“I have a beautiful family that I never would have had without sobriety.” – Jeff, Recovery Warrior
When people fall victim to addiction, it’s not just them who suffers — those they love, especially their romantic partners, are deeply affected as well. But there is always a way not only to help ourselves beat addiction, but also help our partners cope with the pain they’ve endured. Bev’s inspiring story is just one example of how the power of love can help us overcome any battles — and emerge even stronger in the end.
Bev, a Christian, stay-at-home mom, had a wonderful life. She was married to the love of her life, raising four daughters, and living in a beautiful home. But before her addiction to opioids began, she had another addiction, one that ultimately led to her prescription pain pill abuse: food.
“My addiction started a few years ago when I had gastric bypass surgery. My first addiction was actually food, so when I had the surgery to lose weight, I turned to pain medications,” she revealed. “Over the next few years, I had three more surgeries. All the meanwhile, the doctor that I had all the faith in the world in continued to prescribe numerous amounts of narcotics.”
Bev knew she was on a slippery slope, and though it pained her to lie to her husband, she was afraid she would lose him forever if he knew what was going on. After several months, she found that she was not only relying on painkillers, but was increasingly dependent on alcohol and marijuana as well.
“It was so out of character for me, but by that time, I was addicted,” she said.
Not only was her double life emotionally exhausting, it was also creating a devastating financial burden for her and her husband.
“I no longer had the prescription from my doctor, so I turned to buying pills on the street,” she admitted. “I was spending thousands of dollars every week to buy the painkillers; just before I got treatment, I spent around $3,000 per week.”
One fateful day, she hit her breaking point when she went to the bank to get the money she needed to feed her growing habit.
“I had already withdrawn $2,700 that week, and I needed $300 more. Before I could take the money out, I thought to myself, ‘This is a problem.’ So I left the bank,” she said. “But an hour or so later I went back. And then I left again. Finally, I went to the bank the third time, and I took the money out.
“I cried taking the money out,” she continued. “I cried when I went to my [dealer]. And that night, I cried to my husband and told him what was going on.”
Heartbroken over devastating her husband, she entered an inpatient rehab facility — and although she was terrified to make the leap, it turned out to be the “godsend” she needed. While she certainly takes responsibility for her actions, she believes that because she focused on the people she loved for so long and not enough on herself, she succumbed to problems she didn’t know how to escape.
“Before I got treatment, I was a mom first and a wife,” she recalled. “I didn’t know who I was or where my identity had gone.”
Not only did she go to treatment for herself, but also for the love of her husband and daughters. It hasn’t been an easy journey, but Bev said, “Despite everything … my husband and my girls stood by me.”
Rebuilding the trust in her marriage and with her children is still a constant work-in-progress.
“Now, we are rebuilding our relationships and getting better,” she explained. “It takes time and repetition of behavior. I’ve changed and I’m different than I was before I went to treatment, but I knew I wasn’t going to walk into my house and everything would be better. I was gone for 45 days, but my family was still back at day one. So it takes time and effort, but we are healing together.”
If you are struggling with an addiction, it’s important that you turn to both God and your partner to help you get through it. It’s not an easy step to take, but it’s worth it. God’s love is with us no matter what we’re going through, and as Bev’s beautiful tale demonstrates, we can make amends with our loved ones and rebuild any lost trust with our partners.
Constance Ray started Recoverywell.org with the goal of creating a safe place for people to share how addiction has affected them, whether they are combating it themselves or watching someone they care about work to overcome it. The goal is to share stories of hope from survivors who know that the fight against addiction is one worth having, because no matter how it affects you, life can get better.