“…….I go out every night and sleep all day Since you took your love away, Since you been gone I can do whatever I want, I can see whomever I choose, I can eat my dinner in a fancy restaurant , But nothing I said nothing can take away these blues , ‘Cause nothing compares , Nothing compares to you”

KJ,

It has been 44 days since we broke up. That means it’s been 1056 hours since I last told you I loved you while we were together.  63,360 minutes since you were my guy  and I’ve now endured 3,801,600 seconds of complete heartbreak.

I vacillate between the stages of grief. The denial that surfaces when I’m at “our” bar and I’m expecting you to walk in at any moment and we’ll pick up planning our future where we left off.  There’s anger that you are more empowered with the demons that reside within than the love I gave you.   The bargaining that I do with myself that if you just come back, I’ll put up with whatever you throw my way, including the drinking and the drugs.  I go through the depression stage most of all, when it randomly hits me that you’re not my person and I’m walking through the grocery store and the pain is so great I’ll almost collapse. I thought I almost hit acceptance last night, when I finally deleted your number out of  my phone, along with those of your mom, your dad, and your best friend. I thought I hit acceptance when I hadn’t cried for two days, but my subconscious had other ideas as I woke up remembering the dream I had of you last night, and the lone tear that streamed down my face told me that the final stage of grief was nowhere near.

Kj, I have a picture on my phone taken the day before you went to detox.  You’re sitting behind me, arm wrapped around me, and just as I went to snap the selfie, you decided to kiss me. The pic just shows the side of your face with your lips pressed near mine. I’m looking at the camera and my eyes are bright green and sparkling with happiness that you’re going to get better and we are going to start the new chapter in our lives. We sat in the car and both cried because we knew it was going to be hard. We knew our relationship was going to change drastically from that point forward.   We were determined that we’d make it and despite the odds (40% to 60% relapse rate for substance abuse disorders), you’d make it too.

We didn’t make it though.  I had no clue what I was getting into. That loving you in recovery was harder than loving you as a drunk.  I could have never guessed that sobriety would change you so much, that eventually it would be for the better but in the short term but the process would be heart wrenching.   When you were drinking, you couldn’t get enough of my body.  When you stopped, it was all I could do to get you to make love to me once a week.  When you were drinking, you were in constant communication.  Sobered up, I could barely get a good night text.

Even though it was never confirmed that you relapsed, I knew you well enough to know the signs.  The forgetting, the meanness, the lies were all signs that were lit up in my face like the flashing neon Bud Light sign outside of  our bar.  I gave up on you KJ. I gave up on us because I needed to save myself.  I wish I could take it back and taken a chance dipshit (remember, this was always my term of endearment for you).  But this was one thing that you were determined that would be completely out of my control.  When we were on our road trip, you told me how much you loved me. That you never thought you’d be able to get someone like me.  That you dreamed of us being a family.  But despite all of this,  you promised that if you found yourself caught up in the alcohol and drugs again at any point, you’d walk away from me, because you needed to be man enough to make the decision to do what’s best for me.

I”m trying KJ, I really am.  I went on a date that was terrible. I started swiping again.  I tried to distract myself by talking and flirting with old friends. I started going out again to our bar and sing karaoke, even though I have to walk away when someone sings Bohemian Rhapsody and dealing with the pain of being ignored by our best couple friends is hard.  I try to do anything to not think about the fact that you texted me twice to let me know you’re okay, and I now haven’t heard from you in ten days. You let me know that you moved to another state after we broke up to get a change of scene to deal with your issues. You apologized for everything that you did to me. It’s not enough,. I work over 80 hours a week so I don’t have to think about the emptiness I feel when my brain points out that we are really over this time.

I picked this version of this song over Prince and Sinead O’Connor because of you. You played it for me while we were lying in bed one night. I had my head on your chest and I was forcing you to try Peeps (because how could you have gone 36 years and never had a crappy, marshmallow bunny?).  We were talking about how scared you were of stopping the drugs and alcohol and going into a deeper depression, which led us to the conversation of Chris Cornell,

I don’t know if you’ve found someone to take my place. I do know what we had was real.   I know time heals wounds.  I’m following the creed you would recite when you entered recovery.  One day at a time. That’s all I can focus on. Getting through each 24 hours without you. I hope you’re overcoming the fight within you KJ.

I love you always,

Ellie

“Let him know that you know best, Cause after all, you do know best, Try to slip past his defense, Without granting innocence, Lay down a list of what is wrong, The things you’ve told him all along, And pray to God he hears you, And I pray to God he hears you”

At the apex of our partying days, KJ shoved me. Hard.  That’s not something I freely admit because I’m ashamed I did nothing about it.  That’s also a moment I’ve vowed never to bring up now that he’s in recovery.  One of the regulars we hang out with at our bar, HA,  had a different idea last night. HA explained to KJ how much better everyone likes him now that he’s sober. HA also told him what happened that night. KJ almost got in a fight with HA and another guy playing pool. KJ is (was!) a cocky drunk, and one who thought that  he’s ten feet tall and bulletproof. I grabbed KJ’s arm that night to try to get him to leave, he was in the moment and mad, and pushed me roughly.   That was only one story that KJ is hearing from our friends.

