It is only 3 am, but sadly, sleep is the last thing on my mind. It is not surprising because the last few days have been draining, overwhelming, nearly unbearable. My back aches, my head hurts and the circles under my eyes are getting darker and deeper each day, and I can no longer pretend to not know the underlying factors driving my distress.
My husband lies sound asleep beside me, snoring deeply, semi-comatose, passed out. I am exhausted, lonely, and tired…
However, I am committed, motivated, concerned, and in love. I am at my wit's end, but a desperate woman is a force to be reckoned with. I have decided, things are going to change, for the better, and I will use all of my God-given talents, each and every one of them, to guide him out of this mess and to encourage positive change. It’s time to start talking about the elephant in the room. We need professional assistance and support. I am willing to see it to the end and help him overcome his condition, Addiction.
How did I discover my husband was an addict?
Getting accurate information regarding the nature of the problem has been near impossible. Friends and family have been of little help, sure they have sympathy, empathy even in some cases, but none of them have been able to offer any practical assistance, support, or guidance. Research on the internet was a minefield and a rabbit warren, seems that addiction covers a broad range of behaviours, substances and actions and rehabilitation and treatment options vary greatly.
In my husband’s case, I don’t clearly remember the first signs that spooked me. Though when I discovered it, it was a little late, such that it became “a battle” when I suggested he went for therapy.
He stopped his routines/hobbies
First, I noticed he stopped going for his usual monthly hiking and would prefer staying at home or going to the bar. Although I initially brushed it off as mere coincidence or a phase, it got a little more intense.
Also, I began to notice that he would argue a lot, maintain silence with me for a long time, and even throw furtive glances. It was hard to watch our marriage go this way; my husband was slipping before my very eyes.
He was withdrawing from his friends
Deep down in my heart, I began hating on his friends; I thought they must have something to do with my husband’s issues. He might not have been the model husband, but we were happy, at least before now.
However, I received the shock of my life when one of his close friends, Andy, called home to ask about Mark. Surprising because Mark had left the house 20 minutes ago, informing me evasively that he was going over to Andy's. Yet here was Andy saying he hadn't seen Mark that much over the past 3 months.
Mark was in a lot of legal troubles
In addition to Mark being nonchalant at the gym, dropping his hiking routine, and withdrawing from his friends, Mark had lots of legal issues I knew nothing about.
I was down from the grocery store one afternoon and found one of Mark’s pants lying on the floor (He had left in a hurry). As I carelessly picked it up, some paper sheets dropped from his pockets. I was surprised to see they were traffic offences and a DUI. One even required a court appearance; I couldn’t believe it. Mark had a combined ticket of about $4,780.
Then I remembered how he evasively told me about his car needing repairs at the auto shop when in fact, his license is withdrawn.
Yet, It was not over, and around the other pockets of the pants, I was rewarded with cash, unusual for Mark. Put together, I collected $980.50. What would he need such for? I was worried.
His constant denials
We have been married for 8 years, but that day seemed like an eternity. Of course, I politely asked Mark about the tickets and little stash, which he played down. However, I stuck to my suspicion, and he reacted angrily and went out. Mark did not return for 3 nights.
Mark had changed rapidly, both in behaviour and interaction
Mark was losing weight, and it was getting more visible, with an unhealthy pallor
He no longer went hiking or played baseball with his group over the weekends (he had been lying to me)
He owed most of the money
He was getting into lots and lots of trouble (He was almost fired at work for assaulting a co-worker)
He was always restless and isolated from them.
How did we help Mark overcome his addiction?
Addiction is hard but can be helped with love and science. In my case, it took a lot, but it was worth it. It was hard to get Mark to see a therapist; it took the intervention of close friends, some family members, and tact.
However, when Mark did go, he did not look back thankfully. The team at ASV Victoria was most understanding and incredible.
Thankfully, the rehab at home program helped a lot and Mark is now moving forward in his life, drug-free and recovery-focused.