Renewal

I will never drink.

this sobriety is what

remains of our love


death is renewal.

her love dying gave birth to

my sobriety


8:30am

I really like the way I feel in the mornings. I feel rested, clear headed, and lite. I like the calm in my brain. I don’t feel embarrassed I’m hung over on a weekday, again. I don’t have the scared, little voice in my head whispering, “You have a problem man.” That voice scared me. Every, time I woke up tired, foggy, thirsty, and pretending I was none of those things I would hear it in my head. “Dude, it’s Tuesday and you’re hung over again? You can’t keep doing this.” I wish I had quit drinking sooner. Brad and I have so much fun driving to middle school in the mornings. I feel like I short changed Dennis the last 2 years.

I know my sobriety required a crisis. I needed to be faced with a horrible consequence before I would make a change. Michelle was the consequence. I lost Michelle because I drank. She doesn’t see it but I do. The-glass-is-half- full way to look at losing Michelle is to think about all the things I could have lost had I kept drinking: my career, my home, my money, solid/healthy friendships, and a loving relationship with my children. Last week my therapist commented on the guilt I feel about being a drunk. She asked me if I saw anything good about not drinking. I do. I am modeling the right behavior around alcohol for my boys. There are alcoholics on both sides of my family (maternal grandmother, and paternal grandfather). All 3 of us are pre-disposed to being drunks. Being honest and open with the boys about my issues with alcohol and modelling the right behavior is going to help them do the same. It is just like smoking. It is kind of a I-will-not-have-lost-the-love-of-my-life-in-vain sort of thing. I will honor the love and relationship Michelle and I had (and lost) by being a better man and father to my boys. At this point, it is all I have left of her.

 

Damn Radiohead

we miss you less now.

if you discount yesterday

and most days prior.


7:30am

The boys and I went to St. Paul to see Live From Here. It was a great show. Brad absolutely loved it. Dennis said, “Eh, it was okay. I guess it was pretty good.” The 15 year old version of, “I really liked it!” We had a great weekend together. Of course I was constantly reminded of Michelle’s absence. I had purchased a seat for her in the hopes she would go with us so her seat was empty at the theater.

We had a super relaxed attitude driving to and from St. Paul because we didn’t have a particular deadline or huge distance to travel…Michelle would have loved that. The host talked about a Radiohead song from their last album and then sang it. I almost started crying:

‘True Love Waits’

I’ll drown my beliefs

To have your babies

I’ll dress like your niece

And wash your swollen feet

 

Just don’t leave

Don’t leave

 

I’m not living

I’m just killing time

Your tiny hands

Your crazy kitten smile

 

Just don’t leave

Don’t leave

 

And true love waits

In haunted attics

And true love lives

On lollipops and crisps

 

Just don’t leave

Don’t leave

When he sang the chorus, at the end…it killed me. It was so sad and mournful. It had a slow, soft, panicked quality to it. It reminded me of how I have felt (off and on) the last 12 weeks. I feel like it reset how much I miss Michelle. It is different this time. It isn’t as immediate. It isn’t as sharp. It feels like the last time he sang the chorus – slow, soft, and (vaguely) panicked.

 

Bullied

8:00am

I did not work out last night and was in bed and asleep before 10pm. I took a bath, read my book, and then crashed. I feel great this morning. I am still sore from my work out on Tuesday. I have exercised 8 days in a row…I can take one night off. I thought the bath would help… I’m not sure it did. I should get a Jacuzzi to soak in. That would be something wouldn’t it?

I don’t have much to write about this morning. My boys are great, I’m great, and life is generally feeling okay today.

I am meeting my therapist today. My last meeting was not fun. We are talking about an event that happened in the 7th grade where I was bullied. It was pretty traumatic. Looking back it’s why I spent the next 4 years of school lunches in the library hiding out. No one gets bullied in the library. I am not looking forward to this afternoon’s meeting.

Kind of a douche

I despise how I

was. I wish I would have told

myself not to drink


8:00am

Last night the boys and I met some friends for dinnerOn the drive home, Brad said, “Dad, I am so glad you don’t drink anymore…like really glad.” It was emphatic the way he said it. Dennis chimed in echoing the same feelings. I asked them why they were bringing it up.

Dennis said, “You were kind of a douche when you drank too much…sorry.” I could hear the trepidation in his voice as he said it. I asked him why he was sorry. “I don’t know, I feel bad saying that.” I told him he didn’t need to feel bad. Brad talked about driving home one night (Michelle was driving) where I kept throwing my flip-flop at Dennis in a joking way that just got annoying. I guess that’s a weak example…but they are 12 and 15…it’s what comes to mind for them. There are plenty of moments of me being short, impatient, etc.

