Tuesday, February 5th, Day 154, Helping My Husband
My husband says he likes Tuesdays because Tuesday is for two’s–including the two of us.
If you would like to join me in this journey from the beginning, please start with Day One.
Savouring Life’s Joys
We had beautiful warm weather the past few days. Yesterday it was especially warm. My aim from now on is to think pleasant thoughts as much of the time as I possibly can. That way I can be happy, and I believe I will experience more joy.
I have a plastic tub full of essential oils. Today, I want to enjoy them. I think I will open a few of the bottles and smell the scents. I have
- wild chamomile
- lavender fields
- Roman chamomile
- Cinnamon Bear
- clary sage
- tea tree
Let me savor these tiny treasures. Sonja Lyubomirsky, positive psychology researcher, mentioned ‘savoring life’s joys’ as one of her twelve ways to increase happiness. I thought of savoring essential oils.
Now that I have summoned my sense of smell, what other pleasantries could I partake of? Last night and the night before, I visualized Thanksgiving Gardens, now Ashton Gardens, a beautiful place to which I used to go. I especially like the walled ‘secret garden’ and the trellis rows of velvety roses that bloom with abundance in June. Every spring, the place has a Tulip Festival teaming with over one million tulips of all types and colors.
On February 1, 2008, I put on a concert called “Romantic Enchantment” with my black ebony baby grand piano. A few days later, I invited over a man I had been dating who happened to know my parents when he was in college. I invited him for a private redo of my piano concert. He brought me a bouquet of fresh tulips. I will never forget the tulips; the concert turned out terrific too. The relationship? Though I still did not know it, my husband-to-be had come to the main concert a few days before. I knew he came, but I did not know he would eventually become my husband.
Later, I would realize why the tulip man was not the right one. He was good for tulips but maybe not for a nest. Now I have my husband and my nest.
He Will Stop Drinking For a Time, At Least
My husband is vomiting again this morning for the third time since we have lived here. He says, “I don’t know where it came from.”
“It’s your alcohol, sweetie,” I said.
To him, it has been the “stomach flu,” but I have been pretty sure that each time it has been from alcohol.
The beautiful thing is that he will stop drinking for a time until he recovers. Whether he will ever get it, I do not know, but I can hope that if this keeps happening repeatedly, he will eventually get it. What do I mean by “get it”? I hope that he will get it that his vomiting is caused by alcohol, and he does not have to keep going through this. I am glad his body is able to protect itself, even if it is in this fashion.
I just got him some water from the Berkey filter, which he will drink during these circumstances. Last time, I worked strenuously to be sure he did not get dehydrated, and I think what I did worked.
Can I think pleasant thoughts during these circumstances? Of course I can. I could say, “Woe is me. I can never be happy.” But that would be so far from the truth. In fact, I have a wonderful husband, a wonderful relationship, a wonderful home. I am going to support him through this, no matter the cause.
He says he does not want any wine right now. That is just as I suspected. He will stop drinking for a time. His body is truly protecting him.
Just now, I made some delicious, juicy, sweet, tart gingered lemonade with a huge lemon from Costco. After drinking it, I always feel good as gingered lemonade is a mood lifter. I had some last night before retiring as well.
Lessons From NASA
I have in front of me all of the raw material to create a happy life. Sometimes I remember the scene from Apollo 13 where they are faced with learning how to make a CO2 scrubber device in space to save the astronauts, but they must do it within a strict time limit with nothing but what is already on board. At the command center, they threw a pile of thing-a-ma-bobs on the table and said they must figure out how to make it in so much time, out of this. They did and saved the astronauts’ lives. Likewise, I have what I have and with it, I need to create my own life.
How Do I Accomplish That With Just This?
My husband needs a haircut. Actually, I could use one too. Yesterday, I worked hard to cajole him to the hairdressers when the weather was nice. No luck. Today, he is “sick” and will not travel.
