Recently, I listened to an interview with Alain de Botton on the On Being podcast, he spoke about the true hard work of love and relationships. The host, Krista Tippet, introduced him saying he speaks and writes about how love deepens and stumbles, survives and evolves over time, and how that process has much more to do with ourselves than what is right or wrong about our partner. She continued to state the question that Botton says should be the first date question, “How are you crazy? I’m crazy like this.” .
Listening to this interview brought clarity to me as I am not only starting to blog about my journey of being married to my love, a man who struggles with anxiety, depression and is in recovery from addiction, but also I am preparing to teach a class, A Perspective on Addiction (which is now the class, Set Boundaries with Compassion and Love. In this class, we will be sharing the tools I have learned and use while being in love with, married to, and parents with, someone with the disease of addiction.
When I think about the question “How are you crazy?” Looking back over 15 years ago when we fell in love, I probably could have identified that he was the crazy one because he was in recovery from alcoholism. I definitely would not have, at that time, pointed to myself as the crazy one, who thought I could and would fix this man. A true codependent, a perfectionist, a bit of a control freak, I had many ways of being crazy (and still do, I’m human!)
I have had so much anxiety about sharing our story, as there is a lot of judgment, misunderstanding, secrecy, and denial around this disease.
I notice, that denial especially shows up in how addiction affects entire families- generations really, as wherever there is addiction it effects everyone even if they are not aware. Listening to this interview though, as de Botton spoke of love and relationships and the need to work on ourselves, I completely related. I have to thank my husband for the past 15 years of quite an incredible journey of growth, heartbreak, change, and healing. I have grown so much, learned new ways of living and being in relationship with him (and everyone else in my life), and I am grateful and hopeful I can pass along these tools to my stepson and daughter, as well as to students and clients. Join me for Set Boundaries with Compassion and Love to gain some tools to help you navigate and heal the craziness of loving in this addicted world we live in.