Mental Health

Getting people – professionals!!! – to take mental health seriously is hard.

It is hard when the doctors and professionals you turn to for mental health problems do not take you seriously!

Pissed. Angry. Infuriated! That is how o feel.

SO came home from an inpatient psychiatric hospital 1 month ago. One month! He was on 3 meds inpatient that balanced him. Yet, he came home with 2.  Why? Because 6 years ago he had a pill  problem. 6 years of working hard to get clean and staying clean, but for that he cannot have a medicine that will stop him from losing his mind and spiraling into a psychotic breakdown.

He takes his meds, he is ‘normal’ as far as others can see. Yet, he is spiraling out of control. He is a shell of who he was just 2 months ago. Obsessed with God, religion, Christianity. All things that are classic mania behavior. He is distant, obsessed with his father, the military, and refuses to take pleasure in anything that once brought him happiness. 

The highs and lows are so very high and so very low. In 20 minutes he can go from hating me to loving me and back again. 
He sees a therapist, however, because of past addictions, he is court ordered to see a therapist who specializes in addictions, not bipolar/mania.  A therapist who feels he doesn’t need to see her but every two weeks. A therapist who knows he is on antipsychotics but won’t get him refills for when he runs out and who won’t do much for him as far as letting him see the psychiatrist to get meds adjusted.

He isn’t sick enough to need to go inpatient but does need to get meds adjusted and see a psychiatrist. Yet, no one will understand and let that happen.

So in the meantime, we stress, we tolerate what is happening, and I reach out to all his doctors in hopes that one will listen and allow a psychiatrist appointment to happen sooner than in 2 months.
And….I get to live with the crazy. To try to shield my children from as much as I can in hopes that they can have some normalcy.
I can’t eat, can’t sleep well, and am on edge. I joke that I may end up in the hospital soon if this doesn’t get better. Truth is, it isn’t a joke. I need to find a balance for me.
I have considered leaving but not sure that I can. Its a hard situation. He cannot control this. Dealing with what we are dealt. Its all I can do….and pray.

Mania

I never knew what mania/manic behavior really was until SO had his breakdown. I think it’s scarred me in a way.

Every morning he wants and it has been over 12 hours since he has taken his meds. He goes outside and messes around until 7 or 8am.

I know it shouldn’t be a huge deal, however, we have a 5 & 7 year old that wake in that time. Usually we all wake, talk, watch cartoons for an hour or so in the AM. Now, he has removed himself from our morning routine and is outside, listening to music, smoking, walking the dog.

Maybe my view is jaded. There’s been so much, do I even know what our normal is? It all blends together. I second guess most behaviors because I simply am struggling distinguishing what is him and what is caused by the manic behavior the meds are working to stop.

He has went from being here. Totally present to sometimes a person I do not know.

He usually would clean the house if he were bored. Now, he barely does dishes. This man was always waiting on me to get ready to leave to go places, I was the late one and he was always punctual, now not so much. A 5 minute task takes an hour. 

Weird quirky things, such as taking my nice expensive candled outside, why? Or never wearing shoes? If he does wear the to walk the dog, he foregoes socks. Again, not totally strange but strange for him.

We have 2 or 3 really good days, then a day wear it seems the manic creeps in more and more.

I know his meds need to be adjusted, but I hate our mental health system! He came out of inpatient psychiatric treatment with prescriptions and a therapist appointment. However, the therapist will only help him get refills for his meds. Until he has a month or more of visits, no adjustments to the meds will be made.

In the meantime, I live on this rollercoaster ride.  I am lucky that my kids are fairly oblivious.  During the day, he is fairly even keeled when his meds are working.  It trulynis late nights and early mornings that really do a number on him. Before bed and when he wakes, we see the worst behavior and it isn’t that terrible. Just out of the ordinary for him.

And then the Facebook posts.  You can see that his thoughts are all over late at night and early AM when he begins posting all over Facebook about random things.

He’s trying, lord knows he is trying so hard to get back. Its a battle and he will get there, I pray he does.

But until he can get meds adjusted, its going to be a lil rough.

I am going to fight for him though. Going to go ahead and email his therapist after she sees him tomorrow. Or call her and ask of I can give her information. I understand that she cannot tell me anything, but she can listen to what I tell her.

I will give her as much information as I can so that she can see reality and then see what he feels and distinguish between real/fqkd and help him.