I have a trimmer, a clipper, and shears. However, I do not have experience using them. I could try, and learn by trial and error, or I could wait until later when maybe he will be willing to go to the hairdressers. Another option is to bring in a mobile hairdresser. We did that for the wedding, but that seems like an unnecessary expense. Perhaps the first thing to do is to let him get feeling better, rather than going at his head with a trimmer.
We have the equipment. I could just use more knowledge and experience. The only way to get more experience is to do it.
I offered to cut my husband’s hair, and he said, “Not now.” I will have to try later. Getting the timing right is hard to do.
Meditation and JV Life Tracker
I did my meditation and JV Life Tracker. Now I am started on my Big Four (Cronometer, JV Life Tracker, blog/journal, and meditation).
What Will It Take For Him to Get It?
My husband is vomiting again in the living room. Fortunately, I left a lined wastepaper basket near him. I do not want to shove it down his throat that this is caused by alcohol, but I have mentioned it every time he has an episode like this. I am hoping and praying that he will get it. As violent as vomiting is, it may not be discomforting enough to arouse him away from the dangers of drinking. However, I will pray anyway.
Thank you for the beautiful, warm weather we are having. I am grateful for the blessings You have given me, especially for my beautiful relationship with my husband.
If There Is Anything I Can Do, Teach Me What It Is
As You know, my husband has a weakness for wine. It appears to me that after a time, his blood alcohol becomes dangerously high, and his body protects him by inducing vomiting. It is my prayer, Lord, that my husband will enliven himself to become free of these episodes and other symptoms of his drinking and become a free man. What will it take? If there is anything I can do, teach me what it is. For now, I am being as loving as I can. If You will do anything in behalf of my husband, at my request, will You do it? Let me know what to ask for and inform me of my part.
Help Me To Remain Happy
Lord, help me to remain happy, despite what is going on. Fill my mind with pleasant thoughts. Already, this has happened several times. Each time my husband has survived. A pleasant thought is that he is going to survive this time, and while going through it, he will not even drink. It is possible that he needs this episode in order to survive his alcohol intake, so I am grateful it is happening.
I Pray That He Will See It
I pray that he will see that he does not need to go through this, that he will recognize what he can do about it, and that he will get the support he needs. I have been a support to him in the past when he has been sober for years at a time. However, my support alone is insufficient.
Perhaps, Lord, I can learn something from Maxwell Maltz. My husband has sobered up before, but his self-image may still be that of a drinker. Perhaps I need to do self-image work with him. How could I do that? It might be advantageous to start today, while he is partially sober. What in his self-image causes him to go back to his drinking? What change in his self-image would extinguish that behavior?
I Can Only Imagine
I recently watched a film titled, I Can Only Imagine. It was about a songwriter who learned to forgive his alcoholic father. His father transforms and becomes a real dad. His father found Christ, which started his transformation. The son later goes on to write a hit song. Is it possible that my husband has not really found Christ? We worship together, he prays, but does my husband really know you?
The Prodigal Son
Just now, I got out the Bible that Jacque gave me for my husband. I showed it to him, and told him it was his. He asked me to put it with my books. I said, “I already have. I hoped you would read it. Would you like to read, ‘The Prodigal Son’, Luke 15?” He said he was too sick to read. I asked him if I could read to him, and he said yes, so I read him that story. Afterwards, he said he liked it. I told him others believed that Heavenly Father was like the father in that story. “Whatever you have done, Heavenly Father will welcome you back like that.”
I do not know that my husband identifies with the prodigal son, but there may be some feeling of unworthiness in him, from his many years of drinking. Always after breakups in the past, I have let my husband know I accepted him and welcomed him back. God welcomes us back as well. I have wandered off from You myself and felt Your loving arms around me as You welcomed me back. One reason I knew without a doubt that I was welcomed back is that I was familiar with Your story of The Prodigal Son.
Is There Anything More I Can Do?
Lord, that story is great. Is there anything more I can do to reach my husband?
Lord: Keep doing what you are doing.
But Lord, I want to see results.
