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Love and Addiction

Holding On To Faith In Love

By Amanda WashburnPublished about a year ago 3 min read

I walk into the small kitchen. It’s 5 o’clock in the morning. Cinderella meows at my feet, black fur sticking up on end from falling in the butter yesterday. I thought about giving her a bath but, I’d like to live. I set my coffee cup down on the counter and inspect the pets’ food bowls. Empty.

With sleep still in my eyes, I fill the cats’ bowl and then the dogs. Cinderella is already on her kitten food and so is Chevelle. Both are black cats with one spot of white on their chests. Cinderella is only 6 months old and nearly as tall as Chevelle. She has medium-length fur and an adorable bo tail. Her legs look like they are a mile long.

Chevelle, on the other hand, looks like a fat, black potato. Her fur is soft and short. I’m the only person she ever sits with but, every once in a while, she will ask somebody else to pet her. She hisses at my son, though. I guess she is a bit of a bitch.

They both chow down on their food like they are starving. Olive, the German Shepherd, hangs back. She likes to have her space when she eats. Her long, silky fur is plush around her neck as she lays with her head and ears up. She loves that new bed we bought her for Christmas.

My mind immediately goes to Paul. I sigh and pour creamer into my coffee. I sit down in front of the TV without turning anything on. I can’t get him off of my mind. Paul has been gone for about a year now. There were those 2 months when he was home but, things were not the same.

He was different, cold at times, even. I wish it didn’t take him leaving for me to figure it out. Oh, when he left. That royal blue duffel back sitting on the floor next to his snow boots. “I’m going to do laundry,” he said. “I’ll be back.” Then he kissed me and left. I felt like something was wrong but didn’t say anything.

As the hours passed, I came to believe he would never be coming back. Eventually, sometime in the evening as I cried on a friend’s shoulder, Paul texted. It was long and explained that he needed to really get sober and he had an opportunity to do so at a Sober Living community. Oh, how I cried.

He said he would be gone for as long as 6 months. I have seen him twice since that day. Both times, I just happened to run into him around town. Those are also the only two times I have spoken to him.

I take a sip of my coffee and ponder it all. I know now that Paul is in pre-release here in town. He spent 9 months in treatment, came home, and then left to get sober again. Paul has struggled with addiction since we met. I’ve watched him go in and out of rehab trying to figure it out.

Maybe this will be the last time. Maybe it won’t be. What I thought would be another 6 months has turned into 7 to 9 months. I don’t know what happened or how Paul ended up in the pre-release. Nor do I know when I will hear from him again.

When he texted me that day a couple of months ago, he said this was not a breakup. I understand that he needs some time. He needs to focus on himself so that he can get sober in a way that will last. I understand that he is doing this for our family and the future he wants to have.

This wait and not knowing, though, is awful. I try not to cry too often. It may be healthy to let it out but I’m scared I will get depressed if I let it out too much. My best friend and I talk on the phone every day. She lives miles away and we haven’t seen each other in years. Still, though, we maintain a friendship through hours-long phone calls on a daily basis. She is the best support I have.

My time is passed doing household chores, writing, and watching TV. Sometimes I play some games on the computer. Really, I just do anything to keep my mind off of Paul. I know that, to a lot of people, it seems foolish to wait. That is fine with me. For him, I will gladly be that fool.

There is no way to put into words for you how it feels. This experience is both horrid and triumphant. I will ride through this holding onto my faith in love. With my head held high, I will see where this story takes me.


About the Creator

Amanda Washburn

Freelance writer and single mom. Lives in Montana with one son, two cats, and one dog. Writes everything from poetry to listicles.

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    Amanda WashburnWritten by Amanda Washburn

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