I am on day #3 of juicing and my husband has just spent the first 9 days as an ex-smoker in his adult life. Needless to say, things in our house can be tense right now.
Here I am drinking my juice while looking at the dog food -trying to decide if it might be worth a try- and there he is, fighting his own demons. Mr. Ladybug came home edgy last night, he was not as cheerful as he normally is; he was quiet and seemed absentminded. He gave short answers and the tone of his voice raised a red flag in my mind.
It is so hard for me to understand what he is going through right now. 2 years is a long time. I can’t really remember anymore, how I had felt when I just quit smoking. We all react differently when we give up a bad habit or an addiction. Some just sail in calm waters, while other’s have to weather one storm after the next.
We were quiet during dinner; I sipped on my juice and watched him eat his meal. I could feel how tense he was, he didn’t have to say anything. Still, there were some things we needed to talk about. I had hired a carpenter to build our new fence gate -after we had failed so miserably- and this guy was taking advantage of me. He overcharged, and what he had built so far was not what we had agreed on.
I brought up the subject and we walked outside; my husband flew off the handle in under 2 seconds. He wasn’t angry with me, he was angry with the guy and his performance. Still, I had to listen to it. He was going on and on and that’s one thing I don’t handle very well. Vent and get it over with, don’t hover over a subject!
I walked away and went back into the house, decided to clean the kitchen instead of listening to him. Half an hour later I was done. I was just ready to open the sliding glass door when I saw my husband. He was sitting on the table outside, holding his face with his hands. He just sat here, he didn’t move. I could feel his pain and my wish to whack him with the frying pan just disappeared.
He was suffering and I felt lost for a moment. For a short while, I just stood there, wondering what would be the right thing to do.
Does he want to be alone, or should I try to comfort him? There is still my old punching bag in the garage; I had used it when I felt frustrated. Then all of a sudden I remembered, I had bought it after I had quit. That had been my OUT when I felt overwhelmed. (That was before I started to abuse my keyboard). I had all forgotten about it, I had to weather some storm too, did it my way.
I walked outside and sat quietly down beside him. I didn’t say a word, just touched his arm. After a while, he looked up. “I am not giving in,” he said, “but Boy did I want to smoke today.”
People at his work started to notice. The non-smokers are happy for him and cheer him one, the smokers, they don’t say much. They never do, they lose one of them and they don’t like it. Most people wish for change for themselves, but hate it when the people around them actually do it.
My husband is transforming and it is not as easy as he thought it could be. Change has it’s painful moments and I assume that’s how it has to be. Good news for the punching bag might…it might be back in business.
“When she transformed into a butterfly, the caterpillars spoke not of her beauty, but of her weirdness. They wanted her to change back into what she always had been. But she had wings.”
― Dean Jackson