When I was married to an alcoholic, I did lots of things to avoid reality. I focused a lot on helping others. I stayed busy….really, really busy. And I was a bit of a control freak. I couldn’t control his drinking but I tried to perfect everything else. (I didn’t realize any of this until after divorce.)
Before I started educating myself on the disease, and before I had entered an al-anon room, I had detached emotionally. One of my first meetings, I remember a discussion meeting about detachment and thinking how different I was. In reality, I was wondering if I could find a way to “re-attach” if he stayed sober. Most others were trying to detach to care for themselves. I got it. I understood it. I had done it really well.
My ex did not stay sober, so I never had to test out whether I could re-attach my emotions. We are both better off apart.
When we were married, he got moments of happiness through purchasing things. I remember how giddy he was on “new bike days.” He even suggested that the days he got new motorcycles were some of the best days of his life. 😳. Umm…wedding day? Birth of our child? Hello?!?!?
Again, I wasn’t able to see it for what it was until removing myself from the situation. He really was so numb emotionally that it took “things” to excite him. And this still continues with him to this day. He trades in titled Motorsport vehicles when they still smell new just to get another happy high.
When we separated, I asked my daughter if she wanted to continue living in our same house, or if she wanted to simplify and make memories instead. I’m so relieved she chose the memories.
I bought a small house that was 1/3 the value of what we left behind. I sold my gas guzzling 7 passenger high class SUV and bought a used car. The list of simplification goes on and on.
When I lost my job unexpectedly, I felt so blessed to have simplified. I didn’t have any of the financial worry or burden that I would have had otherwise. I was SO grateful.
Then two weeks ago at church during the homily, the priest encouraged “material detachment” as a description for the situation Jesus praised a disciple for in a bible verse. I was so taken back by hearing detachment separately from alcoholism that I couldn’t help but engage. Then,to hear him describe finding happiness by removing focus from material “things” gave me complete reassurance that God had walked me through so many decisions over the last couple years.
First emotional detachment and then material detachment.
I am so blessed. I am grateful.