Fuck. This is a hard post to write.

The cursor is blinking at me.

What next?

This blank screen is sitting across from me, like a cynical friend, eyebrow raised, waiting for me to tell them the truth. Wanting the whole story.


Fuck it.

I’m going to rehab. 

There. I said it. I’m doing it. I’m going.

February 21. A week from tomorrow.

I chatted with the intake specialist last night. I’m calling her at noon to complete the registration, put in my deposit, and make it real.

I fell asleep crying last night. Damn Adele on the Grammy’s pushed me over the edge. Hubs and I were having a rare talk, and he wants me to go. He prefaced it with “Please, don’t misinterpret this, but we need some time apart. To figure out who we are and what we want.”

So I’m going to rehab. For a month.

I can’t blame him. It’s been 16 years and we’ve both changed. This addiction and disease has changed me. It has made me do things that aren’t me, and in turn, have changed us.

It broke my heart. Mostly because I knew it was coming, especially because I’ve thought the same. That we need time apart. That I need to unload this truckload of baggage.

Thinking it and hearing it from someone else though, those are two entirely different things.

I’m absolutely, fucking terrified. 

Sorry for all the ‘fucks’ this morning, but it’s seated in my gut. One huge, ever-growing FUCK, ready to be released after not giving any for so long.

This has been me for the last 5 years.

I’m terrified of leaving. Of leaving hubs and the dogs for 4 weeks. Of trying to manage 3 businesses while away. Of what he’ll go through while I’m not here. Of the prospect that he’ll realize he’s better off without me. That it could be the best 4 weeks of his life. That he can’t forgive me, after all, and that the damage I’ve done is too much to carry.

I’m terrified of confronting whatever is going to break through while I break down. Of going without while I detox, getting it all out of my system first, then my soul. Of changing. Of making the wrong choice, of going in the first place, or going to the wrong place.

I’m terrified at the prospect of not drinking all day, every single day. Of not smoking. Of having to redefine myself without those two things that have become the very essence of who I am and what I do.

I’m terrified of meeting myself again.

I’m terrified of losing more than I can gain.

How the fuck have I fucked up this much.

I made a deal, that when I’m gone, he’ll talk to someone, too. A professional. I’ve hurt him so much and despite his valiant attempts and dedication to putting it behind him, he has wounds that need to heal and I’m the worst kind of bandaid.

Me trying to help him is like using the same knife that stabbed you to sew up the stitches.

So many apologies need to happen.

To each other, to him, to my friends and family.

He said when I came back from my trip last April (when the Horrible-Awful happened) we did a good job of reconnecting. Of connecting, period. We made changes. We fell in love again.

We realized that all we ever wanted was each other. That we missed laying together. That we missed each other. Talking. Being friends, instead of colleagues. That the line between our marriage and our business needed better definition.

And we worked on it.

Then, like all good things around here, it faded back to where things were before I left.

Both of us sad and lonely.

Totally out of control. My drinking, my behaviour, my indifference to everything.

Sleeping alone. Drinking alone. Thinking alone.

Thinking too much.

Working side by side, day in and day out, yet we’re totally alone all the time, pouring companionship out of a bottle.

I can’t even try to fix us, until I work on fixing myself.

A broken vase can’t hold any flowers.

I’m lucky that he sees that. And oh, does he ever see it. He sees it to the point that he is wishing I’d just leave already and go do it.

Do anything.

I brought up last night that people always used to ask what “our secret” was. What the trick was to how happy we were, and how successful we were in love and everything we put our minds to accomplishing.

We would tell people the secret was that we never expected anything from each other. That we never asked for something from the other, and that we always supported the other in whatever they wanted to do, think or say.

To just keep being the person the other fell in love with.

When the hell did that stop.

Oh, right. When I became an alcoholic.

It’s interesting that I sat to write this morning with very little intention, other than to share that I am finally going to rehab, and make it real. That I’ve set a date.

That it’s 8 days away.

And here I am, hungover from last nights conversation. Terrified, heart broken and sad.

I sat there crying and he told me to stop, to be happy about this. To look forward to the transformation, to the journey, to be grateful for the opportunity.

And all I could hear is “I want you to leave.”

Sort of how I feel about the alcohol.

I have a disease, and he has one, too. ME.

I’ll write more later today, when I’ve wrapped my head around this hot mess.

I’ll write more when I’m a little less terrified.

Written by SJ VanDee

Recovery Blogger. Sober AF. Photographer. Storyteller. Writer.


  1. I am so proud of you for making this decision!! I know that it’s not an easy one to face. However, from reading this post it sounds like you have finally reached that point where you are ready?
    Facing are demons that we hide is often terrifying but I know that you can do this!
    Did I say I was so PROUD that you are taking this step?? 😘

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I am so happy to hear this. As the one who was in your hubby’s situation, I can say this: It won’t be the happiest four weeks of his life, but it WILL be a relief to him. It is a relief because for four weeks you know the person you love is safe. Safe. You don’t have to worry about coming home and finding him dead because he passed out in the bathtub, or that he lit the house on fire because he drank and fell asleep and didn’t put a cigarette out. I do not know your relationship, but I do know he will feel relief. He has been under stress just like you, just a different kind. He will miss you, he will be frustrated he has to do a lot of things alone, but the relief and comfort and happiness he will feel that you are getting help outweighs it all. That was me.

