*I'm posting this today with the complete support, encouragement and blessing of Jeremy, because this is his story, and not mine, and I would never share it without his permission.
Sometimes life takes you down paths and roads that are so difficult and arduous that you fear you will never come out whole on the other side; that you will never see the light at the end of the tunnel. Jeremy and I began a journey two years ago today that was one of the most difficult experiences we have had as a married couple, and when the process began, we didn't know what would be at the end of the road when we got there. Two years ago today, on October 11th, Jeremy made the most selfless decision that he's ever made, and admitted himself to an inpatient rehab program for addiction to prescription medication. Jackson was a new kindergarten student, and Anderson was a tiny 4 month old baby.
In an instant, our whole life was rocked to the core. We made the choice to tell Jackson that Jeremy was on an extended work trip, and he was in treatment for 16 days. It was the longest time of my life, and I cried more than I ever thought was possible at the fear of what was going to happen to our family. Overnight it felt like everything in our entire world was shattered. Jeremy and I had the support of our families, very close friends, some amazing bloggy friends (you know who you are!), and some church members that we felt needed to know. We were fiercely private about who was in the know during this time, mostly because we didn't want the world knowing our business, when we didn't know which end was up. It quite honestly felt like I was being tossed in an ocean of overwhelming emotions, and I didn't know when, or if, I was going to be able to come up for air.
Jeremy received some amazing treatment, learned coping skills, and began his 12 step journey. I was able to attend family classes that taught me about the disease of addiction. In my mind, it was as simple as making a choice. In those classes I learned what a true demon addiction is, and it opened my eyes to the battle Jeremy had been fighting. I had to learn to deal with so many fierce emotions related to Jeremy's problem: anger, sadness, grief, frustration....you name it, I felt it. I've never been so sad and angry in my life, and it's very hard as a mom to put on a happy face when you are in front of your kids, when all you want to do is curl up in a ball and cry.
During his treatment time, we did allow Jackson to talk to Jeremy on the phone, and I was able to visit Jeremy during visitation times. It was very hard, but we all knew that Jeremy was doing what he had to do to get better. It was his time to be selfish in order to be a better person. After he was released he began an intensive outpatient program that involved spending many nights a week away from us, but as hard as it was, we knew that Jeremy was doing what he had to do. He got hooked up with a very good sponsor, and continued working his steps. It's been a very long journey, but Jeremy has been doing amazingly well.
Jeremy got a text from his sponsor last night and all it said was, "U Good?" Jeremy responded back, "Sure am! Doing great!" His sponsor replied, "God is good!"
Yes, God is good. All the time. In the midst of trials and tribulations in life it's really easy to shake your fists at God and say, "Why me?" "What did I do to deserve this?" I personally never would have chosen this path, but I firmly believe that God allows us to go through things that are uncomfortable and downright painful for reasons that are far beyond things we will ever understand. Because Jeremy and I have walked this path, we have been able to help others that are currently beginning the same journey. Because I, as a wife of an addict, and Jeremy, as an addict, have been there, we can share our experiences in a way that someone who has never been there will never fully understand. It's been two years, and we are just now getting comfortable in telling people, "I've been there! I know exactly what you are feeling!" Neither of us are ashamed of our journey because God has kept us intact throughout it, and I think that Jeremy is such a wonderful husband and father. Our marriage is strong, our family is happy and we are both doing very good. Maybe, just maybe, God allowed us to walk our journey through the fire in order to show others that yes, you might get burned a little bit during this journey, but burns heal, and you too will heal.
Addiction is, and always will be, a journey that we will always walk. It doesn't appear overnight, and it doesn't ever disappear. We will always have to keep mindful of things that the average person will never have to worry about, but we are aware and cautious at every turn in the road. Two years clean and sober is such a great accomplishment and I'm so very proud of Jeremy. With God, all things are possible, and Jeremy and I are living proof of that.