The Write 31 Days Challenge – 31 Days,Every Day,One Topic
NOTE: Early on in this series I said that it wasn’t a “tell-all” story, and that while my story is mine to tell, the stories of others who might be hurt in the telling are not. This post contains details about my husband Kelly and his struggles. He has given me permission to share this. In fact, ever since we started speaking about our story together publicly he has told me that I am free to share anything that might be of help to others.
Remember the post traumatic stress index test that I mentioned a couple of days ago? My husband and I have always known that we are similar in many ways, one of which is the big need for love and admiration. No surprise then that this was a high score on the test for both of us. This need can be terribly destructive.
Yes, I married the man whom I supposedly set my cap for and with the whole church debacle behind us we began our lives together feeling like the Helen Reddy song, You and me Against the World, was our theme.
It was okay though because we were soul-mates (gag), we completed one another (uh-huh), and we were all each other needed (not even a little bit).
In the beginning it was wonderful, as it usually is. Kelly became active with the girls and I in community theater, we went into guilt-debt to create wonderful vacations for the family, and newlywed bliss reigned supreme. It was about six years into the marriage when the bliss cloud began to dissipate.
He was staying later at work, going in to catch up on the weekends, and sleeping a lot when he was at home. He became uncommunicative and distant and appeared to be very depressed.
Being the good codependent that I was, I felt it had something to do with me and I tried my best to make him happy.
Important note: When someone’s behavior changes for the worse it isn’t always about you. In fact, I would venture to say that it is almost always about them!
We weren’t involved in church during this time and because we weren’t hanging around with people of faith it became increasingly difficult to hold onto our values. Cast parties and theater camp-outs meant that there was a lot of partying going on around us.
Unlike the Kelly I knew before marriage he began drinking to excess. And when I expressed my displeasure?
Until the next party or an evening after a particularly stressful day at work.
People ask how I didn’t know that my husband was addicted to drugs and all I can say is that I believed his denials until near the very end of his using. Only then did I realize and admit to myself that we had a problem. Note the “we.”
Kelly and I usually share our testimony together in a back and forth format, from childhood forward. He shares that a broken neck at the age of 17 is what began his pattern of opiate abuse. He also shares that the first time he experienced the effects of pain meds he felt “normal” for the first time in his life. And he liked the feeling. Early on he only used them occasionally, but with age the pain, physical and emotional, grew worse.
He used alcohol when he was trying not to use the drugs and when I got after him about drinking he’d go back to the drugs, thus alternating his drug of choice.
But I won’t.
The time came when I could no longer keep telling myself that there wasn’t a problem, even though I wanted to keep believing that it would all go away. When the end came I was finding prescription bottles with other people’s names on them and used needles in bags in the garage. When I questioned him he always had very plausible explanations for the things I’d found. Plausible to a good co-dependent.
Kelly would tell you at this point in the story that he’d known he was at the end when I gave the ultimatum. He’d been waiting for the annual statement from his life insurance company to make sure I’d be taken care of because he’d already planned out the “accident” that would take his life. That January of 2000 the statement never came.What about the timing of my ultimatum, just when he'd decided he couldn't go on? Click To Tweet
At this final confrontation Kelly promised to seek help.
We didn’t know what help would look like. Maybe if he turned himself in they would let him go to outpatient treatment and keep running his practice. We were yet to find out how hard, how long, and how expensive recovery would be. All we knew was that it had to happen to save his life, and to save our marriage.
Another post that’s gone too long. Let’s pick it up again tomorrow with Day 8, Shuffling of to Treatment, shall we?
I’ll end with a joke from the hubs:
Q: How do you know when an addict is lying? A: His lips are moving.
And I’d LOVE YOU 4EVER if you would share this series with a friend!
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