The memories have been rushing back to me.
His face that night when the family finally broke. When my Mom said “no more” and he had to choose between us and giving up drinking. He agreed but in hindsight he didn’t do that for him. He did it for us. Maybe that’s why rehab didn’t take. He wanted to be who we needed him to be but he was so lost in his depression, the bottle seemed his only comfort. How does one give up their only known coping mechanism?
When the rain breaks the road/Are you holding on/Are you holding on/To your last good day/When the stone breaks the wheel/Are you holding on/Are you holding on/Til the stone rolls away/And I don’t know/Is this the part where you let go/And tumbling out of a window/Is this the part where you find out/I’m there for you
I think about this a lot. Particularly because one of my dearest friends struggles with the same disease my father battled. She left for rehab last week. This is not her first attempt at getting sober. I hope against my better judgment that this time it will work. Just like I did every time my Dad swore he’d give up the drink. I wanted so badly to believe.
When the sun leaves the field/Are you holding on/Are you holding on/To the last sweet light/When the flame leaves your eyes/I still see you there/I still see you there/On your darkest night
Maybe it’s the breaking of trust that does the most damage. Because when I love you, I believe in you with everything I’ve got. I put my faith in you. I rally behind you, cheering for your successes and championing your causes. I’ll pick you up if you fall apart.
But how many times?
As your hand’s breaking free/I am holding on/I am holding on/As you’ve held on to me/And I don’t know/Is this the part where we let go/Tumbling out of a window/Is this the part where you’re there for me
Loving someone who struggles with an addiction is mentally exhausting. Because their addiction cycle can sweep you up. I’ve found myself enabling, denying, and silencing myself. This is not who I want to be in the world. There are days when I want to throw up my hands and say, “I’m done!” Because it’s lonely loving an alcoholic. In my experience, they can’t show up for me. They flake. They make promises they cannot keep. They isolate. They are distant even when they are in the same room with me. I cannot reach the heart of them. And that? That’s what splits us. That’s what breaks my heart.
I miss my friend.
I miss my Dad.
And I don’t know/Is this the part where you let go/And sinking under a shadow/Is this the part where you find out I’m there for you/You find out I’m there for you/You find out I’m there for you
*Lyrics by Hem, “The Part Where You Let Go”