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When you feel like giving up… (Part 3)

AKA – Addiction is addiction is addiction

So, I love me some addicts.  And I am one.  My drugs of choice are sugar and flour.  My first husband took a certain other white substance to addiction, and my current husband is (thank the Good Lord) almost at 5 years clean and sober from drugs and alcohol.

I’m pretty sure it’s that I want to “fix” them.

or at least I did.  It took many years of Al-Anon (the 12 step program for family and friends of alcoholics/addicts) and reaching my own bottom to realize that I can’t.  I can only “fix” me.  I still slip into old patterns.  I get scared.  When you live in a life that’s constantly chaotic – that becomes comfortable.


I did give up on my first marriage.

When I was pregnant with my oldest I found out he was an addict.  Then, I found out he was (still) addicted when I was pregnant with my younger daughter and I was OUT.  I felt like being a “good wife” was making me a “bad mother”.  I was on the verge of foreclosure and bankrupt.  I had no heat, and my daughters beta fish was frozen in it’s vase.  We lived in the one upstairs bedroom with a space heater.  When a cop showed up and wanted to speak with him, I went to my parents house and asked for help to move me and my daughter out.

I was embarrassed, and felt like a failure.

I felt like I certainly shouldn’t have to ask my parents to bail me out yet again.  I had a government job, a house in my name – all the things that on the outside looked like I was “ok”.

I had become a really good faker.

At least I thought I was!!!  I’m sure now that there were folks that could see right thru the smile into the wound where my heart used to be.  I felt as if I’d failed – Again.  I’m not sure why I had this voice in my head telling me I was a failure.  That I wasn’t good enough, and never would be…  It would be a few more years before I got the answer.  So, it will be farther into the story before I share it with you!  (insert groaning here).  Fast forward a year or so…

I faked the confidence, and snagged me a man.

This man – he was charming.  He had these eye crinkles that just showed his smile went deep.  He was also an alcoholic, who’s father was an alcoholic.  I actually met his dad first, but I want to save that story for another time…

I remember telling my parents – “it’s not like I’m going to marry the guy”.  About a month later, he cleaned out my bank account.  And I stayed.  He cleaned out my kids piggy banks. And I stayed.  He went to jail. And I stayed.

I recall a guy telling me when I was uber preggo with my younger daughter – probably 6 months before I met D. – “You’d be a great catch, but you have 2 kids.  One can be considered a mistake, but 2 – that’s baggage”.   Some friend, eh?  But even to this day I remember that… Careful with your words folks… They can cut pretty deep.  In fact, I have some apologizing to do for my own harsh words (and again, that’s another post).

The only constant was my job.

Work was something I had control over.  I had the ability to make decisions, be fiscally responsible with over a half a million dollars in grants, and eventually manage a department and supervise 4 people.  But it wasn’t going to last forever.  Of course, now I can see that was for the best.

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Next time – Part 4 – Betrayal.

Feel free to share with your friends – I’m starting to think I should have named this series “The Saga of My Life” it’s almost like a soap opera! – We all know someone that can relate!


Erin Hill is a writer, speaker, and healer. She resides on the Eastern Shore of Maryland with her husband and children, who are her greatest teachers. She is currently working on her first book.

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