I am still just so in shock over everything. I still don’t. know if we will reach a new level of normal or if this will be our normal.

I suppose only time will tell.

When Everything Crashes Down…

My parents divorced when I was 1 year old, after 13 years of marriage. Throughout my life, they dated on and off.  When I was 28 years old, 7 1/2 years ago, they remarried.  The two of them have always had an odd relationship, however, it works for them.  Dad has always kept his own apartment.  He spends days with my mom, but on occasion goes home at night  or when he’s sick he heads home to his place.  After living separate for 26 years, both of them have always been fine with their set up as is.  It works for them and they’re happy and in love. It’s a great thing for them and works well.

May 24th, my father wasn’t feeling good.  He felt like he was getting a cold so he went home.  That next day, dad called mom and said he felt “off” and was going to stay home.  He was active on Facebook and talked to my mom and us kids.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  Thursday, I talked to my mom and she said that hadn’t heard from dad but it wasn’t anything strange. She was worried about him but knew if she called, he’d be upset about it.  So, she didn’t call him because he wasn’t feeling well and knew that this was typical for him to go home and sleep it off when sick. It’s all dad would do.

The next day, Friday May 27th, after not hearing from him on Thursday mom called him. No answer.  He didn’t get in touch with anyone all day. I had a bad feeling about things, in my gut I knew something wasn’t right.  I just knew. At 5:30, my mom was going there and check on him with my aunt.

I went to McDonald’s with my kids for dinner as a distraction.  I didn’t hear from my mom by 6:30 so I drove by dad’s apartment.

When I drove by, I saw two police officers and my mom’s vehicle. I knew. How could I not know. We pulled in.  I approached the police officers….

Are you here for someone in the apartments?

Yes.

Are you here for Larry #####?

Yes.

Is he ok?

I’m sorry ma’am, he’s deceased.

Those words.  “He’s deceased.”  I can’t even process those words.

I reacted, but looking back it feels like I was outside of myself, watching my reaction. I ran up the stairs, where my mom was. I ran down to my boys and my legs gave out on me. I couldn’t stand. I couldn’t breathe.  I just couldn’t.

I sent my fiance’ home with our children and stayed with my mom.

For two hours we sat and just cried and couldn’t talk. We were in the apartment where dad passed. The apartment where dad was. Where he was in bed, gone, waiting for the funeral home to come.

How I sat there for two hours…. I don’t know. I have no idea.

When the funeral home came, we were asked to leave the apartment which was fine, we did not want to be there. Afterwards, we couldn’t go into the apartment. The smell was horrific.

The next day, we had to immediately go to plan the funeral. Talk about fresh.  We had to go to the funeral home, 4 of us kids and my mother and dad’s sister to plan out my father’s funeral. Poems, casket, grave liners, obituary. I don’t know how we did it, but we did. All of us, together, we did this for dad, for mom who so badly needed her children with her.

When that was done, we had to face the apartment. Dad had been gone for 2 days when mom found him, two days. What she walked into was horrific.  She went to his bedroom and saw him. 2 days of dad being gone, no air conditioning on in an upstairs apartment with 100 degree heat.  She knew he was gone because of what she saw with his body.

The things you don’t think of are that there is bodily fluids, blood, etc that were all on his bed.  A bed that was causing a stench so bad. A bed that looked like a murder scene once dad had been removed. A bed that had to be removed but none of us children or mom were strong enough to do the job.

We had a guardian angel step up. A neighbor man and woman that cared for dad so much that they removed the bed and hid the mattress so we didn’t have to face such a gruesome scene.  We couldn’t have gotten into that apartment without them. In our time of need, they were there, we’ll be forever grateful!

Once in the apartment, we had to find paperwork for dad’s funeral.  We sifted through things and found precious keepsakes that meant the world to us. I found dad’s army uniform from Vietnam that I will treasure forever.  My brother has his union card that means the world to him as he’s a union man himself.  My sister took a hankerchief that dad always had with him. Mom got dad’s watch.  My other brother has another watch that was broken that he was going to fix to wear as a reminder of dad.

All small things that mean the world to us.

The next week before the funeral, we spent time rotating shifts with mom and cleaning through dad’s apartment, getting what we could out as we knew we’d have to deal with emptying the apartment.

While I was absent at home, my fiance’ Jim was holding down the fort.  He happily stepped up and took care of the children so I could be where I needed to be with my family.

