One day my husband called me at work. His stomach hurt and the clinic sent him to the hospital. They did an ultrasound and decided to admit him. His liver was failing, and they pumped 7 liters of fluid from his stomach and chest cavity. That week, he went from 180 pounds to 130 pounds. You could see every bone in his body. Six weeks later he was gone. His last words were “I don’t need a fucking ambulance”.
In those weeks, as he wasted away, I learned that a high functioning alcoholic can’t get drunk. He never acted drunk. He didn’t smell drunk. He was mean all the time, but I attributed that to work stress. After he was gone, I learned that he kept the liquor in his car and filled his cup while he stepped out on the front porch to take work calls. He drank a handle a day and spent about a grand a month to do so. After he was gone, I learned that addiction isn’t always obvious, and that abuse isn’t always raised voices and pounding fists.
If he didn’t die, I don’t think our marriage would have survived, but I can’t help but wish that my baby still had her daddy and that there was a chance for him to get well and for her to have both parents present at her milestones. I wish I could ask him if addiction really has such an inescapable control, or did he choose the bottle and death over seeing his daughter grow up. There isn’t a day that it doesn’t hurt. The resentment I carry is SO heavy. He should be here. My baby deserves her daddy.