Lord: You have. Your husband is softening every day.
That is true. Our relationship is becoming something truly beautiful. My husband says, ‘I love you’ about every day now. He used to never say that. He was afraid of the word ‘love’.
Lord: You have taught him what love is.
Lord, You have taught me what love is. Sometimes it is long-suffering. I have been long-suffering with my husband. However, my suffering now is mild compared to the past. There is joy now. When my husband pats me on the back, I know it means love. When he calls me T-U-R-K-E-Y, I know it is a love word.
Lord: That is right. KaeLyn, you are working a miracle in your husband and in yourself.
What more can I do? It seems to take so long to see results.
Lord: How long have you been married?
Five and a half months.
Lord: A blink of the eye.
Can I Heal His Self-Image?
Can I heal his self-image?
Lord: What has he said to you?
He said, “I never dreamed [marriage] could be this good.”
What Has Your Support Meant To Him?
Lord: What has your support meant to him?
He says, “Without you, I’m done.” However, I do not want him to use me just in order to keep drinking.
Lord: I see your concern. Can you help him become more independent?
It seems like the more I do for him, the more he depends on it.
Lord: What can you do about that?
I went to Utah once and left him for a week. He was okay. I asked his son and Jacque to check on him.
Lord: What else?
I call him ‘baby’ because he is so dependent. However, the whole point of mothering babies is to help them become more independent.
Lord: What else do you do?
I let him alone a lot while I work on my blog.
Lord: Good idea.
Maybe It Would Be A Good Idea To Go Out More
Maybe it would be a good idea to go out of the condo more. I do not leave my husband alone very often. I have been afraid to. Probably that is a problem with me more than it is with him. What do you think?
Lord: Why do you not ask him?
He thought he would like me to stay home today, but in the coming while, he thought I could do a few things.
Lord, there is an errand I need to do today, but it can wait for a few days until my husband is feeling better. Is there anything I can do about my driving anxiety? I get so tired from driving I cannot function the rest of the day.
Lord: You tense up when you drive?
I must. Maxwell Maltz talked about the importance of relaxation. I have an excellent driving record. However, I am very tense.
Lord: What have you tried?
I have tried just driving anyway. I can force myself when I have no other choice but to drive. I have also tried Joseph Clough’s “Driving Phobia” hypnosis mp3.
Lord: What did Maxwell Maltz say about hypnosis?
He said that it works if you believe what the hypnotist is saying. It is a matter of belief.
Lord: What if I told you that you are very relaxed when driving?
That certainly has not been the case so far.
Lord: What if I said, “From this time henceforth, KaeLyn, you are extremely relaxed when driving?”
Would I risk falling asleep if I believed that?
Lord: That is your real fear.
When I had chronic fatigue syndrome, I felt drowsy most of the time. I developed a fear of falling asleep at the wheel.
Lord: Did you?
No, but I developed a hyper-alert tense state that kept me awake. Now, I am not afraid of sleeping at the wheel, but I have to sleep after I get home, I get so exhausted.
Lord: Do you still have chronic fatigue syndrome?
When I drive, it still seems like it.
Changing The Future
Lord: How important is this to you?
I tried using Lyft as an alternative, but that gets very expensive. Most of the time, I just do not go anywhere. It means I have a homebody lifestyle.
Lord: Is that good?
I have adapted to it, but I wish things were different. I have all but given up on changing. However, I decided to ask you again if there was anything I could do.
Lord: There is.
I thought it might be an allergy to gasoline, but I do not experience the same degree of fatigue when someone else is driving. The problem mainly occurs when I am driving, and if I drive someone else it can be even worse because I get nervous about their safety.
Lord: So, how certain are you that it is an anxiety problem?
That seems pretty certain. I even call it my ‘driving anxiety.’ I believe I have accurately characterized it. Now that I do not drive much, my anxiety increases even more because I fear that my inexperience is going to make me dangerous on the road.
Lord: So the problem gets worse over time.
