In my blog "Let's Talk About Mental Illness" I have been boldly sharing my family's experiences with opiate addiction. As a writer nothing fuels my passion to write more than when it is personal. I just get fired up and I cannot hold back!
I have to admit that during my career writing web content I was often shy about sharing personal stories. I did let go and write about my own child's journey with mental illness only because of the frustration I felt over how ignorant so many people were about the subject. In my mind sharing my story could only help educate others.
Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. I am not going to quote statistics but safe to say that everyone knows of someone who has either been treated or is in treatment. Not everyone talks about it and to me, this is sad.
Addiction is most often a secondary reaction to some kind of mental illness that has gone untreated. In my husband's case it is the result of an extremely abusive childhood. My husband left home at 15 years old and unfortunately never received any positive guidance or direction. He shoved away all the pain and instead sought out ways to self-medicate and survive.
Many years later the cycle of self-abuse finally became too much for him and desperate to change, he finally is receiving professional treatment.
You are never too old to get onto a different road and it is never too late to change your course.
The road to recovery has not been easy at all. It is never as simple as one might think. Life is complicated but if you persevere you can do it.
He cannot do this alone and as anyone who loves an addict knows, sometimes it feels like the whole family needs to band together to tame the monster of addiction.
This isn't an easy journey that we are on but we have to face this monster and deal with it or else it will destroy us all.
My husband has demons to battle and put to rest. It isn't going to be pretty for him to re-live the nightmare of his abusive childhood but he needs to in order to let it go. He deserves peace in his life once and for all.
At times as we battle this monster called addiction I don't know how we are going to win. There are times I want him gone out of my life because the struggle is so hard.
I believe he can get to the other side and learn how to put the pain to rest. I believe he is strong enough to forgive the past and move forward and leave it all behind him.
Everyone of us has some battle to fight and sometimes we need help to fight through it. I can't fight it for him but I can help be here to support him. I am learning how to little by little and more each day. I'm not perfect; none of us are.
Life isn't always pretty but there are no rainbows without rain.