My absence stopped me from seeing what was brewing at home, signs of what was to come.

In the midst of my father’s death, Jim was doing great with the children. He was entertaining them along with my nieces and nephews.  He was happily playing with them and having fun to help us all through a hard time.

A few days before dad’s funeral, I noticed some odd behaviors with Jim.  He had started an antidepressant 5 weeks prior and he seemed drunk almost. Happy but too happy. Hugging everyone, crying alot, really emotional.  During the hardest time of my life, he was crumbling and I was scared.

On the day of dad’s funeral, Jim stopped his antidepressant. This was nothing odd as he’s always tried Zoloft (a different antidepressant) and stopped due to side effects with no issues. Yet this time, there were issues to come. We had no idea.

At dad’s funeral, Jim occupied the boys for me.  He seemed sad, but it was a funeral, that’s what happens. While I was talking to someone, I heard Jim scream “Back off!” to my brother in law. Throughout the funeral, he was talking in circles, had my boys crying, and was all over the place. We made it through the burial and I sent him home with the kids. He had been great with the boys so there was no real concern there with them since he was capable of playing with them and handling them.

That evening, we went to bed. He didn’t remember the day and that worried me.  The next morning he was all over.  He was talking in circles.  That night, he went to bed when I did then woke up at 11:30 and I heard him leave with the dog. At midnight, my brother called me saying that Jim was there. My mom called immediately after but set the phone down and I heard Jim say that my dog was his spirit animal. I hung up.  I called my mom back and she calmly said not to worry that it would be fine and she would handle it.  Jim came home at 1am after talking to my mom about religion.  The next two days were full of religious obsession from a man who never has had a strong faith in God. He was talking in circles about life and God, making no sense.

The next night, he again went to my mothers at 11 while I slept.  He then woke me up Sunday morning by pulling my rings off me. He had put all my laundry on the fence to “wash” by the rain that was coming. He was removing all my things from the house, talking about serving the servants and God’s will.  It was extremely bizarre and scary.

That evening, I called his doctor. She stated it was caused by the medicine and abruptly stopping, however, she did not feel he was needed to be seen until Monday.  In fact, she said “Keep him safe, bring him in Monday and we’ll handle it and give him medicine.”  I decided to take him to the ER.

That day, we spent all day in the ER.  Jim agreed to go to an inpatient, voluntary center where they’d treat him and get him stabilized to come home.  I accepted that and went home to my boys.  The next morning at work, I got a call that Jim was gone. They claim he left at 8am, however, I know better. I knew his witching hour was 11:00-11:30 and mania kicked in so I am positive he left at that time.

When I got the call that he was gone, I freaked. I signed my son out of school, changed his records so only I could pick him up that last week of school. I took the kids to my mom’s, instructed them to lock deadbolts and do not let anyone but me take those children.

Then the reality settled in, Jim was gone and he was not okay.  He was hallucinating, delusional, and in a bad state of mind. I called the police, they guided me into getting a petition from the court to have him picked up and taken to the ER when he was found.  I searched and searched for him but could not find him anywhere. I finally at 7:30 went to get my boys and get them home to bed.  As I was leaving my mom’s to take them home, I got a call from him that he was at a high school half an hour away and wanted to come home.

I left my mom’s house and headed out to get him.  The kids and I got him home and he was very delusional, very agitated, and not OK.  I got him into the shower and called my mom to come over. I sent my kids into their room with Netflix and instructions to stay there.  I then called 911 and told them I had a pick up order in effect and they needed to come get him.  I lucked out, he got out of the shower and went outside to smoke.  My mom came and then the cops came while he was outside and they took him to the ER.

That night, I could finally sleep easy knowing he was in a locked room, secure, cameras on him and security. He was going nowhere.  My boys and I were safe and he would be OK too.

The next morning, he was taken to an inpatient psychiatric center.  He was there for 8 days all total. Therapy, anti-psychotics, mood stabilizers.  It took a bit but he got balanced out. I juggled working part time, babysitters, and visiting him the whole time. I was spent (still am!).  The kids cried for daddy each day. I cried for my daddy and theirs each day. I don’t know how I made it through.

Eventually after 8 days, Jim was released.

