Alcohol Recovery & Our Cruise: 
Days Two and Three

Shelby's Journal -- Day 2 & 3 of alcohol recovery on our cruise:

Will she always blame me for 
her drug addiction and alcohol abuse?

Day two started out a bit brighter. I woke up to Rae pounding on my door playfully. When I opened the door I found her smiling and happily bouncing around on her way to the gym. I was overjoyed to see her looking as if she was happy to be on the cruise in spite of the other passengers drowning in alcohol around us while she fights to stay in alcohol recovery. It appeared that our second day at sea would be much happier than our first.

However, as the day wore on, her mood declined. Rae said she was having great difficulty with seasickness. I spent my time hoping that was the truth and that she wasn't just feeling down because she couldn't drink and party like she had in the past, because she was fighting to stay in alcohol recovery.

She mentioned taking Dramamine for her motion sickness and that drove terror to my heart. The last time Rae took a medication other than a simple Advil or Tylenol, it was pain medication following the removal of her wisdom teeth. I had begged the dentist not to prescribe pain medication. I informed him about her status as a recovering addict, discussing honestly the battle of her alcohol recovery and drug addiction recovery. He gave it anyway. She took it and her cravings never stopped after that. They got worse and worse until she overdosed on cocaine and almost died and ended up in rehab. The thought of her taking Dramamine, or any medication for that matter, terrifies me ...especially now, when she is in alcohol recovery and surrounded by all the alcohol on a cruise.

Anyway, throughout the second day, she appeared to feel more and more ill until, by dinner time, she and Sam retreated to their cabin. The rest of the family went off to their various events and I found myself sitting alone watching the evening show. Needless to say, my mood has been steadily declining also. I am still overly affected by what is going on with my children. And I'm not sure my mood was very good since the beginning of the cruise in the first place. I was battling my own feelings of being single and alone on a cruise. Everyone else seemed to be in pairs. The time that I thought I would spend with my youngest had dwindled to nothing because he was having so much fun in the youth group. Don't get me wrong - I was definitely happy about that. I have always put my kids happiness ahead of my own whether that's right or wrong.

At least that's what I have always thought I did. But Rae straightened me out again tonight at dinner as she has done more than once in the past. Someone brought the subject up about a time we had been on a cruise with my ex-husband, Rae’s stepfather.

My relationship with him in general had been fairly miserable and so had our time together during the cruise. Rae made a face and said something to the effect of how my relationship with him had always put a damper on things. I said, "Well, at least it didn't last very long. Just two or three years that we were together." Rae's response to that was, "Well, you were together long enough to ruin my childhood."

I have to admit, that took my already depressed mood down several notches. I have blamed myself for Rae’s problems, I have listened to her blame me, and I have asked for forgiveness. I have tried to forgive myself. I have heard her mention many times and I have read many different books about the importance in AA of forgiving. Yet here we are again, both of us blaming me.

However, last night at dinner, Rae had a discussion with her brother and me about how important the role of genetics is in alcoholism and drug addiction. If her problem is a result of genetics, it didn’t come from me or my side of the family. So, which is it? Genetics, or what my life did to her? I'm confused. Sometimes I feel like I'm back at square one, trying to learn all over again, and feeling that I've learned nothing during Rae's alcohol recovery and drug addiction recovery.

I'm very willing to accept all the blame for anything and everything that I'm responsible for, but I don't know what else I can do. Since I can't change things in the past, I can only apologize and try to do better in the future. I have tried hard to do better and I have been there for her. And I believe I am there for her and will be there for her in any way, in every way, forever. What else can I do?

It is now the end of day three and I have retreated to my room to escape the partiers with their cute little umbrellas, HUGE beer cans, slurred speech, and big happy grins ...and have just about definitely concluded that a cruise is not the place to be for someone in alcohol recovery, someone who doesn’t drink, or someone who is traveling without a partner.

Onward to Disney World tomorrow. Maybe that will be more our pace!


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