It’s only been a few days but I feel it. In the hidden, hard place where I keep my little girl heart that learned to be scared too early. That place in my heart has shifted.
It might be that I am writing out the story of how I once was a falling down drunk. I’ve been looking for ways that I was loved through it, and I’ve been realizing
over and over how I was so loved. My husband
lived out this incredible, sacrificial, life-giving, endless, kind, patient, generous, soul upon soul holding of my precious life when I wasn’t into or able to be caring for myself
at all. Didn’t believe I was precious or lovable at all. I guess you can say I couldn’t possibly, since I was more and more consumed
And here’s shit’s honest truth: I will never, ever–not ever–be able to repay him. Every ounce of love that I can give, a life time of kindnesses, every selfless act of thoughtfulness—all of it,
none of it will ever make up for his saving my life by helping me through the drunken years. Trust me I have walked back over every ugly moment that I can remember. And when I couldn’t remember I interviewed him. Phew that was hard on us both.
And that is what he did. His love saved me and it was totally undeserved.
Kind of like what God does in sending Jesus and that’s so amazing I’ve just had to sit
here in my writing chair.
Hours on end, sitting.
Feeling my thankful feelings for sobriety. And for Tom. For my children surviving (though we can all see a toll in their minds and hearts, but that’s another story.) I’m just
So whether it actually was the practice of stopping and writing down what I’m thankful for, I’ll never know. Sometimes God works by making two things collide bringing a providence of actions and
then it is on us how we respond.
How to love a drunk is a love story. Yes, a valentine.
An excerpt from the article I have been writing:
It is breathtaking for me to think how much Tom loves me and showed it both with his long-suffering gentle care. And, in the act of telling me he couldn’t take it any longer he faced his greatest fears. He was potentially losing me either way. That letter confronting my addiction was selfless love.
After drinking an entire bottle of white wine the night before, I was scared to death. And God’s spirit had been graciously preparing my heart, perhaps for years. Tom’s letter and my readiness collided and became the catalyst.
I was ready. That was our miracle. That’s what it looks like to love a drunk.
Honestly there are no sweet guarantees. But Tom never gave up on me. When we married twenty years ago, pledging in sickness and in health neither of us knew what a high price IN SICKNESS contained.