I told them how sorry I am I behaved like that. They both said it was totally fine, especially now. They know we are all in a better place now that I don’t drink any more. I think we can see it because of its absence. Kind of a forest for the trees type scenario…we are out of the forest, now we can all look back and reflect on a drinking Dad and see what an asshole he could be. I’m not happy I was like that. Saying I feel guilty and embarrassed doesn’t do justice to how horrible I feel.

I should focus on the positive…I am so happy I don’t drink. I am not that drunken shithead.  I hope everyone still in my life realizes that.

 

I miss her

she has only hate

in her heart. I wish she could

be happy again.


new beginnings are

less fun than I remember.

the sex is nice though.


10:30am

I am tired today. I took Monday off and read a book all afternoon (which was nice). Facebook reminded me of an evening Michelle and I had 2 years ago. It was a wedding reception. We looked so happy together. I miss feeling that way about Michelle. I feel sad today. My therapist told me the sadness will come and go off and on. I guess today it is coming and it is switched on. I won’t dwell on it. Maybe it’s the weather. It has been raining, cold, and gloomy since Friday. I miss Michelle. I miss talking to her. I miss laughing with her. I miss being near her.

 

 

Please don’t patronize!

9:00am

Michelle sent me the following text at 10:30pm last night:

Michelle: You ruined my life and I fucking hate you.

She called me multiple times. I texted here and asked her to stop. She called at midnight I didn’t look to see who it was (I was asleep) and answered the phone. She was sobbing and inconsolable. She feels I am punishing her by “taking” the boys away. I described the confusion the boys feel and why that wasn’t good for their well being. It isn’t what she wants to hear. She started hurling the insults again and telling me how I felt rather than listen to when I talked about my feelings. She is all rage and hate. I’m afraid she’ll never change.

I sent her the following text this morning:

Me: Are you okay this morning? I know you don’t trust or believe I am getting better with my drinking and because of that you don’t want to be with me. I just feel the need to tell you this so you know…I still want us to be together. I am willing to do whatever work is necessary. I am already in therapy for myself. I will do couples therapy…I will do anything for us. Please don’t patronize and dictate to me how I feel. This is how I feel! I hope you are better today.

Maybe she will take me back, maybe she won’t. I won’t waste my time trying to influence that. I will make decisions about my life and my children’s lives using all the information I have available to me. She has told me innumerable times we aren’t going to be together:

  • I don’t want you to have any hope of us getting back together.
  • I have felt so much, more calm since I don’t have your standards to live up to.
  • I feel more content with myself when I’m not with you.
  • Go fuck yourself.
  • If there was ever a chance of us being together that is gone now.
  • You ruined my life and I fucking hate you.

I don’t have anything else to say about Michelle today.


Oct. 6, 2017

12:00pm

Monica and I have been talking more. She was getting a bit flirty and I had to tell her that isn’t what I want in reconnecting with her. She’s been lonely and with our sexual history it makes sense. To be honest I had thought about it too. I have extremely fond memories of that aspect of dating her. So I’m working on boundaries. Making sure to keep what I need/want in mind. Not trying to please everyone else etc.

Hope?

the difference from

where I was – to now, gives me

hope for the future


8:00am

Yesterday, I was so upset and angry at Michelle with the horrible thing she was saying to me that I left work. She is consumed by anger and resentment (maybe hatred?). She kept landing these blows that were expertly placed for maximum damage. I wish I could say I didn’t try to do the same but that would be a lie. She is just so much better at it than I am. My heart isn’t in it. I mostly ended up trying to defend and explain myself. I’m pathetic!

I got in my car and just started yelling at no one in particular as I drove home. That lasted a good 10 minutes or so. After I blew off steam I decided I needed to get out of my head. I got home, did a tough 20 minute circuit work out, and immediately went for a 3 mile run. All told it took about an hour. When I got home from my run, Dennis and Brad were home. Brad and I talked for about an hour while his brother did his homework. Then the three of us went out for sushi down in the old market. We walked around talking, having fun, and ended up at a coffee shop for desert. We talked at length about Michelle and how they aren’t going to be seeing her for a while. They were/are both sad. I explained why it was for the best with an analogy:

When you pull off a band-aid, you can do it slowly and it doesn’t hurt as much but it hurts a lot longer. Or, you can quickly rip it off. It hurts at first but very soon stops. The way I see it (this is me telling them), we can either extend the pain because it seems easier (it isn’t) or just rip that band-aid off.

