If you have been listening to my podcast or reading my blog, then you know that I love to research.
One of my happy places is sitting behind my computer in my office with a warm cup of tea and spending the day Googling and getting deep into a subject.
Recently, I went to an event in Naples, Florida and during dinner, I sat next to a researcher. Usually, I’m not a fan of those kinds of events. But, I was so excited to find another introvert who could discuss research strategies.
When I was married to a good man who drank too much and was addicted to drugs and many other things, I began to research.
First, I started looking into top rehabilitation centers. That research led me to this post about the top ten things you need to know about rehab.
After I researched ways to help the man I love get sober, I started researching ways I could find help for me.
Where were the resources for the family members? I did find some, but they all seemed so depressing.
They usually had a cliched picture of a person standing on top of a mountain with his or her arms open wide. Or, even worse, images of drugs and alcohol. The last thing I needed to see was images of the very substances that were responsible for taking the man I love away from me. Do you know the kind of pictures I’m talking about?
I craved something with real answers.
I found chat rooms that were filled with angry women who were only using it as a place to vent. And let’s be clear – there’s nothing wrong with venting. But if you’re around someone who’s constantly complaining, you know that it can be depressing. How often are you going to want to hang out with someone who’s always using their energy to unload their negativity?
And as a quick side note: this is why I always tell women to be careful with their friendships when they’re married to someone who’s struggling with addiction. You want to make sure you’re always finding a balance between sharing your struggles, but also listening to other people too. It can’t always be about our urgent problems.
I went to group meetings. But after a few months, I felt like I wanted to have a real conversation and sometimes I left feeling even more worried and depressed than when I arrived.
So, I started thinking, “How can I take such a serious subject and make it more approachable? More warm and loving?” My intention is not to downplay our pain. Because loving someone who loves drugs and alcohol more than they love us is painful.
But when I look back at my 10-year relationship with an addict and alcoholic, I see things to be grateful for. There were many blessings that came out of our marriage even though it didn’t last.
I would never, ever take that time back. And that motivated me to create a social media campaign called 12 Blessings of Addiction. Once a week, I post a very personal blessing that came from loving someone struggling with this disease on Facebook and Instagram.
I think you will be shocked at what you read. And my hope is that you can see yourself in my situation. I get very vulnerable and, yes, I was scared to be this personal. But I want to be real with you about my truth because I think most of you will be able to relate.
Now, this is just a warning: some of these blessings are controversial. I’ve already received some not-so-loving feedback. But you don’t have to agree with everything I’m saying. It’s okay if we have a difference of opinion. We can still be sisters and in this together. We shouldn’t let addiction tear us apart just because we all don’t think alike.
So if you need encouragement and are wondering why God put you in this relationship – check out my Facebook Page and Instagram and look for the posts about the 12 Blessings of Addiction. Send me a friend request or follow me. I would love to hear from you. Plus, you’ll get the latest essays and podcasts.
And before I go, I want you to lean in really close. Because I think you might need to hear this today.
Addiction is a part of your destiny. It’s a painful part of your life story. And because this is your truth, one day when the healing has gone from a scab to a scar, you will be used to help many others. Your suffering will be the most wonderful offering you give. And your pain will be the most wonderful gift you have received. You just need to make it through. You’ve got me and I’m here cheering you on. And you’ve got the other women in this new movement. And together we will stand hand-in-hand and break the stigma of addiction.
If you’re in need of immediate help, recovery, and answers, I have you covered. Go check out my three programs. They are online and do-at-your-own-pace. You have lifetime access, so if something comes up you can take a pause and come back whenever it’s most convenient for you. You don’t have to go through this alone.