He’s been home 2 weeks almost. It’s hard. He has a diagnosis of bipolar/manic.  I don’t know if he really is bipolar or if this was a reaction to abruptly stopping his antidepressant or both.  He is on anti-psychotics and a bipolar med. Each day is a battle, not sure what we’re going to get. He can’t take antidepressants, which would be something most people would take and help so much but given his adverse reaction, he can’t take them which will make his recovery even longer.

When I think it’s a good day, it goes terribly wrong.

In the midst of this all, I have to work. I can’t sleep well. My emotions are so high.

I miss my dad, so badly.

My mother is amazing. She’s my strength through this all. She watched my kids and helped me while mourning my dad.  I couldn’t have done this without her.

I had friends step up and offer help. I had a freakin’ army around me helping – my kids friend’s parents, coworkers, my mom, my grandma, and my siblings, as well as my fiance’s mom.  They are the reason I made it through.

Yet I still feel very alone, I felt alone then and feel alone now.

Everything I knew in my world just crashed and shattered into a million pieces around me.

My dad, I miss him so much. I wish he were here. He was such a help to me in so many ways and now he’s gone. He wasn’t ill, felt sick, but wasn’t deathly sick.  I pieced together his last day. He went to the bank, to get cold medicine, and then to get takeout and then was home and awake until about 9:30.  It appears he went to bed and passed in the early morning the next day.  That brings me comfort. He didn’t suffer. I can find peace in that.

Yet I’m selfish. I want him back. I miss him. I’m mad that my kids have to grow up without him.  Mad that when I do get married, he won’t be there. I feel cheated. He shouldn’t have had to go. It was too soon. I just want to tell him I love him. I want to hear his voice one last time, give him a hug.  Just see him.

I want him here. I want his support as I endure this incredibly hard time in my life with Jim. I want dad’s word of advice, his input, just to have him here for me. I’m selfish, I don’t care. I just want him back.

And Jim… I want him back too.

He’s not himself, weird quirky things.  I don’t know if he’s bipolar, if he is, I’m worried it’s gonna fall apart again. I don’t want to live with this stress, yet after 14 years, I don’t want to give up. I don’t want my kids to suffer through this. I know with meds, he can live a normal life again, but I’m scared of this happening again. I’m scared that it won’t ever be normal again. I see him, but then right when I think it’s good, it falls apart.

Mental health issues are something he cannot help. This isn’t his fault. I’m not mad.

I’m just overwhelmed.

Life as I knew it has changed, forever.

Things are so different and I don’t know how or if we can fine normalcy again. How do we? Can we? Will it ever get better?

I don’t know right now.

I don’t know much of anything, except my heart has felt so much hurt lately, it’s a wonder I’m still going. I’m tired. Yes, I know I’m strong but I’m so so tired.

I miss the normalcy we used to have.

I miss my dad.

I’m grieving. Grieving my father. The life I lost with him in it. The life my family lost when Jim had a breakdown. The dad my kids knew and loved. The man I knew and loved. Will he come back? Dad’s not coming back, I know this. But I don’t want to lose the Jim that I knew and loved in additional to losing my father.

Everything is hard.

Life is hard.

All that’s left to do is pick up the pieces and hope we can make them fit

 

 

Nothing but craziness!

While J’s withdrawal has been a huge focus lately, this house is anything but calm on a day to day basis.

My dog has fleas. Usually, with wood floors, I could dip him, vacuum baseboards, area rugs quick, wash all bedding, treat dog and move on, fleas going away quickly. Yet, our washer is broken and my dog is quite possibly the only lab that hates baths. Loves swimming but god forbid I put him in a bath tub. I also have to lug all blankets to the laundry mat every few days for a full wash.

The huge chore of this is on me as J has no energy.  This has been ongoing for weeks! I have bathed, washed, sprayed, vacuumed and nothing is working! I did another flea treatment this AM and my dog is now flued to J because J isn’t the one tossing this 100lb beast in a bath and combing for fleas and spraying crap all over, so queue J’s anxiety from a dog up his butt all day.

Finally got Frontline, hellooo $50, and am hoping this dog will be flea free soon! Fleas are awful this year. Hopefully since snow finally fell and we have freezing temps the fleas will die off soon….so tired of this!

My kids are going stir crazy from being home over school break. Ready to go back tomorrow! B won’t go to church, with his ADHD, he has hypersensitivity to loud noises, so he hates church since its so loud. I need to find a smaller church but with A having autism the only church we found that will work with him is very large and so it’s either go to a large church that B can’t handle with his gearing, but A gets extra help in church and accomodations or go to a small church that lacks help to help with A and B enjoys the smaller quietness. Its a challenge.  We are looking into some supplements that will help B with his hypersensitivity to noises and hope something works so both can go.

