Next time I see Lynn I will address how I use wine to conceal anger and unhappiness. When a sense of frustration presents itself I go into a flight or fight response. This weekend I fought with my husband and I flew out the door. That is no way to cope with emotions. But, when bombarded by feelings of unjust, I want to flee or fight. Neither is acceptable so I’ve learned to drink to shut down my sense of frustration. I can’t run away every time I feel threatened and it wouldn’t be right to fight because I want harmony within the family.
I’m seeing for the first time that I may be drinking because I hate my home life. I am reluctant to blame my husband for all of this but the truth is, it is easy to do. He has a high-powered job that brings in the family income. I also work but it’s part-time and my salary is measly compared to his. I resent that he doesn’t see my work at home as a major contribution to the household. I get compliance from the kids but my husband does whatever the fuck he pleases. He will clean the kitchen, cook or make coffee but it’s when he feels like it. I do all of the chores every fucking day whether I feel like it or not. The under-lining anger I feel seems justifiable. I’ve been in a marriage with a guy who doesn’t appreciate me. I’m scared to say this out loud. I usually keep these thoughts buried deep. Allowing such thoughts to surface scares the shit out of me. I wonder if I have settled for less than what I deserve with the guy I’ve been married to for 24 years.
REALITY CHECK—Depression can show up as a feeling that no one cares. A fear that I’m not valued and that I’m not worth it. Furthermore, depressive thoughts can twist the reality into a sense of self-blame for our own predicament. An example, Right now I’m married to a guy that never supported me. To think that is crazy-talk. We’ve been partners in life for over 30 years and we have learned to accept each others short comings. My husband has never physically hurt me or verbally abused me. Yes, he can be stubborn and head-strong but so can I. He is quick to forgive and always willing to kiss and make-up. I’m the partner who holds grudges and doesn’t let anyone get close when I’m angry or hurt. As a sexual abuse survivor I’m the one with attachment issues.
I think I may use my husband to project a personal sense of self-hate and shame. Long before I even knew my husband I blamed myself for life’s troubles. It’s convenient that I can now use him as my problem. I’m okay; its him with the problem. If only I was not married, I day-dream, I would be content and not need to drink. In the back of my mind, I know this not to be true. The reality is I would still be stuck with myself and my self-esteem issues.
Which is it? I suffer because of the marriage or I suffer with myself? And what is the solution? I wish to God I knew. I lean toward believing the struggle is within myself and growth will occur when I can handle life’s up’s and down’s without drinking.
Next therapy, I’m going to talk to Lynn about all of this. I will spell out how I feel about my husband. I don’t normally allow these feelings to get to the surface because it makes my life feel unbearable.
I continue to move forward with my plan to make time for me and get out of the house more. Tomorrow I attend a women’s 4-hour workshop and Tuesday I try out a group yoga class. I also continue to listen to my meditation tapes and practice mindfulness.
I had resolved not to drink but ended up in a spin-out of emotions that led me to my old habit. This is okay. I’m recognizing the triggers and realizing the complexity of my goal. I am determined to stay the course. At this pace, I’m moving two steps forward and one step back. Hey, it’s better than walking backward! I need to tell myself this so I do not put guilt on top of my failures. Life is indeed a process and I am on the right course.