See, here’s the part about being the partner of an alcoholic or recovering alcoholic.  He almost has a clean slate in his head, while I’m having difficulty wiping the hard drive in my head.  He has no memories of the fucked up things he did and said while he was drunk or high on something, while I still have the burden of remembering them all.  I know I’m supposed to support his recovery and not throw things he did back in his face, and I don’t do that.  He doesn’t have the memory of telling a guy at the bar who asked were we together “Sorta, but you can fuck her if you want.”   Or after me driving for an hour to rescue him at a bar not in our town, answering a girl who asked the same question “Hell no, I’m not with anybody.” He doesn’t have the memory so he doesn’t understand why I’m insecure sometimes in this relationship.  When my best friend died of an overdose a couple of years ago, she lied to her parents to get money saying I needed it. I found this out after her death and felt betrayed. And I’ll never get the chance to resolve it or tell her how hurt I am. I almost feel the same with these things with KJ. Yes, he’s still alive, but that old drunk KJ personality is dead.  So I’ll never get the chance to resolve those issues.

Now, KJ is also missing a lot of our good memories that I can still think about that make me smile.  Our first kiss, which happened during a terrible drunken karaoke rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody, that happened in front of all of our coworkers and the entire bar. And it was almost straight out of a chick flick after the whole bar cheered for that kiss, because everyone had been rooting for us to be together.(I actually have that on video).  Or the time KJ made up and freestyled a few rap verses in front of everyone that he made up for me.   The time that he started naming Jesus’s disciples to keep from finishing too fast but started saying them out loud instead of in his head and we literally giggled so hard our stomachs were hurting.

I guess at this point we concentrate on making new memories.  We ran into someone he’s known for years last night. He went to the bathroom and she wrapped her arms around me and thanked me with tears in her eyes. I told her she had nothing to thank me for, that it is his hard work and persistence.  She said “yes, but you were the one in the trenches, and supporting him with no obligation besides love. You deserve thanks too.”

So while I’ll never know what KJ is going through mentally now that the physical withdrawals are done, he’ll never know the baggage I carry for both of us.

“Hate me today. Hate me tomorrow. Hate me so you can finally see what’s good for you.”

Lying on my right side, a hand on my boob, beard nuzzling the back of my neck. Then just two days after, the voicemail saying “Ellie, this is fucked up, how you treat me. You’re dead. I”m done. I don’t give a shit”  because I didn’t answer the phone after 18 missed calls. The conflicting emotions of both detachment and being crazy about him.  Yep, KJ is back. He’s been back for about a week but I’ve been processing so much the words wouldn’t come for the blog. I’ve also worked on this post for a week, but the highs and lows have me constantly changing themes, so I’ve decided just to go straight with what’s happening.

Rewind to eight days ago, when I get a number from a phone number that I don’t recognize.  Then a voicemail that I listened to ten times, because I had resigned myself to the fact that he was gone, and it was for the best. “Ellie, it’s KJ. This is my new number. Hit me up. Need to talk to you.”  He sounded well. Told me he’d moved back in with his mom (about forty minutes away from me) temporarily while he straightens up. He got a job at a really nice restaurant. He wants to meet me in two days and is willing to drive my way to talk.

I see him. He tells me he wants an actual date, more than just hanging out at the bar, getting drunk, and fucking.  He sounds better than he has in weeks. We actually begin texting throughout the day and talking on the phone at night. Discuss how things might work since we no longer work or live near each other.  Agree to take turns making the trip.

Friday night comes and we both have to work at our jobs. The plan was for me to come to him (and meet his mom possibly…eeek), and have a drink with his new work friend. I got off later than expected but still made the drive. I talked myself into ending it all the way there. And then of course I saw him,  We had the best time and the best conversation ever. He tells me how he went out a few nights prior and met a 21 year old girl with big boobs who gave him her number, and how he could have fucked her that night, but instead he went outside and called me (he did in fact, call me five times that night while he was out). He told me he realized that she might be a lot younger, and for that-could be technically considered hotter, but she wasn’t me.  She wouldn’t be as good in bed. Or as smart as me. Or as witty. Or as fun. I fall into these words, as the past two years anyone I’ve grown to care about has always passed me up for someone “better”. For once, I have a super hot guy that thinks I’m out of his league.  He again accuses me of being closed off and tells me that’s not fair to him when he’s such an open book.

*Kiss*

“My favorite color is royal blue”

“Blue is my favorite color”

*Kiss*

“My favorite show of all time is Dexter.”

“I threw the remote after watching the last episode I was so invested.”

*Kiss*

“Virgo”

“Pisces”

It was a chick flick kinda scene. Complete with the funniest sex I’ve ever had. (Story for later but it has to do with KJ almost suffocating in an Easter basket.

We talk on the phone Saturday. He’s supposed to come my way on Sunday. I’m working (he knows this) and my phone begins ringing at about 5 PM. After thirteen missed calls, I pick up.

“Hello?”