As we were driving home, Brad said he feels good about the decision. I asked why. He said he feels less stress (he suffers from anxiety and has a therapist) because he knows what is happening now. There is no longer any confusion about the status of Michelle and I. Uncharacteristically, Dennis chimed in and said he felt the same way and then said, “this was a really great night.” Brad agreed.

After her attacks the last two days, I know what I wrote to her in that letter (on Sept 18th) about being so much further ahead of her and being afraid she wouldn’t be able to catch up…it has come to pass. She doesn’t even think she needs to see anyone. I feel so sad. I need to focus on the positives: I’m healthy, I’m sober, I have honest/clear/loving lines of communication with my children, and I’m not overwhelmed by being sad like I was.

After dropping the boys off at their mother’s I went to the movies. When I got home, I went to bed and read for an hour. I am proud of myself. I left work just a mess: hurt, sad, and longing (I’m being honest, I am still wanting Michelle). Shortly after, I had worked out and was on the front porch laughing and talking with Brad. I turned my day around. I did that! I didn’t stew about things. I felt those awful emotions, I let them in, and then got rid of them doing what I know works: exercise, time with my kids, movies, and reading. Last night I slept like a baby. I have made so much progress.

I just realized, my go to thing when I am upset (like I was yesterday) was drinking (either alone or with a friend). That never entered into the realm of possible solutions to getting “out of my head”. That is progress!!!!!!!

 

Ephemeral

she was like others:

ephemeral and fleeting.

I will never leave.


8:30am

Tomorrow evening I am going to have the conversation with Dennis and Brad about Michelle and not seeing her in the future. I need to get the logic behind the decision organized so it is coherent for them.

  1. We love Michelle, we miss her.
  2. Michelle no longer wants a future with me (I was going to say “us”…I think “me” is better).
  3. We need to move forward with our lives. We can’t hope Michelle will change.
  4. This is painful. It is okay to be sad, hurt, angry, confused, scared.
  5. These feelings may never go away but they will diminish with time.
  6. Some people will come and go in your life. I will never leave you.

Number 2 is still difficult for me. It will be difficult for the boys. I hope they are further along in their grieving than I give them credit for. The 6th point…it makes me feel good to remind them of it.

 

You’re not worthy of them

8:30am

What a weekend. Friday was the Nebraska game. I made homemade nachos (and killed it…they were perfect). Saturday Brad had to be in Lincoln for a soccer game at 9am. We got back home at 2pm. I worked out, bathed and rested for a few minutes. We met some friends for pizza and then went to the UNO soccer game. Home in time to watch SNL (season opener). Sunday had to get Dennis to a swim meet for warm ups at 8am. Came home for a quick lunch and then went to the movies. Had a 5pm soccer game for Brad, made homemade chicken noodle soup, and then to bed. I am exhausted from my weekend.

I ended up texting with Monica off and on. It is nice to download my brain to someone new. We might get together for a few drinks later in the week. I’m not looking for anything there except having a friend. They are in short supply these days.

I’m sleeping better and the obsessive thoughts about Michelle seem to be subsiding. The last time I visited my therapist, we talked about her continued relationship with the boys. I was honest and admitted the reason I capitulated and allow her to maintain her relationship is because she was upset. My therapist is right, there are all kinds of complications that can come up in the future that will be more harmful to the boys than losing their relationship with Michelle. Here is what I am sending to Michelle in a letter and email.

Michelle,

I’ve been working with my therapist for 10 weeks now. I’ve come to trust her and respect her. She pointed out all kinds of potential complications that, net, will be more harmful to the boys than the loss of their relationship with you. At this point in your life, you aren’t interested in any version of the world where you might need to grow. You are stagnating. My boys deserve people who can take objective stock of things and make adjustments that are in their best interest. Right now, you aren’t capable of that. I hope, some day you will be. Going forward, I do not want you to be a part of my children’s lives. With the selfishness, entitlement, and manipulative behavior you displayed regarding my health insurance, I won’t risk you not honoring my wishes as it relates to my children. I am going to cut off your contact via text, phone, and social media.  If I had to sum it up in one sentence it would be this: I don’t trust you to be objective and act in Dennis and Brad’s best interests if what is in their best interest conflicts with what you want.

David

P.S. I really do hope you are able to change and learn how to evolve and grow. I miss how happy we all were together as a family. I can see it now, as we were…our breaking up was inevitable. I love you.

I sent it this afternoon in a letter. I will send it to her via email on Thursday as well. I want to make sure she receives it.

The opposite of love…

8:00am

A text message I sent to Michelle:

The opposite of love is apathy. You said that. I’m fairly certain you don’t care about me further than my health insurance anymore but I still felt compelled to send this to you. I’ll make it the last thing I share with you…okay?