This weekend was a complete eye opener for me. We took a trip to Akron, Ohio for founders day. Also known as the birth place of Alcoholics anonymous. I should first start off by saying I, personally am not much of a drinker. I never have been and haven’t cared to be. Alcohol physically and mentally does nothing for me. So you may be wondering just how alcoholics anonymous saved my life than. Drinking was never my real problem, it was my husbands. However being married and in a relationship with a drinker, that means it also becomes your problem. I met my husband years ago, we went to the same school and it just so happened he was my cousins best friend. We met and hung out once and then went our separate ways. It wasn’t until years later that we would meet and our relationship would move fast. I can’t remember just when it was that we started this relationship but it’s been years. When we started hanging out that second time around things moved rather fast and within weeks I was living with him. Now his alcoholism wasn’t a secret to me, but hey all kids drink right? Throughout the years drinking was our go to thing, it didn’t matter if it was a good day, a bad day or just a regular day, drinking was the every day thing. At first I saw no problem with this, I just figured we were young it was fun. I don’t know just when I realized the drinking was more of a fun thing to do, but realized his drinking wasn’t normal. Drinking became the thing to do every day. It was what our lives revolved around, how to get that next drink or where the next party was. And personally, for me it wasn’t always very fun being the anti social person I am. However drinking was what we did, how we spent our time. Little did I know drinking would cause me to become a babysitter, caretaker, and everything else that go’s along with it. After a while drinking became a source of many fights, years of cheating, lies and hiding things. I would dread every weekend coming up knowing that just meant hour long trips to the bar, having to babysit him, and drive him around, watch how much he was spending, watch what drugs he was taking. I never knew the drinking would later become the one thing that destroyed our relationship. If you couldn’t find him, you always knew to go look at the bar and if he wasn’t there it was an all night search party, it became driving all around and calling friends, looking in ditches, calling hospitals trying to find out just where he ended up, or whos bed he was in. That was one thing that always destroyed me, the cheating. I became the one person who was always taking care of him, driving him places, putting him to bed, taking care of him when he couldn’t take care of himself and here he was off in a car or bed with another girl that wasn’t me. I think on the surface to most people his drinking looked normal, however underneath it all I knew it was much more than normal. But I would never say anything, because I mean he was going to work (most of the time), his bills were getting paid (most of the time), and things were going ok (most of the time), but it was hell. No one quite understood how I could deal with this stress week after week, with the hour long screaming matches of why he always had to drink. I made it work though, I heard all the lies, the stories of what happened and why it happened and everything in between. And you may think it was stupid of me to stay, but I was in love with this man and when you love someone you take the good with the bad. When he was good, he was good, but when he was bad, my god was he bad. The hardest thing for me was the phone calls and texts. Now most people may be smart and know never to go through there spouses phones, but I had to. I’d lay in bed next to this man, who was just an hour before laying in bed with another woman. I wasn’t stupid, I knew what he was doing, I saw the messages, answered the calls, had friends sending the pictures but still I remained in love. Crying became my everyday ritual. But this monster was much stronger than him, and hey he wasn’t a mean drunk or a loud one, he was everyone’s best friend so what could go wrong, Right? We broke up every week, but I never left. I couldn’t, I didn’t have it in me to leave. I mean this was the man I loved, that I was going to spend forever with. Wasn’t I? Fast forward to years down the road, the drinking was still an issue but I could handle it. We moved out of state, away from our friends and families and hey things would be better than right? I mean he’d be away from his bars and drinking buddies and all the stress and we’d be happy. Or would we? Things started off ok , we knew no one and he was just hanging out around the house drinking. So I had nothing to worry about, or did I? His drinking started progressing, and while working he would go out to bars to pass the time. Our bills weren’t being paid, we were facing eviction every month and things were quickly falling apart. And here I was, hundreds of miles away from my friends and family, with no one. There he was, out drinking and turning everything into a party, talking to other girls, screwing other girls while I was trapped. I tried so hard to make this relationship work, I couldn’t prove everyone else right and let them see our relationship fail. Until that night, that one scary night that it all ended. His father had passed away, his uncle had cancer, we were losing our house, and fighting as always. But that night was different, that night he was angry and nothing was going to change that. And talking to him about it, well talking was not going to help this time. He punched holes in the wall, he yelled, he screamed, he threw things, he was finally out of control. But I loved him, still. I was scared though, scared at the anger that was inside him, the violence that was coming out of him. Who was this man? This was not the guy I knew, everyone’s best friend, the happy drunk. This man was something else and I was in fear. I called anyone and everyone that would listen. Anyone who could tell me how I should handle it. After calling the cops and being able to do nothing, I did what I had to do to what I thought would save my life. I left, I packed up my dog and a few small things and I made the 12 hour drive back home, at 12:30 at night by myself. Scared and eyes full of tears. He called and asked me to come back but how could I? How could I go back to the man who just made me fear for my life, knowing I’d been in that position before. I had to be strong and leave. Things were hard over the next few months. I still loved this man, every day was spent calling and texting him, begging and pleading for him to come back to me, that it was all a mistake. But for him, it wasn’t a mistake. It was a way for him to get out of this relationship and do what he wanted. He was able to go and drink freely, he was able to screw whoever, not that being in the relationship really ever stopped him from doing that anyways. It took months, but we were finally able to start talking again, he joined AA. I was proud of him, but I was also moving on with my life. This was the man I once loved and planned a future with. I couldn’t go back though, he hurt me to much, and I was moving on enjoying my life. I was proud of him for his sobriety but I wasn’t holding on to hope. Months later we got back together and he was still in AA, and he was a new man. Not the man I recognized and fell in love with, but there was still something there. Fast Forward – March 9th, 2015 the day that saved our lives. That is his sobriety date, that is the day everything changed, that is the day he became the man I always knew he was. See, the reason I say A.A saved my life, and not just his is because we were a team. This incredible program changed him into the man he is today, the man that I can trust to go out with friends and know he’s not going to come up missing, the man who can pay his bills on time, and provide for his family. The man who I knew all along was somewhere inside. It has been a journey, a long road, but traveling it with him has been amazing. Things are not always perfect, but we don’t fight all the time, we pay our bills on time, we work together and make decisions together. The hardest part for me to deal with has always been the cheating, I’m not going to lie and say I’ve completely gotten over it, because how do you move on from that. How do you forget the person you gave your all to, you took care of for years saw nothing wrong with laying with another woman. But I deal with it, I remember it was the disease and though I don’t completely let that take the blame, I accept what has happened and I try to forget about it. It’s not easy but it is what it is. I always wanted to know the truth, and the truth is what I got. I think part of me wasn’t fully ready though, even though I knew as much as I did. A. A saved our relationship though, A.A helped him become a better person. Going to founders day opened my eyes, and was an incredible experience. To think where and how it all started and knowing that saved my husbands life, saved my life.