Year One, AR (After Rehab)

One family starting over after Dad gets out of rehab.

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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