I remember when I got the telephone call that my husband would be coming home late… again. I remember the lies of WHY he would be coming home late. I knew in that moment that he wasn’t doing well, however, I didn’t want to believe it. I didn’t want to have to go through this “talk” again. Countless times before we had this “talk”, but I knew this time it would have to be different. I would have to hold my boundaries and I would have to stand my ground. It’s not easy to do nor was it something I wanted to do, however, I knew that it would have to be done.
How many times have you felt that way? That sick feeling in your stomach that you get when you know you are helpless, hopeless, and powerless. When someone you love is struggling with substance abuse and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it… it’s a hopeless place to be. I remember feeling alone and like no one would understand me. I remember wanting to give up and just try to forget about everything that is going on in my life. I remember wishing that I could just shut off my emotions to care about this person, but no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t get the emotions to stop. They were overwhelming and powerful.
Yeah, I’ve been there. I know the pain, the suffering, and the heart ache. It’s hard, but there is hope. You do not have to do this alone or walk through it alone. I didn’t have to walk through it alone and I know I couldn’t have done it without a support system in place. That night he walked through the door… of course, he was high (again). I told him I couldn’t and wouldn’t do this anymore with him. The following day, I dropped him off and didn’t look back. I drove away and I cried. Man, oh man, did I cry. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do.
The questions flew throughout my brain. “What will I tell our son“, “what will happen to him“, “should I just turn around“, “what if that’s the last time I ever see him“, or the best one “well, maybe I didn’t try hard enough or love him enough“? When I think back on that day and the emotions that were there it makes me even more grateful for the decisions I made. I know if it weren’t for me focusing on myself and my family to get the help we needed then we wouldn’t be a “whole” family again today.
I took that chance and that leap of faith of following directions from people who were on the outside looking in to help me and my family. I began to work on myself and get the help I needed in order to move forward with my life… with or without my husband. I made that decision to change over 5 years ago and because of that decision that was made to work on myself things took a turn for the better. He decided to take action and get the help he needed in order to better his life. Our lives came together and we’ve been able to grow and strengthen our relationship by continuous work on ourselves.
He and I both know that we cannot change each other, but that we can only work on ourselves and trust the process. I truly believe that the moment even one family member begins to work on themselves a lot can change. Today I have a life that I could not even imagined or dreamed, but without the help of my Creator, a support system, and the courage to be willing to change I would not have the life I get to live today with my husband by my side.
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