Yes. And I have some imperfections on the left side of my visual field that I get very nervous about.
How serious are they?
I still do not need eyeglasses to drive, but my left eye is slowly going blind. I have temporary white-outs, cloudiness, and blurriness on my left side. They can happen without warning.
Lord: Would you rather not drive at all?
I have considered that possibility. For now, I think I can still do it. The relaxation might work. How can I implement it?
Lord: First, believe that it will work.
How can I, without proof?
Lord: Try it. If it does not work, the worst you have to do is sleep the rest of the day.
I guess that outcome is not fatal.
Lord: However, you are still worried that if you feel relaxed, you are going to fall asleep.
And that could be fatal.
Lord: Did you get help from a counselor on this?
I did. He asked me to evaluate what the danger of driving actually was. I learned from the Web there were no road fatalities of women in my age group in the Salt Lake area the previous year.
Lord: So what did that tell you?
Driving is probably actually safer than what I previously expected.
Lord: KaeLyn, can you decide today that you want to keep driving for now?
There should not be any problem running the few errands I have. Most of them are within one mile, and the risk is almost nil. However, I still get exhausted from those short trips.
Lord: So you want to be able to at least do that?
I intend to do that.
Lord: Good. Let us make it a little easier. First, to relax you a bit, let us make driving a daily thing. You go too long between trips and that increases your anxiety. What could you do on a daily basis?
I do not remember having this problem when I commuted to work every day, though I remember being exhausted at work, so I may have had it. I just attributed the exhaustion to chronic fatigue syndrome itself rather than driving.
Lord: Yea. It has been so long since then, you do not remember for sure.
That is true.
Lord: That was then, and now is now.
One thing I could do daily is go to the recreation center.
Except that could mean being away from my husband for a long time. I would worry about him.
Lord: What about helping him become more independent?
I could help him and myself become more independent.
Lord: And give you a life. Perhaps you could meet new friends.
That would be awesome. Do you promise me I will be extremely relaxed?
Lord: KaeLyn, promise yourself that. Give relaxation as a gift to yourself. Tell yourself you have been extremely safe all your life. Now you can just relax.
The facility is just 1.1 miles away. If I got committed to it, I could possibly even lose weight.
6 In 1 Goal
So, if I were to:
- help my husband become more independent by leaving him for a time each day
- overcome my driving anxiety by becoming more relaxed about driving by doing it more frequently
- lose weight by exercising each day
- increase my overall fitness
- break my social isolation by making new friends
- have something new and exciting to talk about each day in my blog
If I did all of this at once, what would you say?
Lord: Do it one day at a time. Put it in JV Life Tracker.
Maybe I should create a “Big Five” from my Big Four and include it.
Lord: I would.
I am just afraid of telling my husband. He may block this.
Lord: Let us deal with that.
Should I just not tell him what I am doing?
Lord: Does he love you?
He says he does.
Lord: What if you told him all the reasons you felt this was a good move?
He might go for it; he might not. When I am on the self-improvement rampage, he always gets nervous. He says he loves me just the way I am, and I do not need to improve.
Lord: That is the way he was. What is the way he is?
I guess I do not really know. He seems to improve his attitude and love every single day. Perhaps if I can leave him for a week to go to Utah, I can leave him for an hour to go exercise.
The next while is supposed to be stormy. Perhaps I can wait to get started.
Lord: What do you say to yourself?
There are two kinds of people: those who start today and those who say they will start tomorrow. I am saying I may not even start tomorrow.
Lord: Get yourself ready.
Should I listen to Joseph Clough’s “Driving Phobia” mp3?
Lord: Do you have driving phobia?
No, I just have a hard time relaxing behind the wheel.
Lord: Then I would not think of it as a phobia. I would make a new recorded meditation you can post online about your success with this. Make it relaxing.
I can do that. Maybe tomorrow when the snow flies, I can get it written up and recorded.
Lord: I suggest you do that.
Will You help me with it?
Lord: I help you with everything.