STILL HARD TO BELIEVE I WOULD TAKE SUCH A RISK (How it began…)

My husband had used cocaine before he met me and knowing my attitude toward hard drugs hid from me that he still sometimes used. His use is related to poor judgment when under the influence of alcohol. It is often socially related and quite different from my experience. His addiction is to alcohol. We have history involving broken trust with his drug use and hiding it. I have taken on the role of investigator at different times in our relationship.

At the time of his most recent relapse, I saw a behaviour change that was related to friends he had made at a new job.  This and other evidence made me suspect he was using again. More terrifying this time was that I had found evidence he was smoking something (and he has an aversion to marijuana). When I was convinced I was right, I confronted him with a friend and having the expectation he would hear the positive support and understanding I was offering and agree to get help. I was heartbroken when he insisted I was wrong despite the obvious evidence. He was angry and cruel, barely letting me finish what I needed to say. He swore it was just alcohol he had a problem with, but was unwilling to change at that time due to stressors at work. I was not prepared for that response and it sent me reeling because I knew I could no longer stay in a relationship without trust. I had made it really safe for him to tell me the truth. I felt like the addiction was more important to him than his family, but at the same time I desperately wanted to understand.

I had been researching crack and meth as I sought proof he was using and had realized it was more than cocaine this time. Before the confrontation I was sure I was right, but he was successful in creating doubt and I wanted to be wrong. As I continued to seek information on harder drugs my curiosity began heightening. As I read about dopamine and the chemical science behind cocaine, something I had been terrified of became attractive. I made a conscious choice to satisfy my curiosity and prove my husband was using if the opportunity ever came up.

One night after partying with his friends from work and the intake of a great deal of alcohol, we were left outside our home with one of his friends. My husband asked if it was okay with me if his friend smoked some hash (like I said something my husband would never do because it affects him negatively, while I openly smoked marijuana and occasionally hash). I knew what was being put into the pipe was not hash, but this was my opportunity and I approached it with an ‘if you can’t beat him, join him’ attitude. Aware of the risks, the power of hard drugs and that I was chemical changing my brain; I ignored the fear and took my first inhalation of crack cocaine. Part of my fear about trying hard drugs was in regard to liking the high and I was correct to have that fear.

The next day it was surreal to me that I had followed through. I am a wife, a mom, a business woman and a volunteer respected in my community of friends, colleagues and acquaintances. People have told me I am a role model and inspiration. Now who was I?

I will continue posting some history and share some poetry if you would like to hear more of my story and if you are inspired to share your thoughts or your own experience I will value your insight and respond as soon as I can.

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DARKNESS I BROUGHT UPON MYSELF

I have truly veered from my path and although I take steps to move back toward it, I have to work every day not to lose direction and hope. I brought this upon myself the day I tried cocaine. I have tried to remain honest with myself about my addiction. I knew when I first took the risk (in my 40s – as insane as that sounds to me) that I may be on a path to a place where I would need help to stop.  I have been in complete codependence with my husband. After taking this risk to understand more about his addiction, and to in one way join him because I felt powerless to his addiction, I am left feeling defeated by a substance and tired to the core of my being.

I have experienced much loss and challenge in my life and have learned to feel pain and then use it to learn. I have a great deal of strength, but addiction has taking my ability to harness it. I continually fight a battle with brain chemistry and the power of the drug.  I had considered myself someone who does not have the typical addictive gene. Throughout my adult life I have found myself using alcohol or marijuana to cope and celebrate but remained aware of how it could interfere in my life. I never had a problem taking these substances out of my life when I felt it appropriate. Cocaine, however, is different. I now have a true understanding of addiction.

Right now I am having trouble getting past judging myself and returning my focus to the best of myself. I want to have all my power back. I need my strength to support my husband through his addiction. He is motivated to keep this from our lives as well, but I am not confident he will follow through with the help he needs to make the commitment. (His addiction does not have the same patterns as mine and I feel he falls into much more denial than I do). This affects my commitment to quitting, both because we used together and because one of my biggest fears is losing our marriage if I make the commitment and he relapses.

I am afraid to share my story like this due to being judged. At the same time, I have learned so much about not judging others with addiction. No one can know what another person experiences if they have not been in that place themselves. Even then each of us is different, but we always have the power to choose our attitude towards ourselves and others. I want to focus on making myself better.  Part of that for me is sharing the dark and the light of this experience, hoping to support and inspire others who have addiction recovery as part of their lives.

Have patience with me as I am sure I will bounce from past to present and from negative to positive. Share your thoughts and experiences with me and I will make every attempt to respond to you in a timely fashion.