I never expect to hear someone say,"Oh, I understand why she turned to drugs", because no one should ever turn to drugs thinking it's an easy way out or a helping hand. So, what do I expect from others? I try so many times to answer this question, but I realize that has been one of my big problems my whole life.
I expected people to see that I was struggling with the kids, but yet I would play a role and put on a show like I could do it all. I expected people to understand my heartaches, but yet I smiled my way through them. I expected a lot, but without asking. I was let down a lot and it was all my fault.
I was at a family gathering, and my substance abuse was brought up. We were talking about addictions, and I made the statement that cigarettes were an addiction, and I was given a reaction of "NO!!! Cigarettes are a habit."
I know I have to live with people looking down on me, because of my mistakes I have made. I know not everyone understands the rejection of an addict besides another addict. A aunt told me that she use to hold me up on a pedestal, but look what I had done to that. I have to remind myself often that they didn't really know me before, they saw my painted on smile; but they didn't know the real me or else they would be celebrating with me that I'm not that miserable wife, or the sad and lonely mother that I was hiding. I expected support from everyone, I expected everyone to understand the pain I was numbing.
I expected my family to celebrate with me when I said "NO"to temptation. I expect too much from people. So instead of me expecting people to understand my rejection, my heartaches, my loneliness, and my shame. I can only pray to God.
It would be so nice for people to understand that addicts are still humans... And that we come out of rehab, sober but full of fear- more than the norm. Most people fear rejection, regrets, deaths, and the unknown.
Think about this for a minute, we not only carry the fears like others, but we also carry the fears of our past.
I fear I will lose even more family members who reject me after finding out I am an addict. I fear that I might miss that cry out for help from another addict. I fear I will carry my shame and resentments with me everyday of my life. I fear I will never be good enough now that I've been broken. I fear that I will never gain back others trust. I fear that I am my family's embarrassment. Most of all, I fear a relapse, because it will not only kill me but I will forever lose everything I have fought so hard to get back. I fear the unknown, not knowing what I might face tomorrow. For example: It's like my son is scared of the dark. He don't want to go into any room that is dark because he don't know what he might face- like a zombie/monster. As long as someone is there with him, holding his hand, and letting him know it's ok he is not alone. Even though we are grown, when we can't see what's ahead because the of the fog and the demolition we had made out of our lives. We need support, we need someone there to hold our hand, to reassure us it's gonna be ok, and give each other that hope, that light that we lost, and are searching so hard for.
Addicts walk around full of fear, even I do. I have learned I have to depend on God. I'm not fighting this battle alone. He is with me. He never left me, even when I thought he did. He is the one I have to thank everyday for giving me the courage to speak out even when I am ashamed. To help others even though I suffer from heartaches.
I don't expect everyone to understand me, because I am still learning who I am. I have made bad decisions, and it was no ones fault but my own. I can't expect everyone to forgive me just because God has. I don't expect everyone to accept me just because my husband does.
I just hope that someone out there can read my story and understand we are all humans. Everyone messes up, sometimes we swing and miss, and sometimes we stumble and fall.
I know I have to forgive myself, whether others decide to or not. I'm not that same girl, nor am I the "old" Mary Beth. The old Mary Beth led me down the road to destruction.
To my fellow addicts: don't let fear run your life, ask for help, and don't let shame put you back. Not only do we have each other, but we have God waiting on you to ask/help guide you.
I was a slave to my sins (addiction), but God has forgiven me, and I am now set free. I AM REDEEMED!!!!