I am a strong believer in faith and want the kids to grow up going to church, so trying to figure out a good church for them.

Will see what we find.

J is still withdrawing. He said last night that he thought it would be done, but it isn’t. Reading some articles and a few say that the liver can store methadone for a while, so that this withdraw could be weeks longer. He is still determined, but he’s also not been alone without me or the boys. The true test will be when kids go back to school and I go back to work. How he handles alone time then will tell if he’s really determined.

I may have him meet me for lunch this week and do some things to keep busy. I am hopeful that by day 14, it will progressively get better. Sleep us still and issue, good nights, and bad nights occur. Praying that soon it gets better. I realized this AM that he was snoring and actually asleep, so I shut the kids out of our bedroom and turned on the fan to block noise and am hoping that he will sleep until 8 at least which will give him a few extra hours.

My life is crazy right now. I have started taking vitamins and tryingbto take care of myself. I will be back in the gym this week as an outlet for my own stress. I need to take care of me since I have spent so much time and energy taking care of everyone else lately.  I also need to drop the 30lbs I gained last year too! Eek.

Things are about as good as I could have expected them to be going into day 11 of withdrawals for J. Life is still crazy, it is what it is. Can’t change it, just have to deal with it.

Soon, I will have my partner back, J will be back to his old self and our life will get some normalcy…..at least that is what I am hoping and praying for!

Day 10 – Managing as a Family

Today is day 10 that J has been withdrawing. Still has crazy anxiety and diarrhea. Buy I think the second is caused by the 1st.

Given it is just after Chriatmas and we have cash to spend, we are going to venture out. There’s only so much vegging at home with Netflix that we can do.

So we are heading out today to buy some clothes, some organizing things to make the best use of limited space in our tiny house, that will undoubtedly help as the lack or room can cause you to feel closed in and make anxiety worse. So given we have time and money to spend, we are going to go shop with the kids, get everyone some clothes, get some organizing things and things we want and need.

It will be good to get out and about, I am sure it will help.

Day 8 sucked, day 9 was better, and day 10 (today) will be even better.

It is so very hard with a son with autism, because his quirks and the two boys fighting just drives my anxiety through the roof and I can only imagine how J feels with his anxiety and having it amplified by the kids

Add to it that we have a neurotic dog with anxiety himself, that I swear needs doggy Prozac, I am going absolutely apeshit crazy!

I need kids back in school and life to go back to normal again. We all need the normalcy again.

It will get better, this will all pass, life will return to as normal as it can be and we will get through. But right now, we are all going a lil stir crazy and all need to get out of this house.

So today, we shop!

New Year

This blog has taken a big detour from where it was when I started, however, my life has changed as well….

2015 is done. It was a good year.

Our 6 year old started 1st grade. Got his ADHD under control and is excelling in school!

Our 5 year old started general education prekindergarten and while he has struggled, he is adjusting and we are finally getting towards getting services at school for him that will make his schooling easier for him. We are in  behavioral therapy and working towards a better life for him with his autism.

J was doing great this year. He stumbled along the way, has a few weak moments where he took pills but in the end has stopped the methadone and now is on day 9 without it which is a huge accomplishment

I haven’t focused so much on my health and fitness journey. After loosing so much weight, I balanced out. Gained back 20 lbs, haven’t been to the gym in months but overall my life is healthier than it had been in past years, I have found a healthy balance I feel which is good for me.

Starting 2016 in the middle of J’s  withdrawal from methadone is scary. I worry he won’t be able to stay clean. He’s managed most w/d symptoms fairly well except for the anxiety. He’s an addict so taking ativan or xanax is not going to work for him. We are exploring vitamins and over the counter all natural supplements that can help with anxiety as to get that under control so that he is not tempted to take anything that will cause a relapse.

This whole process is stressful to say the least! It is hard on not only him, but me as well. At any time, it could go badly. It could all fall to pieces.  So anticipating what’s to come, lots of research, and he’s doing this with vitamins and all natural supplements to help his body balance out after depending on drugs and then methadone for years.  He’s basically thrown his trust into me and trusts that when I buy vitamins and lay them out, that they are going to help. While I can’t manage his addiction, I never will, he does trust my research on what will help, and takes any vitamins I give him. So I am looking into vitamins that will help with anxiety and he will begin those today to see if he can get that under control. The anxiety is quite possibly the worst of the withdrawal. If he can get that under control he will be doing good.

