“You’re not nothin’. You are not nothin’. You’re a good man, and God has given you a second chance to make things right, John. This is your chance, honey.” – June Carter, Walk the Line
It’s difficult to explain believing.
If I tell you that one of the reasons I did not leave Dave back then was because I believed that he wasn’t going to stay an addict forever, and then I tell you that he struggled for several more years after the events of my last posts, you might wonder about my beliefs.
But it’s true. I believed.
I believed God had made Dave for better things. That his life was not going to be wasted by drugs. That our family would heal. That all of our struggles had a purpose. That this wasn’t the end of us. I believed all of those things.
Not that I always acted like I believed. I hurled plenty of “Curse God and die!” at him.
But I also saw the defeat. The trying and failing. And the despair that comes from that.
I believed that if I left him, he’d give up and end up in a gutter somewhere. Dave needed encouragement. He needed to know that if he took the tortuous journey through withdrawal and recovery, his family would be there at the other end. I knew this was true.
I failed at it over and over and over. And I doubted more than I’d like to admit. But I stayed, in part, because I believed. And it was awful. But it was worth it.
* * * * *
People say things . . .
“If my husband ever did that, I’d leave him in a heartbeat,” and “Honey, dump his sorry behind!”
I heard that at social services when Dave was out of work for 5 months. And again in 2007. I saw it on the face of the intake lady when I dropped him off for three weeks of rehab in a hospital on the other side of the state. I overheard people talk about addicts as losers that will never change.
Dave heard those things, too. And he agreed because he felt the same way about himself. There wasn’t a lot of encouragement to believe that any good would come of this whole mess.
But everyone needs someone to believe in them.
Besides, I wanted to be there when he got back on top of the world. And I didn’t want some other woman reaping the benefits of my tears . . .
* * * * *
We cry through the emotional parts of 2 hour movies and think the story is inspiring and amazing. We love stories with happy endings. And we respect couples who make it through the ring of fire, together.
But it’s hard to watch in real life. It takes a whole lot longer.
And it’s not scripted.
Believing isn’t always pretty.
And sometimes, no matter how hard you believe, it doesn’t turn out the way you hope.