So C is going bushy-tail this January. That’s his description of a month of sobriety. Back when we were dating and maybe the first year or two of our marriage, he would cut the booze for the month of January, but it’s been years.
We’d talk about it, and some years even attempt it, but after Week 1, or sometimes only after a few days without, we’d find excuses and slowly slip back into it.
Before I quit, I started to noticing the trend – our inability to get through even a few weeks without alcohol, and it was one of the reasons I quit. I used to worry about both of us, but after quitting I’ve had to create a boundary. My journey is mine. His journey will be different. I’m not going to worry about, or be bothered by, his drinking.
But now, with only a week under his belt, the difference is hard to ignore.
He is more present, more patient, more focused. His eyes actually LOOK at me when they look at me. He seems to be really listening when I talk, not impatiently waiting for me to finish so he can say something or go back to watching TV.
In the evenings, when the difference is most noticeable, his posture is better, his face more alert, his eyes clearer. His face is less puffy. He’s not passing out on the couch by 8:30pm.
During the day, when you might imagine there wouldn’t be much difference, there HAS been. He is more clear-headed, more present. He notices me more. For example, he noticed when I was struggling with the boys this weekend, and patiently stepped in. Then later, he actually said that he “saw me struggling more when I was tired” which felt like an epiphany. Not the fact that I struggle more when I’m tired (duh), but the fact that he NOTICED it and then SAID SOMETHING TO ME about it. I don’t mean for that to sound facetious.
I’m trying to stay really quiet about it all, but if he brings it up I’m trying to be as supportive as I can be without wanting it too much, which could come across as pressure and trigger a negative reaction.
So far, he’s only brought it up a couple times, and both times he has primarily mentioned the negative effects he’s noticed (having a harder time falling asleep at night and waking up in the morning, still feeling really tired in the afternoon… has only felt truly “hangover-free” one of the mornings so far, etc).
I want to yell, “Its so worth it! Just wait, it will pay off in spades!” and selfishly, “you’re such a nicer person to be around!!! it’s so nice to actually be SEEN by you!” but I know that the more I extol the virtues, the more likely he is to dismiss the whole thing.
So I’m trying to stay quiet.