I laid there, staring up at the white ceiling, noises of women detoxing + moaning, nurses darting around offering care, the tv hung high blaring some talk show in the background. I glanced over to make eye contact with a younger gal reading near the vending machine. She smiles, I don’t. I had just checked into rehab, 5 months after I had exchanged vows with my new husband. I began to cry. I hated my life. How did I let it get this bad?
Tomorrow marks 6 years since I walked in those doors. I would soon learn that addiction strikes anyone; not just the poor, uneducated, lonely. But the beautiful, young, well to do new brides too.
I would also learn about my patterns; how running + numbing was my go to. I’d learn my issue wasnt with drugs or alcohol or men or whatever else, but with the yuck inside. I’d learn to no longer fear all that I ran + numbed from + begin to look it dead in the eyes. Id begin to heal, to forgive, and to like myself… slowly.
The first year was the hardest, like they said it would be. But then, the habits began to die off, and I rebuilt new ways to manage life on life’s terms. I no longer feared myself. I started to trust the person I was becoming + began to advocate for her. For the first time, she felt safe, understood + loved.
Happy 6 years to me. While it hasn’t been happy all the time, I am grateful that I no longer live a victim or spectator of this life. I am not the sum of my environment or my genetics— I get to decide what my next move is. Today, that will be continuing to write, love on my babies, celebrate with my rockstar husband + thanking God for another day sober. This life I now cherish.
I say this every year, because it’s still true… you can’t save someone like me— they must learn to save themselves. Love with limits, STRONG limits. Say “no” often, keep healthy space. Believe behavior + not just words.
To those of you who haven’t yet witnessed the miracle of sobriety in your loved one’s life like I have… I see you + I’m sorry. I know this pain. 🤍 Its not your fault.