    Moving on, are you sure you have to give up smoking? Most rehabs don’t ask for patients to give up smoking while working on drinking. One is tough as it is!

    I also hate to be the one to remind you that the 28 days is the start … the greatest, bravest, most powerful start to a long, long journey. I am so proud of you. Alcoholism is a chronic disease that can’t be cured. That is scary, but that’s why you take it moment by moment, then day by day, then week by week (sort of like the grief I deal with from losing my husband to alcoholism, and that’s FOREVER). But it can be managed, and you can be successful. I know you can. My husband was starting to manage it, but his body couldn’t manage it anymore… he had done too much damage.

    I want you to live! Your husband wants you to live. Trust me on that. I will think of you every day while for the next month and a half. When you are back, and you start writing again, I will remind you “after care, after care, after care.” Keep focusing on your health.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Well, I’m allowed to smoke while there. But I resent smoking as much as I do drinking. It’s been 25 years. And if I’m going, I want to go all in. But, then again, I’d rather succeed at one than fail at both. I’m on the fence. I may try and then bail on the not smoking if it’s too much. Or just try the smoking when I get my bearings back when I come home. I don’t know…ugh


    1. Thank you SO MUCH for this Laura. I’m truly beginning to believe we were meant to connect 🙂 Your concerns you listed about coming home to me / Adam dead in a tub (Hubs has the same concern with me and the hot tub) or with the cigarette (I only smoke outside…but I have candle issues LOL) sounds so familiar. It’s hard on both of us right now, and the hard part is coming to terms that it’s my fault. I’ve admitted it. I need to accept it now, and fix it. Your concern for me and others is so inspiring…I honestly did not expect to find support here like I am. I started my blog 2 weeks ago today and I’m blown away, and much of what I’ve been reading, and connecting with people, has been that final little push I’ve needed to take these steps. So, thank you. What you’re doing is saving others – even if it’s just me. It’s helping to prevent my husband from going through what you’re going through. What you’re doing is painful, but selfless. Thank you again. Regarding the smoking…it’s an option. I don’t have to, and I’m more than welcome to smoke there. But, I’m torn – what’s the point of not drinking if I’m going to keep killing myself with cigarettes (25 years and counting). I hate smoking just as much. I resent it. I do understand it’s A LOT. It’s something I may attempt, but I’d rather succeed at one than fail at both. We will see.
      I’m hoping to keep blogging while away. They encourage journalling and I’d rather do it here than in a book. I’ll know more in a week, when I get there. Their focus is VERY much on after care. One of the four modules is spent specifically on building that after care regime and support group for the never-ending recovery. I’m terrified but willing. Which is a lot further along than I was last week. Or yesterday.
      I booked my flights. I’ve put the deposit down. All I need to do now is a HELL of a lot of work to prepare for being away for a month. It’s scary but the first steps always are. xo


      1. Scary is OK. My husband was very scared. “Blaming yourself” only works if you really go back to blaming yourself for the first time you tried alcohol. If you are an addict, you have compromised self-control. Your brain simply isn’t reacting the same way as a non-addict, which is why you have to fight and manage for life. I read recent studies that show scientists are starting to compare addiction to a learning disorder … something you have to deal with forever with special tools to retrain your brain.

        At one point, a doctor told me I had to stop looking at Adam’s “manipulation and lies” as character flaws … they weren’t moral issues, they were real symptoms of a disease that alters your brain and you don’t think like others. Yes, there is an aspect of control, but it’s so much more complicated with this disease.

        I do not want your hubby to feel like I do; we all have enough pain and suffering in the world. The one thing about alcoholism as a disease is that that you do have power to “control” the disease. But it’s not a matter of willpower. There is so much more to it than that.

        You are not weak. You are compromised as much as if you had cancer. Others may not agree with me, but I have seen addiction from beginning to end now, and I will fight this battle for understanding.

        Love to you.


  3. I am very excited for you. You have a disease, you are not a disease.
    I was worried about similar things. Then I realized that those things are not important anymore, I just had to go. I learned that my recovery is the top priority. As I wrote, rehab completely changed me. It’s worth it. Kudos for making the decision, good for you ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I too am glad that you are going. I found you because you liked a post of mine about my friend’s mom. By reading what your posts it seems to me that you do need medical attention to get through the initial phase of detoxing. It’s a rough fucking road and a horrible affliction. I wish you well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t blame you one bit for being scared. All of your reasons are valid. I will say this, you are too talented to end up in a diaper (like my friend’s mom.) Bodies have an amazing capacity to heal only up to a point. You are doing the right thing. Save yourself before it’s too late

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true. Thank you. And, I just read (and saved) your most recent post. “If wishes were horses then beggars would ride.” is amazing. You’re an excellent writer. Looking forward to reading more, I’m certain it will help me over the coming weeks…and months…and years.

      Liked by 1 person

Let's talk...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s