Picking Up the Pieces
I fell in love with my husband before we even spoke. He was beautiful, artistic and full of life and energy. Every second we spent together built me up and made me embrace living in a way that I hadn’t been able to in such a long time. Things moved very fast for us and very soon after we met, our ‘meant to be’ son, Jones was born.
In so many ways, we shouldn’t have made it. We barely knew each other and immediately building a family together while we were still getting to know each other is a lot of pressure to put on a new couple. That first year was one of the hardest years of my life. I didn’t have time to know him well enough to know that alcohol was key player in his life. It added to his ability to be spontaneous, but it caused many painful days and nights that we struggled to endure. I lost a lot of close friends during that time because it became easier to stay home than to take the chance of going out and it being a bad night.
We tried the typical routes that people take in these situations: therapy, AA, Alanon, reading books, asking for help….but if you’ve ever met my beautiful husband, then you are well aware that the paths he takes can’t be traditionally laid out for him and those structured things were not the solution to our growing problems.
Every day I am thankful that what he has inside of him is like nothing I’ve ever known in another person. His love for his family and for living life is immensely passionate. When we tried to help him, it wasn’t time. But when he was ready to not only reach out to pick up his own pieces, but also to let the rest of us play the role we had been trying so hard to play, our lives became exactly what we all felt we were supposed to be living. He discovered that when he was sober he could put even more devotion into the artistic and wild ideas that have always defined who he is. He fully immersed himself in discovering his artistic talents on a new level and he opened the door for me to find mine. Without him, without his courage, push and determination, I can’t even begin to imagine the accomplishments that I wouldn’t have had. I know for sure I wouldn’t have taken the risk to take on this photography journey full time and I would never have had the confidence to share my images with anyone outside of my family. With him, finding sobriety doesn’t conjure the word recovery for me. It was more like an awakening and while it hasn’t always been an easy road for him, he makes it seem like it is.
I’m not telling our story to gain sympathy or to have anyone look at our relationship any differently, but rather because the past four years have been a time of healing and growing for us. I have met enough people in my life that have been through similar experiences and even though it makes me feel extremely vulnerable to share these thoughts, there may be a family out there going through the same things that we went through, hitting brick walls without hope. I’m sure there are other people who didn’t find what they were looking for through traditional forms of help and I wish someone had been able to tell me back then that those ways are not the only way out.
I get to wake up every day and fall more and more in love with the man I hoped my husband would be. Our son gets to know his dad with nothing to hide between how to he lives his life and what he wants to show him. Picking up the pieces is my way of looking into where we have come from and being so appreciative of where we get to go because of the incredible strength and determination that the man I love possesses.