Over the past year our family has overcome many heart wrenching obstacles. It all started in June 2015. My aunt had a massive stroke. After 6 months of hospitals and long term care facilities she lost the battle to stay alive. I lost my favorite person in the world. I lost my best friend. The same time my aunt was battling for her life, my uncle was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. He lost his battle six months later as well. My mother lost her last remaining relative on her side.
These two events lead my sister to completely losing it. She checked out of life and checked into a psychiatric hospital for a week. So, here we were, the Christmas season upon us and we were down three family members. My two children were our saving grace. We all kept putting one foot in front of the other and dredging on.
All the while, I, on my own was dealing with my husband relapsing after 10 years of not touching drugs. I embraced denial like it was a part of me, and turned a blind eye. I was not ready to deal with this. Everyone just thought I was just miserable. With a history of addiction running through my family, I knew the road he was going down was going to be hard for all of us. I prepared myself everyday to live my life and take care of my children on my own. He seemed to be choosing the drugs over our family.
After months of dealing with my husband’s using, I finally kicked him out. The next day he sought help. I drove him to detox and he stayed for inpatient treatment for 12 days. If you would have told me that I would have been alone with 2 children, working full time, and maintaining a household successfully, I would have told you, you were out of your mind.
This brings us to the present. My step-mother’s mother passed away very suddenly. We were all in shock. Another death, another obstacle. To top it off, my sister checked out of life again, and is going to a 30 day inpatient psychiatric hospital 2,500 miles away.
My best friend, who has been through every step of this morbid and disappointing 10 months asked me how I was so strong. She asked me how I have been able to get through all this and still maintain humor and hope. I told her I had to thank the pharmaceutical company for that. She laughed and said “no, you are just that strong.” I then realized that 10 years earlier I had been through a program that prepared for this and all that life had to throw at me.
I reached out to someone who held a very special place in my heart. Someone who had helped me more than he could have ever imagined. Michael who was my counselor in treatment. I reached out to Michael to thank him for being a part of a program that broke me down and built me up. Built me to be the woman I am today. The woman that can get through anything. The woman that my family can come to, to lean on.
The woman who loves and takes care of her kids. A woman who shows up for life no matter what is going on. A woman who can get through all the horrible things my family has been through over the past year.
To date, treatment was the hardest and best experience I had ever been through. I was dropped in South Florida with no money, no family, and no one to bail me out. The program taught me and prepare me to get through anything.
I will forever be grateful to the that treatment program and Michael Herbert. Both were my saviors, and a source of hope in a very hopeless existence.