He limps into the room: skinnier, snifflier, dead in the eyes. I actually thought he might be coming back to me after a near-death scare, a promise to get clean, a few sessions on a therapist's couch, but it's all back again.
And for 12 years some knucklehead with a prescription pad has been giving him pain pills for his back. It's a life of justifications, covering up, pretending. I could hear my husband open our front door as I prepped dinner in the kitchen. The coldness in his words, the preoccupation behind his eyes, the sound of his struggling lungs whistling as I try to sleep next to him.Except I knew it wasn't really my husband, not the same guy I married over five years ago. Today it's Vicodin, before that it was Methadone, before that it was Heroin, and before that it was an Oxy Contin prescription from his doctor, hoping to ease a gnawing pain in his leg. It's a life of justifications, covering up, pretending. Being a drug addict's wife means understanding the whys and seeing the humanity behind the label.My name is Rebecca and I work here in the admissions center at Addiction Campuses. In order to save you, I have to tell it like it is – and sometimes, that means I have to hurt your feelings. I have to say the things you don’t want to hear to stop you in your tracks. I’m here to rip off the band-aid of lies that you have placed over your deep wounds. The lies you’ve been telling yourself, your family and your friends. The truth of the matter is that when we have an injury, we seek a solution. He wanted to be present and in order to be present – he bravely endured the intense pain of death. Instead of acknowledging what she’s become, you choose to remember all of the times that you bounced her on your knee, taught her how to ride a bike, maybe catch a football and let her dance on top of your feet. She’s your baby and to think she’s a drug addict hurts. It doesn’t matter if you are waiting until they go to bed at night to get drunk or high. I answer calls, save lives by helping people get into treatment, and I put families back together. If the answer is surgery, then, by all means, find a surgeon and fix that herniated disk or whatever it is. Your pain is gone and you can go back to work and live a productive life. Because your son is not still suffering from an event that happened years and years ago. What I am about to tell you is going to hurt even more. You are still trying to manage this disease, and you’re not present. What if your sweet, innocent baby girl finds you passed out in a pool of your own vomit? I know you think you’re pulling it off and everyone believes you. Your kids know you’re drunk and your kid’s friends know you’re drunk. You are not parenting, you’re not present, and your children deserve more. This is the ugly, nasty, dirty truth about addiction that I need you to see.