Some people look at addiction as a disease, an affliction, or a choice. In a matter of speaking, it’s all three. There is a choice to use, but there is also a genetic predisposition to become an addict. I was addicted to playing a certain online game back in the late 90s. It was a text-based MMO… basically a text-based World of Warcraft. I realized I was spending every waking moment on it. I stopped playing, and I have not played that type of game again. I rarely play games. I play one game on my phone, and that’s it. I’ve never understood addiction. I didn’t want to get addicted to World of Warcraft, so I never played it.
Being married to an addict is a far different experience. It does not help me understand it from a first-person perspective, but I better understand the consequences to the addiction. My thought was always, “Just don’t buy the beer. You can’t drink it, if you don’t have it.” What I do not understand is the pull of the addiction. I do not understand how someone can justify buying it, whether it was a hard day at work (which seems to be every day is a hard day). I do understand that I cannot control other people.
Having had surgery, I’m getting a much more acute look at things. Since I cannot do anything, I’m seeing the flaws in my previous thinking. I got home from the hospital, and I went straight to bed. The wife came home and was a good nurse for the first couple of hours. Checked my blood pressure and my pulse and checked to see if I needed anything. Once she was a few beers in, I was on my own. Last night, I took my Vicodin (I still hate that drug) at 8PM. I took two Advil at 10PM. I woke up this morning at 8AM in the most pain I’ve felt in a long time. It wasn’t bad lying down, but I had to get up. With my entire right groin screaming at me as I did. It was bad enough, I almost pissed myself. Twelve hours without “real” pain meds. The wife fell asleep on the floor last night, made it into bed at some point last night, but left to finish sleeping on the couch sometime before 8AM. There was no help. There’s just my dad in my head saying, “Suck it up, buttercup!” I had no other choice.
In the realm of addiction, I do not matter. Sure, she will say I do, and she probably believes it; however, any time I inconvenience the addiction, hostility emerges, even if there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it. I’ve heard, “I’m going to change” for three years. I’ve done everything I can to help facilitate that. This is where that choice comes into play. Saying she’s going to change is different than actually choosing she is going to change.