to your marriage despite the biggest problems. Good for both you and JB.

ginger
ginger
15 years ago

OK, I already posted my representative Deep Meaningful Comment, such as it was, but I am back because someone at TUS posted this and I immediately thought of you: tomorrow is Blog-Like-It’s-the-End-of-the-World Day, as in blog as though the zombies are coming. I know you would not want to miss out on terrifying yourself, at the very least, by reading the participant blogs:

http://tinyurl.com/28ka37

At least one of the blogs has already started to lay groundwork. Or maybe it’s just a dreadful coincidence…

Liz
Liz
15 years ago

I was hoping you’d have a new entry today. Yesterday’s has been ringing in my ears all day long. Thank you for sharing your story.

Alcoholism is a serious disease and it reaches deep and far. Just look at all the of the responses you’ve gotten-so many lives are touched by it one way or another. It’s not something people normally speak about but it desperately needs more discussion.

And I can only imagine that you’ve probably saved a few lives with your entry.

This is why YOU rock…

whoorl
15 years ago

You ALL are amazing!

laughing mommy
15 years ago

Yay for sticking by each other in hard times!

Yay for marriage!

Yay for happiness!

Coleen
15 years ago

That is just love. Pure and simple. And it’s so awesome that you shared that with us. Thank you.

Maura
Maura
15 years ago

What a beautiful tribute to your family, love, marriage and perseverance. When we recite those vows on our wedding day, I’m not always sure how much we realize the impact they may have on our life. Your marriage is a testimony of love and strength and overcoming adversity.

Now stop making me cry at work!

diane
diane
15 years ago

Once again you’ve reminded me that life is good and you really can get past the bad stuff. Thank you!!

Donna
Donna
15 years ago

Rules for reading All and Sundry
1. Not at work
2. Prepare to be touched
3. Prepare to learn something
4. Put makeup in desk for repairs
5. For when you break rule number 1.

We all love you guys.

Jamie
Jamie
15 years ago

Well, dammit, now I’m crying at my desk, you bee-yotch. :)

Marie Green
15 years ago

It’s a beautiful thing, when life gives us second chances. When the people around us allow us the grace to grow and change. When the people we love have faith in the good in us, when they can see that good even when we ourselves cannot. It’s these down times, these low times that make the up times so much sweeter, isn’t it? Because when we walk through the fire, and someone is there with salve and honey, and love and understanding, waiting for us on the other side… that’s when we Become.

What’s sad is many people never get to experience this, because they bail when the waters get rough. Your writing about it is beautiful. And proof of the benefits of sticking it out.

Thank you!

omu
omu
15 years ago

Yeah, now I’m crying too. But I really don’t mind because it’s a happy, I’ve been touched in a great way kind of crying.

I hope JB reads this post.

Jo
Jo
15 years ago

Add me to the ‘crying at work’ list ;)

Amazing post, as was yesterdays. You guys rock :)

biscuit
biscuit
15 years ago

I love your pictures + commend you + your husband for your strength. Long live upholding marriage vows + not escaping when the going gets tough!

katie
15 years ago

i’m engaged, and while we haven’t yet faced a trying situation between the two of us (outside forces, yes) i have to say that this entry meant a lot to me as i ponder the promises soon-to-be-married people make on that big day.you are a fantastic writer… i write for a living and i’m constantly cowed by your skills. and inspired. many times i leave your blog to write something afterward, not even on the same topic.

anna
anna
15 years ago

Yes, JB is an amazing man it seems, but look, he stayed alongside you because he sees you as amazing also…..and you say you don’t know how you got so blessed now -it’s obviously because you worked at things and came out the other side.

Amzing little family, and yes, JB does deserve it for what he has been through with you, but hey, just remember that it is you and Riley that makes his life so wonderful now.

Anne L.
Anne L.
15 years ago

ROCK ON!

Katie
Katie
15 years ago

tears to my eyes.

Jem
Jem
15 years ago

So good to see how everything worked out so well for you both :)

eileen
eileen
15 years ago

I’ve never met you – but I found you via a list I’m a part of. I used your blog as an example to my former students of a “good blog” (when they were creating blogs). And I look for updates every day.

Thank you, SO MUCH, for enriching my life, and making me think about things and places and people.

You are very loved…eileen

Sarah
15 years ago

I didn’t comment yesterday, although I meant to. So here’s enough for both:

Thank you for telling your story. You’ve always been so inspiring… I know I’ve told you before about my dad and how alcoholism seems to be the same nasty ruin wrapped in entirely different people again and again and again. Thank you for getting caught; my dad never did. Sometimes I wonder if rehab or an arrest would have been enough to pull him out of his spiral of self hatred. I am so incredibly grateful that no one ever has to worry that same thought about you. A hearty congratulations on your hard work and sobriety.

When Jon and I started dating neither of us drank; me as a response to my dad, him because he doesn’t like the taste (and also, imo, doesn’t like to lose control). Slowly that changed and I started to once again drink to excess. Parties were never “fun” for me unless I got rip-roaring drunk. I would black out and still be functional; still talking and making a general ass of myself. Several times I drank to such excess that Jon told me later he had stayed up most of the night listening to me breathe to make sure I was okay. When he told me that, it broke my heart.

I stopped drinking when my dad was found in a hotel room in an alcoholic rage and had tried to kill himself about a week after leaving my mom. My mom had called me and told me that they found him and after hanging up with her I went to my well-stocked liquor cabinet and poured about $500 worth of alcohol directly down my kitchen sink. I felt so free, to know I had chosen never to follow in his path. He died about a month later. Through all his pain, he accomplished what every parent dearly wishes for their child: that they learn from their parents’ mistakes and lead better lives.

Yams
Yams
15 years ago

Another touching post. Wish you and your family the utmost happiness.

Vanessa
Vanessa
15 years ago

And incredibly beautiful post. I’m always touched by what I read here.

And yet, the reason I popped by today was that THIS is the Yahoo question of the day and I couldn’t help but think of you:

http://ask.yahoo.com/20070606.html

Now… I can’t decide if that is moving on to lighter topics or not…

Thanks as always for writing.