Year One, AR (After Rehab)

One family starting over after Dad gets out of rehab.

Day Seven: Numb

This morning I woke up and saw that around 5:45AM Josh had called and left a voice mail on my phone. He said he’d been in an accident; he’d been sleeping in his car and it had somehow rolled down a hill. I tried to call him back, but his phone went straight to voicemail. I loaded up the “Find My iPhone” app which said that all devices were offline and therefore could not be located. I was freaking out, trying to call Josh’s dad, looking for information.

A little while later I got a call from a random 800 number. My first experience with, “You are receiving a call from an inmate at XYZ jail. Your call is going to be recorded.” Yup, he’s in jail for DUI. He was sleeping in his car (because apparently he got kicked out of the sober living place day before yesterday) near his father’s house and he somehow bumped the emergency brake, causing his car to roll down a hill and into someone’s driveway, where it hit their car. The police were called and he blew a .07 on the breathalyzer. That’s below the legal limit of .08, however he had caused an accident so he was booked on DUI.

We have decided not to bail him out. He needs to really see the consequences of his decisions, needs to appreciate at least a little bit of what it might be like if he doesn’t stop, if he drives drunk and causes a more serious accident. He is not happy but hopefully this little “scared straight” experience will help him figure out what he really wants.

As for me, I am adrift. I told him that this was the last time we were going to do this. I know I need to follow through, but I just hate all of this! I don’t want to get a divorce! I don’t want to be 36-year-old single mom! I don’t want to have to worry about visitation and dividing up our stuff and who will be where on holidays. I am a steadfast sort of person. I really meant it when I said “for better or for worse” and I am a fighter. I have been fighting hard for two years.

I know this is not good for me, and I really know it is not good for my children. I just want them to be happy and I am scared of what all of this will mean for them. My biggest fear is having to tell them their dad is dead. Last year I had to tell them their grandmother had died, and that was one of the worst things I’ve ever had to do. Stevie has suffered from depression ever since. I feel like Josh is headed that way, though.

My brain is spinning and I can hardly keep my thoughts straight. I’m sure I will reread this later and be horrified, but I can’t focus on sentence structure and grammar right now. Oh well!

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Day Six

Today I had no contact from Josh. The kids and I are just following our normal routine, but it’s pretty hard for me. I am starting to feel pretty severely depressed and I hate that! I’d really like just one day when I can stay in my pajamas, lock myself in my room, and just let it out. Nap, cry, watch TV, read, eat junk food… I could really use a dose of wallowing in self pity. Unfortunately, I am very rarely ever alone and the times when I am are usually closely followed by having to venture out into public to pick up a child.

Josh’s dad texted me today to tell me that Josh was at his house and appeared to have been sleeping all day. He said Josh didn’t smell like booze, but that he seemed out of it. I am starting to wonder if this is just a repeat of last year, when he admitted that he’d had no intention of getting sober, had just gone through the motions with rehab to get us off of his back. If he did that again, let his dad spend thousands of dollars AGAIN… I just can’t even think about it, because that’s so awful and selfish.

So, we continue to sit in our holding pattern, waiting to see what happens. It’s out of my control, so it’s all I can do. I just need to make the decisions that keep my kids safe and hopefully happiest (in the long run). It’s so hard!

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Day Five

Today not much happened. Josh sent me a text early, saying that the reason he’s been sleeping during the day is that he keeps forgetting to take his meds and then takes them at random times. After that, nothing. And it was a very peaceful day.

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Day Four

Not a good day. It started out fine. Josh was taking his dad to a doctor’s appointment this morning, so we had no expectations of him. He’d told Stevie he was going to pick him up from school today, so I was hoping to see him by that time, but he didn’t come. That was disappointing, but I understood. He hadn’t been 100% sure he’d make it here between the doctor and picking our friend Gabriela up from the airport. My only problem was that he shouldn’t have gotten Stevie’s hopes up. We had serious issues with that before, and Stevie needs the stability of being able to count on his dad.

Anyway, the day was quiet, which was fine by me, until I was walking in the door after Stevie’s karate lesson and my phone rang. It was Gabriela. Josh never showed up at the airport and she was pretty upset. Now, under normal circumstances this would have sucked, but obviously circumstances are not normal right now.

One of the big things that pushed Josh into getting help this time was Gabriela essentially “breaking up” with him. She was just sick of his BS. She had come into town and he avoided seeing her and didn’t show up at a party she and her husband threw. He claimed that he got lost on the way and just went home. So, giving him the chance to pick her up from the airport, to show that things are different now, is a big deal. I thought it would be good for him to see that his going through treatment was yielding results in the form of her opening the door to friendship again.

So, he blew that. I am pretty certain Gabriela won’t give him another chance. And now I am terribly worried. I’m upset that he would do that to her. He says that he went to our old house (which we officially moved out of while he was in treatment) and fell asleep in his car. First of all, WTF? That isn’t our house anymore, you can’t just go and park there and hang out anymore. And second, how on earth do you just randomly fall asleep in your car? Set an alarm for yourself or something when you know you have something that important to do. Someone is counting on you!

Gabriela is here for her brother’s FUNERAL, for goodness’ sake. She doesn’t need to be sitting around the airport waiting for someone who is never going to show up! By the time she called me to see if I knew where Josh was, she’d already called on someone else to come and get her, but still.

We will see what happens. I am feeling extremely stressed out right now and am trying to relax myself. Deep breaths. I really need to learn how to meditate! Hopefully tomorrow will bring some peace and quiet (in the midst of my always jam-packed Wednesday). I desperately need it!

