I have read your post from start to finish and did attempt a reply the other day but failed abismally so sorry for that. I would like to put your husbands addictions on one side for a moment if that’s ok. What I hear when I read your posts is almost a gurgling as you try to keep your head above water in all the day to day practicalities of life – being all things to all people until the life has been sucked out of you, an endless stream of stress and pressure. The whole picture is just to big Madge to take on in its entirety. I know because I have been in a similar position.
I have run around doing everything for everyone, trying to make it right and burning myself out into the bargain feeling that if everything was right for them then in some way it would be right for me to. If you were to ask me, who was the fool, me for doing it or those that let me, then the answer would have to be me!!
Looking after you is important and does not have to be a grand affair it can be something as simple as turning your back on the dishes or putting something in the shopping trolley once a week that is just for you. It is not selfish it is sensible and self preservation, but it can be hard to do. Saying no without feeling the need to justify it and explain your decision away is the start of you believing in you.
If you have to have a battle choose it wisely – is it worth it? and still I am not talking about the addiction just day to day stuff. I got into a battle in a similar situation with my son at school which finished in me taking him out and him going to a new school – best thing I ever did at least for him, its not throwing the towel in its just focusing on what the outcome needed to be ( even though I confess to taking a certain amount of delight in bullying the obnoxious head master considerably more than he ever bullied my son !!) but it didn’t help, there was no point in the battle nothing could have changed as long as it continued.
Dishes can seem like an incredibly big issue and indeed an important one, strangely when ignored for long enough they seem to do themselves and if they don’t what is the worst thing that can happen ?
Small things become big things and big things become too big to look at objectively.
I would like to see you get rid of the small things one by one in order to give yourself a more sturdy foundation from which to work. Very simple boundaries that help you to regain a sense of stability within you. Sit back and watch the mayhem around you and ask yourself what is really important and necessary to do at that time – bit by bit the answers will come.
I don’t know how but this post has suddenly gone into the wrong order but I hope it makes sense so far !!
So then the addiction/s on the top of everything else – same rules apply (in my oppinion) Choose your battles, focus on what’s important. You cannot win this battle as its not yours to fight, like the obnoxious headmaster, it squeals like an excited old hen, when its poked hard enough running around quacking nonsense in its attempts to protect itself, blaming everything else but itself ! It can indeed be that beast in the corner but it fears you, it snarls (quacks) and is best left alone to be with itself.
I too would be very surprised if you were able to be close to your husband after all that has happened and maybe a little worried. Again try to be a little more gentle with your expectations of yourself. You are harsh on yourself , something somewhere tells me it should be the other way around. Time will tell how this will play out for you but you are in charge of life, life is not in charge of you