That Girl Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

Sober Mommies That Girl Doesn't Live Here Anymore

I met my significant other during the last two years of my active drug addiction, so he has seen me behave pretty badly. He was the one standing next to me apologizing for my behavior while we were out, and often came home from work to find me loaded on the couch.

I should mention, he’s one of those “normal” folks that can drink responsibly. That being said, when I got to the point in my recovery when it was time to take responsibility for my behavior, I did. I sat him down and apologized for the worry I put him through; the embarrassment, and the fact that he was often the target of my emotional tailspins.

It went very well. He listened, accepted my apologizes, and told me he was proud of all the changes I was making to ensure I would not repeat my old behavior. That was two years ago, and we haven’t really spoken much about it since.

Last night I showed him a random pizza recipe I found online, and told him I wanted to make it because it looked clever. He responded with, “I used to bring something just like that home all the time. You just don’t remember because you were always drunk.”

Whoa. Really?! I thought we covered this.

I was instantly pissed. Like red hot angry. Then I just felt really embarrassed because I realized he hasn’t forgotten a thing. Not. One. Moment.

Did I really expect him to forget the past? Just because I did all this work to become this shiny, happy new version of myself doesn’t make that other version of me any less real to him.

Sometimes I envy my friends who have partners who are also in recovery. I think this is one of those times. Maybe someone in recovery would know not to remind me of that ugly person I used to be; after accepting that that girl doesn’t live here anymore.

Maybe I just don’t like being reminded that she ever existed in the first place.



photo credit: Zoƫ Campbell via photopin cc

Rachel has been in recovery since October 29, 2010, and she’s not afraid to speak out about it. She lives in Michigan with her husband and two daughters.

11 Comments on “That Girl Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

  1. my husband has known me through my alcoholism and my recovery . ive sat down and apologized , when he gets mad and reminds me of things ive done ive looked up and said i know im sorry i did some pretty f$### things i cant rewind it but im here and im sober and im sorry . now that said it isnt always easy to let go of the bad not for us and not for our partners , we have to remind ourselves that we are sober today , that is foremost important and in due time people will forgive and move forward , we make living amends we try our best and as much as being reminded of the awful people ( well i know i was not a pretty drunk more like a raving bitch ) we were when we were active it is apart of us it doesnt go away we can only keep on trucking live for today .

    • Thank you Ginny, sometimes staying in today isn’t my strong suit! Especially when I start “feeling the feels!” Embarrassment for past behavior is a icky one for me, but it’s gone from crippling shame to embarrassment, so I’m making progress! Thank you for your presence here, we LOVE you!

  2. Well I wish I could say things are different when your spouse significant other is in recovery, but my personal experience is it’s not. We have had our share of arguments that start with a random topic but the end result always!! Ends up with my relapses. Yes he has also relapsed but I do not bring that up. I get questioned and attacked for things well over a year ago. I don’t think it’s fair and I end up feeling resentful that it’s constantly thrown in my face. I wish I knew the solution. I used drugs and he used alcohol. He views them differently. Mine are illegal? Anyway, I can’t stay trapped in the past, we only have today. I must keep my side of the street clean and what he does or thinks is none of my business. But boy does it hurt!! And I sometimes struggle if I can keep doing this with him. Live in the past or worry about the future robs me of today

    • I am Gail’s spouse and what she writes about my behavior is absolutely correct. I struggle with fears and resentments. I threw away 5 years of continuous sobriety when she relapsed, and became full of fear and resentment. Sometimes I, too struggle if I can keep doing this with her. We have never relapsed together – always separate at different times. My belief is that when a couple is in active addiction at the same time, it can be extremely volatile. Lies, bitterness, yelling, name-calling, and hurt feelings are just a few of the unpleasantries we exhibit towards each other. Afterward, I am ashamed and think to myself “what if our children witnessed this”? Thank God they are grown and not around much. We are expecting our first grandchild in a few months, and I am worried that we will not be permitted to care for the baby without supervision because of our relapses.

      • Gary, I feel for you, man I do. You have my support in your journey. I found that my apologizes were always best taken after a pattern of serious behavior & personality change. I’m sure you’re working hard to do just that. Thank you for bravely diving in among all these women! You have our support too, Sober Daddy/Soon-to-be-Grandpa.

    • Thank you Gail for responding. It was such a shock to have this conversation with him. I guess sometimes I’m sure another recovering addict WOULD NEVER say such things & I have to remind myself that just isn’t the case. Thank you for your candor & support here on Sober Mommies

  3. As the child of an alcoholic parent (who died without ever gaining sobriety) and now the spouse of an alcoholic…I can say with absolute certainty, that no…you never forget. Forgive, and support? Yes. Forget? No. That being said, my spouse is fresh out of rehab for the 4th time since Nov 2011, and I have found each stint to be more emotionally, physically, and psychologically taxing ON ME than the previous one. Each time eats away at my heart and hope for just a moment of “normal life”, as well as my trust in and respect for my spouse. Try as I may, avoiding talk of past behaviors is difficult, despite the pain and bitterness it envokes. Since recovery is all about the addict, as it should be, and their life is consumed by meetings , making sober friends, learning how to adjust as a new person in an old environment… sometimes I feel very alone, and wonder why the hell I wished and prayed for my spouse’s sobriety. Because honestly, at times…I’m not sure what’s worse: me living a life without my spouse due to debilitating alcoholism, or my spouse living a life I’m not really part of, while on a quest for sobriety. I guess that’s why addiction of any kind is so hard on loved ones. Because recovery is a blind leap of faith.

  4. as the spouse of a recovering addict, i can say you never forget all the bad things that were said and done. those feelings dont ever go away for me. they are just buried waiting to be it is like it was just yesterday and that old wound is opened right back up!!

  5. Dear Anonymous & Mary Beth,
    Thank you so much for sharing this side of the disease of addiction. I often get so wrapped up in the MY of recovery, I forget. Your words & the pain in them have got me thinking that maybe I need to do a little more thinking about YOUR side. Thank you for reading & supporting me & Sober Mommies. We need you. We support you. Thank you for living the alcoholic in your lives.

  6. Man, I want to say you forgive and forget but I don’t think it’s possible. I can forgive but I can’t forget. My Mom was an addict for most of my childhood and those wounds cut deep. I don’t think I ever threw her addiction in her face but if she questions something about that time I will bring up how it felt or how it hurt me. I try to respond based on who she is now as a person. Repeated behavior of clean living is Important to rebuild trust though.

  7. Thank you, Kerry for your time & support. He just really caught me off guard, I hadn’t realized that he still thought about all that stuff. Sometimes I just get wrapped up in my own recovery that I forget he’s on this journey too! It’s helpful to know the other side of it at times to pull me back!

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