Before I got married, I only heard stories of drug addicts and often wondered why someone would choose to go down that path. I was an attorney in private practice for a renowned law firm in New York when I met this wonderful man.
We had mutual interests, the same career, and we were both single. After several dinners and holidays, we decided to be partners in business and life. We dreamed of having our law firm one day.
He had two sons from his previous marriage and a daughter, so we got married and began the journey of a happily blended family; until it no longer was.
I was an amazing mother and wife for eight years. I carried out my wifely duties like any mother. I was a goal-oriented person, my husband and I worked hard to make sure our kids never lacked anything.
We were involved in all their school and home activities and never failed to remember their birthdays.
Just when I was having a breakthrough in my career, I developed a passion for drinking. What started as a single beer developed to several before I could even notice. I kept having a few drinks with my colleagues after work to clear off from the day's hard work.
At first, it seemed like a lot of fun, I was cautious not to get completely drunk, and I always knew I could stop drinking whenever I wanted to. As time passed, it became a routine to an extent of passing by a bar for a few bottles before heading home.
I was no longer the mom I used to be, I became forgetful, and the kids always complained of hunger. I never got to do anything around the house. We occasionally had small fights with my husband whenever he reminded me that we had a family to look out for.
Looking back, I now see that I was already an alcoholic, but I didn't like my husband saying things to hint I was one.
To avoid misunderstandings, I stopped drinking alcohol and started shooting up heroin and methamphetamine. My husband was so happy that I returned home without the smell of alcohol, but he'd still look at me as if something was off.
I suddenly became secretive with my paycheck and rarely spent time with the kids. At work, I could only engage with my colleagues when I was high because that's the only time I felt confident.
He would confront me once in a while, but his questions would only be met by chaos. He had no proof that I was doing drugs anyway.
I started spending more hours in the parking lot at work getting high than I'd spend with a client. My emotions could also shift from happy to dull in microseconds. I remember worse scenarios when I excused myself from meetings to use the bathroom only to return the following day.
I was slowly losing my job, my kids, and my husband, but all that didn't matter to me then. I was only worried about getting high and not being in debt with my dealers.
Things escalated in 2009 when my husband had to hide credit cards from me to at least save for the mortgage payments. He still didn't know I had a drug problem because I was covering it up pretty well.
I was losing money with no reasonable explanations. I had a problem with my children needing new items; the house needing groceries and I'd always blame my husband for managing our funds carelessly. Deep down, I wanted all the money to buy my drugs.
The morning my husband knew I was on drugs, he saw a message from one of my dealers pop on my screen, it read "hey, Mexican Horse restocked, need some sprinkles?" There's no way I could lie that Mexican Horse is a shoe or wig, he knew now that was an addict.
I expected my husband to be mad, to blame me, or turn away from me. But he calmly said we were getting help and was going to support me throughout my treatment. I still didn't think I had a problem, and each time he mentioned therapy, we sometimes fought physically.
He tried for months to persuade me into rehab centers and even threatened to divorce me, keeping our kids away from me unless I got help but I couldn't hear any of that. My husband couldn't watch me self-destruct anymore, so he forced me into mandatory treatment.
However, I kept running away from rehab because I never felt that I needed fixing. Fed up with my drug addiction, my husband separated with me and won children custody leaving me with nothing.
I tried talking him into getting back but couldn't spare a minute to what I was saying. It's now over 10 years since that painful divorce.
One year down the line after the divorce, I decided to stop alcohol and heroin use and seek rehab intervention. I must admit that the thought of getting sober again was scary but I had to try it. By this time I had lost my job and had no family of my own.
After a counseling session from my primary physician, I started inquiring about the best rehab centers in New York. I called a few facilities and went in for assessment where an inpatient treatment program was recommended.
It took me three months to recover and I have never looked back since then. Support from the Anonymous Alcoholics and group therapies helped me become a better person.
After detoxing and getting the best treatment, it's now 3 years and my life is back to its initial status. It took me a while before getting formal employment but I'm now working and at least see my now grown kids twice a month. Although I can no longer salvage the marriage anymore, am proud of my achievements in the fight against drug addiction.
Related Article: How to Stop Drug Addiction: Two Ways to Combat the Issue
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