Good Intentions

Updated: Feb 9

I believe in the power of will. The power of willing my life into what I want it to be. This is how I live my life. I am also an early millennial. Having been born in 1981, I grew up with a sense of entitlement. If I want something, I have been told that all I have to do is “reach out and grab it.” What great news to a perfectionist, who is also an alcoholic.

If I had to describe my persona in one word, I would choose the word grit. I have had to persevere in the face of cultural obstacles. This is true. My mistake was believing that I could will everything and everyone into what I wanted. I trusted that if I had good intentions, I would be rewarded with whatever I was hoping to manifest for myself.

In sobriety, I have sadly realized the truth about the “path to hell” and how “it’s paved with good intentions.” I understand this now. It turns out that good intentions are useless. Ha! They do not determine manifestations. I can not navigate through life with great intentions and expect to have everything I desire. Unfortunately, for me, I learned this after my marriage ended.

When I married my wife, I married her for the entirety of my lifetime. No matter what happened, we would be together because we are a family, and that’s what family does for each other. I interpreted this as being a free ticket to cut loose. I could explore myself without consequences. My wife adored me and enjoyed providing me with the space I needed to explore life. I, however, failed to do the same for my wife, which was not my intention.

I was an active addict when she met me. I was still very much “high functioning” when we started dating. My addiction was disguised in social drinking, mental illness, eccentricity, and overachieving. She could not have predicted that I would spiral down so deeply and tear her down with me. Alcoholism rips relationships into pieces, making it nearly impossible to patch the pieces back together.

When our marriage was ending, I did not think it was ending forever. I do not know what I was expecting, but I was not expecting the end, because I had not willed the end. Bad news for me!

I clutched on so tightly that I literally had to be escorted out of our lives. The day I left my home with my wife in it, I did so in a matter of minutes. I shoved all my personal longing into our Jeep and left.

This happened on the heels of a relapse. It was becoming clear that our marriage was not going to survive the damage I created in my active drinking, so I did what I knew best. Self-sabotage. I relapsed in efforts to turn the focus back on me and my sobriety.

Of course, it was not my intention to relapse, but that did not matter. What mattered is that I relapsed. Had I been emotionally sober, I would have quickly uncovered that I needed to give the relationship space without pounding on it with a heavy torch lit on fire. This was (of course!) not my intention, but I did it anyway, and that is all that matters. I did what felt natural to me. I burnt down the house on my way out the door. And I did this with the best of intentions!


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