“Where are you?”

“Work”

“Are you sure?”

“uh, yeah. Pretty sure.”

“You’re not at work.  Don’t even fuck with me Ellie”.

I hang up. My heart drops. He sounded so out of it. I receive a voicemail that says “I can’t believe you are fucking doing this to me, knowing what I’m going through. You’re dead to me. I’m done. I don’t even give a shit anymore.”  The funny thing is, I didn’t even react. I was expecting it.  He calls back at around 10:30 sober, didn’t even remember leaving the voicemail. As all addicts are, he was extremely remorseful.

Monday night, he surprised me by showing up at our usual bar before I got off work.  We had no drama. He was himself. It was the first time we really acted like a couple. He played pool, I hung out with my friends. We’d pass each other and give each other a kiss on the lips and an “I love you”.  These young girls were talking to him, so he’d put his arm around me and give me a kiss on the forehead for reassurance that he’s not interested in them.  He makes the comment that he can look at my boobs all he wants because they’re now his.  We kiss a lot. He tells me he wants to chill now with our life. He wants to cuddle on the couch and watch Dexter and eat pizza, just be a couple. (I never agreed that we are a couple but everyone else calls us that so I guess I’m going with the flow.)

Last night, he sends me a text that literally says “Ksssneds%%” . Sinking feeling is back. I say huh? He says “where are you?” I say “home”.  He responds “good, I like to hear that.” He follows up ten minutes later with another “where are you?”, in which I say “wtf? see above. I’m home.”.  He calls, and I ignore. I get another scary, slurry voicemail “Baby, call me. Please. Thank you.” I ignore it and text him that we’d talk the next day, That we need to talk.

The highs and lows are a new level of chaos. What’s screwed up is that I was upset that he didn’t keep calling over and over, because at least I know he’s safe when he does that, as annoying as it it.  Everyone knows that he’s dragging me down too. I’m mentally exhausted from the worrying and actually physically exhausted from the constant sex. Who knew I’d ever say that? I know I’ll be ready to reach the point soon where I’ll be ready to give up on him. I just feel I’m the only one left in his corner. But at what do we stop sacrificing  ourselves by being a good human being and helping someone toxic? I can’t go through what I did by losing my best friend, someone I love to addiction again. If I would have tried harder, it could have been different. So how can I give up on KJ?

 

“If you love me don’t let go. Hold on, hold on, hold on to me.. because I’m a little unsteady.”

KJ is gone. I lost him. Literally. No breaking up was required. Like “Bye Felicia” “Adios” “Sayonara” “Deuces”.   I knew something was wrong when he couldn’t remember having sex with me (see previous post), but I didn’t know it was that bad.  For my mental health, it’s for the best.  For my heart, it sucks.

I saw him Thursday and we talked and made up from Wednesday. He was normal.  We had fun, even though he was working. He chilled with my kids. After realizing I had feelings for him, I wanted to see if I could help him overcome what he needs to overcome.   We made plans for Friday, and for the first time, I was the one to say “I love you.”

Friday night comes and he doesn’t show.  I look on our schedule app for work and notice he’s no longer listed as an employee.  I have no way of getting in touch with him since he broke his phone so I called a coworker. She informed me that he came to work so strung out that it was dangerous.  He ended up walking out of work and going to a town about an hour away from us, to one of our other restaurant locations, where he proceeded to get more fucked up and kicked out.  He’s worked for our chain for over ten years, so I knew it was something major.  Everyone is concerned. His mom doesn’t know where he is. HIs roommate says he didn’t see him for a day and a half. I dropped by his place last night. I went to every bar I know he goes to. He’s nowhere.  He’s such a creature of habit that he never goes anywhere different.  I don’t have a good feeling.

He’s gone. And it is out of my control.  Even if he comes back, he still has to be gone for me. I can’t go through this again with someone I love. Addiction is a beast that love or sex cannot conquer. I feel like KJ has been dangling over the railing of a bridge and I’ve been holding his hand feeling his hand slip through mine, but at the same time, he’s trying to send me over with him.

With CS, I was heartbroken, I cared about him a lot. Loved talking to him and spending time with him, but I wasn’t in love with him, and he didn’t need me. I cried and cried and cried when he broke up with me.  I haven’t cried yet for KJ. I’m numb and protecting my heart, because when it finally hits me, it’s going to break me for awhile, there’s no crying for three days and getting over it. I had to sleep on the couch last night because I”m so accustomed to him on Fridays going to sleep with him curled up behind me, beard nuzzling the back of my neck, and hand on my boob. I actually had to wrap my arms around myself for comfort.  When I woke up, I had to stare at the ceiling and realize I don’t know if he’s alive or dead or safe.  And hear his voice in my head telling me just five days ago “I’m damaged babe. I love you but don’t do this to yourself”, before making love to me like he never had.

It’s so funny how life works. When I started posting about KJ and we were just having the best sex of our lives.  And then me not telling him I’m ready when he asked.  And then figuring out I have feelings for him by hooking up with someone else. And then him disappearing after I told him I loved him. There’s no closure to be had on this one. He’s gone.