By Sarah

My friends suspected. My husband knew. My children knew. They begged me to stop. At first, I didn’t want to stop, and then I couldn’t stop. It wasn’t that I wouldn’t, I couldn’t.  

My life was ugly. I couldn’t tell the difference between up and down, right or wrong, reality or fiction. I was stealing from the people I loved the most. I stole their trust. I stole my husband’s wife. I stole my children’s mother. I stole my integrity. 

My path to addiction didn’t have a giant catalyst; just an evolution. I didn’t see it coming. Wine with dinner, a glass of wine to relax after a long day, and finally hidden bottles. The descent was slow and steady until it wasn’t. 
I love my children and my husband, my family is my heart. I would die for them, suffer for them but I couldn’t stop drinking for them. I was swirling around in the fog of delusion and the more I wanted to stop and save myself  the more I wanted to drink. 

My body, soul and spirit were crushed and I conceded to 23 days in a rehabilitation facility. I left sober and broken. I did know that I had been given a second chance, a second chance that I didn’t feel that I deserved. I did know with a clarity I never felt before that I didn’t want to go back to the despair I hid in the bottles. 

It has taken a lot of self-reflection for me to acknowledge that I am grateful for my experience. I don’t even wish there had been an easier, softer way. I needed this journey to find clarity and the payout is more than I ever expected. I needed the fall to force a change that I didn’t even know I needed. I can say that now, 6 months after rehab I feel empowered. I make decisions about how I want to live my life that have validity. I am a role model for my children and family. They saw me at my worst and saw me work to change. They saw how our family survived. My children see the dangers of being complacent, they saw the love and strength of a husband who fought for his wife and children. They witnessed a love story, a redemption story, and a story of strength that is ours.  

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information. Weblink: