I was so naive and blindsided by this experience. Beyond all the worry about what our new “normal” would be, if indeed we ever had a normal again, I was consumed with fear that I wouldn’t be able to get past this, and that I would simply shift my criticism of his drinking to something else. I was terrified that I was just a person who found and pointed out faults in my spouse. And I desperately didn’t want to be that woman.
Journal entry: Sunday, February 5, 2017
In our life together, you are so physically weak, so fragile. But I saw a terrifying strength in you Thursday evening. But what type of strength will you bring to this fight when you wake up? I don’t know.
And I don’t know what I should or will do either.
You know my instinct is to dig deep and fight, but I hope I won’t do that to try to rally you out of lethargy and despair. I don’t think I owe it to you to ruin myself for you. I may have made a poor decision to stick by you all these years, but I hope I won’t continue on this path if you don’t work like hell.
This is your journey, Mazz, and I’m not the conductor.
So, where are you?
Where am I? What do I do? Maybe more importantly, what do I not do? The hardest thing for me is to walk away from a disaster, and for good or for bad, you are my disaster. The complexity of this makes me both set my jaw and try to keep my knees from buckling.
I’m afraid of staying. I’m afraid of leaving. I’m afraid of what others will say regardless of the decision I will make, and I resent that I care what others will think of me.
What does our life look like now? The alcohol is just the tip of the iceberg we will have to face. And Mazz Marry, read this loud and clear: I won’t fight this alone. In fact, I won’t even lead this fight. I’ll push you from behind, I’ll hold your hand, but I won’t drag you through this. Do you hear me?
I resent the money, the lies, the secrecy, the accusations, the lethargy, the apathy, the stupors, the times I had to make excuses, the sadness, the anger, the loss of my integrity, the lame-ass relationship you gave to Quinn these last five years and SO MUCH MORE.
I resent you. And I mourn that your big brain and soft heart wasn’t enough for you. And I love you. And I hate you. And I’m heartbroken for you and us. And I can’t see how we recover from this. And I’ve missed you for years.
Journal entry: Tuesday, February 7
I think, I hope!, you turned a corner tonight. You haven’t been on Precedex all day (the drug that put you in the ICU), and you are only on a small dosage of Ativan. The point was to take you off the Precedex and see if you could stay rational, which you mostly did today. That’s very good.
Today you were very sleepy, but then I have to imagine that your body has been fighting an epic battle these five days.
At one point you woke up and gently cradled my hand in yours.
Another time I asked you if you knew who I was. You said, “Yes.”
“Who am I?”
“You’re Dayna Del Val.”
“And who am I to you?”
“You’re my wife.”
So, here’s what’s hard. I keep forgetting that we’re just getting started. I want to think that we’ll get you out of the ICU and off these sedatives and that you’ll be better, but that’s not at all true. In fact, the real work hasn’t come close to getting started.
Wednesday, February 8
Talked with insurance today. Thank goodness it has excellent coverage for substance abuse. That’s one less thing to obsess about. At least we shouldn’t have to get a second mortgage or anything drastic.
Thursday, February 9
I’m not feeling very charitable about you today. It’s Giving Hearts Day (a huge online day of fundraising), which means I have all of that, in addition to regular work, Lilly and you.
I’m tired of trying to find parking at Sanford. I’m tired of sitting next to your bed for hours at a time. I’m tired of “living” in the hospital. Pretty much I’m just tired.
I’m fighting. Are you?
Next: Up and Down 5b (video)
Picture from October 2015. I now say that Dr Marry was like a waterbed in the last few years leading up to 2017. He was so puffy and water-logged; not at all the man I first met.
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Dayna Del Val