I got home from work and was greeted with a sleeping Scott. I wedged myself in the crook in front of his side on the couch and shook him, "Baby, I'm home. Wake up and play with me!" I've got that 2-year-old annoyance thing down.
"We have to talk," he murmured without opening his eyes.
"What?" I asked, the tone of my voice audibly dropping. Inwardly I grimaced, but I knew this was going to be nothing more than an inconvenience. He's used the dreaded expression several times, and they all were in reference not to some horrible grievance of mine, but of something regarding him.
Instead of responding, Scott's body began to shudder. After a closer examination, I saw that he was crying. I softened up, "What's wrong?" And when he didn't respond and cried even harder, "Baby, talk because you're scaring me."
"I have to quit drinking," he finally worked out. "It's not fair that I can't be like everyone else. I can't go to Christmas parties. I can't drink and not get drunk. I'm an alcoholic. And I don't want that. I don't want the stigma that's attached with being one. I preferred NA-"
"I preferred NA to AA because you weren't allowed to talk about drinking in NA."
"Well that's probably why you liked it."
"And they told me. They told me I had to give up alcohol too. They told me this would happen.
"Today, on my day off of work, I drank a 12-pack and I was stumbling around the apartment by myself. That's no way to live," he continued to cry some more. "I'm going to go to AA tomorrow. And I don't want you to leave me."
"Oh!" and I wrapped my arms around his neck. This was probably the least painful thing he could say. I've been waiting and wanting for him to say it. "Whatever you need me to do," I told him, "I'll do it. If you want me to go with you to AA, I will. If you want me to go to Al-Anon, I will. If you need for us not to keep any alcohol in the house, or if you need me to stop drinking too, I'll do it." I tried not to laugh out of happiness.
He wept again, "Why always me? Why can't I be normal?"
"Scott, you throw yourself completely into things. And that's not always a bad thing; sometimes it can be really good, like when you throw yourself into relationships and work. But it also has its drawbacks when it comes to substance abuse. Besides, this isn't entirely your fault. Alcoholism runs on both sides of your family, and pretty predominantly at that," I tried.
"I've been down this path before [with the drugs]," Scott explained. "I already know what's going to happen. And I know how it's going to end. This will kill me if I don't quit. But I'd rather have a life and babies with you. I want to do this for myself, but I want to do this for you too." He reached over and grabbed my chin, "Do you think you could be with an alcoholic? Would you want to be?"
"I already have," I said, still leaving out large chunks of detail in my life. "While it's not a quality I would seek out, I wouldn't give you up over it," I answered truthfully. "We'll do this. Together."
~Wednesday, December 19, 2007