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Day Three

Another day of uncertainty. Josh came over after attending an AA meeting and promptly went  to sleep on the sofa. This was somewhat upsetting to the kids, because they have this fantasy that suddenly he’s going to be this perfect person that wants to play and hang out and have fun with them.

He woke up after an hour or two and occasionally wandered over to check out something one of the boys wanted to show him. Then he told them he was going to take them to the park, because of the major bust the day before. They were gone slightly less than an hour, including the walk (maybe 15 minutes each way).  As soon as they got back Josh said he needed to go back to the halfway house to do some things.

I think this easing into things is going to be hard. On our side we are just living life, the same as always. We have our routines, some days we just want to chill out at home. Josh has been gone for a long time. At the recovery home they had schedules and routines, chores and whatnot, but it was pretty much just about number one. Before he went up there, he hadn’t been living with us for six months, and he’d been pretty much checked out for a year before that.

Sometimes I wonder if he even really wants us. I think the idea of us is nice, but the reality of family life – taking kids to school, sports practices, doctor’s appointments – is boring. Everything has taken its toll on the boys and they act out a lot, whine, yell; they don’t know how to handle all of the emotions and feelings, and they are freaked out. The last couple of years have DEFINITELY affected me and I am depressed, stressed, constantly on edge, and I don’t trust my husband. I’m probably not the most fun to be around right now, because he wants me to just say, “Ok, you’ve done this and now things are fine!” but it doesn’t work that way.

We’ll see how things go. Josh told Stevie that he’d pick him up from school tomorrow, which made Stevie so happy. I worry, because one of the biggest issues last year was that Josh would say he was going to do something and rarely ever followed through. I lost track of how many times the boys and I were left sitting around waiting… for hours sometimes. Always waiting, disappointed. Trips to amusement parks canceled at the last minute, date nights, movies, theater tickets wasted, school events with an empty seat in the audience… too many times. It’s time to make up for that.

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Day Two

Today was better than yesterday. We went over to my father-in-law, Ken’s, house and hung out for a while. Then we all went out for lunch and saw “Escape from Planet Earth.” The kids had a blast and got better Dad time in than yesterday, and things seemed as normal as they could right now. I am still nervous, and I still feel like Josh smells weird, but it is entirely possible that I’m imagining things. Here’s hoping that everything stays “boring” for a while!

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Day One: A New Beginning

I am so stressed out. Yesterday my husband, Josh, got out of rehab. It was his third attempt, but this was the big one; he was there for almost four months, at a place three hours away from home, instead of the standard 28 days nearby.

The biggest difference is that this is the last time. One way or another, I am not going to do this again. It isn’t fair to my children. It isn’t fair to my family and friends that support me through this. And it isn’t fair to me! The first time, two years ago, he made it 3.5 months before he fell off the wagon. The next, one year ago, he didn’t even intend to try and started drinking the day he got out.

We have two kids. Stevie is seven and Milo is four. The last two years have been very hard on them. Very hard. Stevie sees a therapist weekly and Milo acts out a lot. They have missed their dad the last four months, though really they’ve been missing him for a lot longer than that.

Anyway, this blog is not about our past, but about our present. I am only going to focus on what happened before as it directly impacts us today. It’s the only way any of us are going to get through this!

Today has been… weird. Josh is staying at a sober living house for the first month, and then he will go to his father’s house. We are having a slow transition with this, because I will never let these kids go back to things the way they were before. He was supposed to come over first thing this morning, because the kids have been going crazy looking forward to seeing him in a normal situation (not on a visiting day). It seemed like he was going to cancel, but he did end up coming over. It would not have been good if he had canceled. The kids have had too much disappointment like that and it hurts them terribly.

He spent a little bit of time having a talk with Stevie and then he finally came in, looking terrible. He started crying and told me he was having a hard time looking at me, because he feels so bad about everything. I was surprised, because we visited him regularly and there’s never been anything like that before. We talked for a bit and he calmed down, but it definitely spooked me a bit. After that he told me he’d slept poorly last night (new bed, and he forgot to bring his pillow) and promptly fell asleep. “Before” he would just sleep all day, so this isn’t comforting to the kids (or me).

At some point we woke him up so that we could all go out to lunch. We had a nice time and the kids were very happy. We came home to relax, maybe catch up on a couple of TV shows, play some board games, just a normal family afternoon. Within a few minutes, Josh was asleep on the sofa again. It’s been almost three hours and he is still there. The kids are incredibly upset, which is so hard to see. I’ve found Stevie hiding under his covers crying twice, because all he wanted today was to hang out with his dad. Milo is also upset, because Josh promised to play Candy Land with him and he’s ready to get to it.

I hate the fact that I am freaking out, wondering if it is happening again, day one. I think I’m just trained to expect the worst after everything the last couple of years has thrown our way. I keep thinking that maybe I smell alcohol on him, but it SO could be my imagination. He started smoking (blech) in rehab and so he smells different. Maybe this time it really is just a bad night of sleep and tomorrow everything will be fine. The problem is, when he did this before he would end up sleeping all day and then be up all night. His schedule got completely off. We all hated it and it made life harder.

I hope that a year from now I get to make an anniversary post that involves a happy family of four, lots of new memories made, a bright future in store for us. However, whatever happens, I intend to make the most of it and protect these children. The bright future doesn’t hinge on the family of four.

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