In this book I’m reading called, Nothing Good Can Come From This, the chapters are their own individual essays. There’s one particular essay that really stood out to me, not because I agree with everything the author wrote, but because there was one paragraph that really stopped and made me think. Understand something about myself that I hadn’t realized before…
I can’t quote it word-for-word, because I don’t honestly remember the correct wording, but the gist of it was that Kristin (the author) admitted to being unable to accept that she would never experience the rush of butterflies, the exhilarating feeling of dating, of romance ever again in her life. She was married for almost twenty years, she loved her husband, she loved the life they’d built for the most part, but she was also… bereft, lonely in it. She wanted more, while her husband–as they grew older–wanted less and less. He was happy in his pursuits, and both of them understood that each needed to have these, but Kristin was a more passionate person, and her needs, her feelings were slowly dying, not being understood or met. And sometimes this drove her to drink b/c she wanted to “pretend” just for awhile that her life was more exciting than it was, that her marriage was more exciting. She searched for her “butterflies” in her booze.
I sat there after I read this paragraph, and I just stared out my windshield. Lost in a daze. An “a-ha” moment at its finest. I realized then and there that THIS was a big part of my depression, my on-going battle with drinking too much. When I drink, not only do I feel like life still holds possibilities, that I’m still young and can still have dreams, but I feel like romance does not have to be dead. It doesn’t have to be JUST me who plans dates, who sends sweet texts, who writes meaningful emails, or picks up the phone and calls just to say, “Hi.” In my buzzed state I can pretend that I still have this ahead of me, that Rob is still young, that he still has so much in front of him, that he’ll figure this out about me and will start to want to get to know me again. Will ask deep questions. Will enjoy spending time with me. Really enjoy it like back when we dated. I dream…
Until I come down. And then I get emotional. Sad. Weepy. Irritated. Depressed. Annoyed. And I realize that I’ve done this TO MYSELF once again. I’ve looked for excitement in the bottle, a rush of adrenaline, a feeling of euphoria because all of my life’s decisions feel like they’ve already been made, and I’m just a silent observer, a person in the backseat along for the ride.
Like Kristin, I love my husband. I do. I love the life we’ve built together. But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t also lonely in it, wasn’t feeling like Rob and I are no longer meeting in the middle on what we both need or want out of our relationship. It’s like our marriage is set in stone. Hardened into concrete. Our chance at making any changes, putting our hands in it and creating something different, have passed. I don’t know when it happened. While I was drinking too much?? Maybe. Yeah, maybe.
I’m partly to blame. I didn’t stand up for myself more. Make my needs known until they were literally eating away at me. I waited too long. And now whenever I dare my open my mouth about “romance,” I’m seen as “needy.” It’s an argument. It’s NOT the direction I want the conversation to go. It leaves us more distant than before, and I’m at a loss for what to do.
But I will not give up. I will NEVER give up.
Because I love him.