We are starting 2016 on a positive note, claiming it as the year J gets his life back, the year A gets help with his autism, and the year that we put all the b/s behind us.

Last night was hard with J’s  withdrawal and anxiety, but yesterday is done. Last year is done. We are  moving forward to better things. Each day will be better than the last. I am claiming that because negative thoughts can have negative effects. So I am staying positive and we are working through all that comes our way!

Happy 2016! Here’s to an amazing New Year!

Addiction

Life with an addict is something I don’t talk about often. It has affected my life immensely. I knew J was an addict when we met years ago, I knew he was an alcoholic, but I had only began to witness the depths of his addictions.

At the time we were 21, life was fun. Drinking was normal. I was out until 4am, home for a few hours to sleep then off to work 8 to 5. Back to party the next night, no big deal.

You see, I was a responsible person. I was raised in a Christian home, drinking, partying, it wasn’t something I grew up around. I was the good lil Christian girl, naive to many things. He was the bad boy. Partying, drinking, and in and out of jail, eventually prison.

I was always there. I never got in trouble, was always sober enough to take care of him. That was how it was. We had tons of fun and honestly, we shouldn’t have ended up together. Polar opposites, but we worked.

Here we are 14 years later, 2 kids, a life we built in spite of all the difficulties his addiction caused us.

4 years ago, after discovering a wicked pill addiction was ongoing, we found ourselves in a living hell.

J had lost his job due to drug use. I was unemployed and 6 months pregnant and we had a 1 1/2 year old. Life was not pretty. He tried to get clean on his own and failed. He tried rehab, walked out after 2 days. Tried suboxone and took a months worth in a week after discovering he could get high on it.

Last chance was methadone. The cure for his addictions. He could get clean without withdrawal. He could reclaim his life, it was a controlled program, he had to earn privileges, he would be drug tested, and it would be a way for him to learn how to live a clean and sober life and we could find some normalcy again. . if we even knew what that was anymore.

So here we are, 4 years later. J is the stay at home dad to our boys. He’s been doing good. Had a few relapses but recovered quick. Yet, after 4 years, the clinic really has proven that their goal is money, not helping people.

J was down to 5mg a day of methadone. The goal was decreasing until he was done. Yet, the clinic wanted him to taper off methadone and replace it with a shot that would again, stop withdrawal, but also stop him from getting high. The risks would be high, people have taken this shot and attempted to get high and overdosed because they take so many drugs, no effect, and keep trying, ultimately overdosing. Not to mention, the ultimate goal is to end dependency, while the clinic appears to want him forever dependant on them to maintain his sobriety, all with dollar signs in mind.

Last week, J decided that he was ready to be done. Cold turkey he has stopped the methadone.

It has not been pretty. It has affected me as well. Addiction affects everyone in the home. Our kids do not understand why daddy is sick so much. I am working, while worrying about him home with the kids and stressed. When I am home, the full…. Well everything is on me because he is physically and mentally drained.

Yet, I am here. I knew and I chose this life with him regardless of his addictions. I believe in him. I know he can do this.

Our life has been far from perfect….the things we have been through that no one knows. The suicide attempts whole drunk, 2 of them that thankfully he survived, they were horrifying. The stealing, sneaking around. The lies. The lost trust that had to be rebuilt, only to be destroyed again. The fear that all we have may come crashing down around me.

It is not easy. But I love him. As long as he is willing to try, I am too.

Right now, I am witnessing a desire, determination to stay clean, to beat this. I know he will succeed.

Today is one week of being off the methadone and a week of not being dependent on anything. It is hell for him. He stated he feels as if someone ripped out his soul and he’s fighting to get it back.

Only time will tell how this ends. But even in his pain, as I type this and watch him smile through it, laughing with our boys, I know that he’s hurting and in so much pain, but he will make it through this. We will make it through this. We will have our life back. It will be good when all is said and done.

Addiction almost ruined us many times. But here we are, 14 years later. He made it. We made it. We fought through and made it this far. We can make it through this.

Addiction is an ugly thing. It ruins lives. If you are lucky, you can beat it.