The day I married Adrian was one of the happiest days of my life. We dated for several years, moved twice for better job opportunities, rescued our first dog together and cooked dinner together almost every night. We were the perfect match. I married the love of my life and could not wait to start our lives together as husband and wife. When something feels to good to be true, it usually is; I did not know the man that I married was harboring a terrible secret that would later turn our lives upside down.
In 2014, I was completely blindsided by Adrian. After giving birth to our daughter Sophia and recovering from a cesarean, Adrian took my prescribed pain medication. I was completely in shock and embarrassed; he ate the entire bottle. At that moment, I had no idea why he would do this and I had absolutely no idea that I married a drug addict. What is supposed to be the most special and personal experience in ones life; turned out to be my living hell for three years.
Over the course of 2015 through 2017, were some of the hardest days of my life. I was adjusting to being a first-time mom, our bank account was always be overdrawn, I could not afford diapers, I could not produce adequate milk supply for Sophia due to stress and worst of all my husband was an addict that did not believe he had an issue. At the end of the day, I loved my husband and I thought we could beat his addiction. But Adrian was bipolar and that did not help the situation either. He landed in the Veteran Psych Ward six times in two years, spent four months a rehab facility and during those times he made promises to me the sun, moon and stars. Adrian promised for a happier future, he promised to stay clean and he promised things would be different. I believed him every single time, but my life never changed.
It was not until January 2017 that I had enough. It was not enough that Adrian kept going back on drugs, but his behavior was becoming even worse. Adrian started hallucinating and he thought his hallucinations were his reality. After a really horrific night the day after Christmas, I knew my marriage was over. A night that was supposed to be amazing turned into one scariest night of my life. It was filled with rage, hallucinations and threats. It was at that point; I became terrified of my husband. A man that is supposed to protect and love his family showed me he could be my worst nightmare.
After telling Adrian I wanted a divorce I started to live a life of fear. Adrian threatened to take me to court for full custody of Sophia and to be my biggest nightmare. Hearing the words “Sarah, I was in the military and I know how to kill,” put absolute chills down my spine and I knew I could never trust him. I constantly looked over my shoulder everywhere I went. I installed a security system in my parent’s house (where I was now living) and I even kept a duffle bag filled with necessities in my car for emergencies. All I could think was whom did I marry? I felt so dumb for not seeing any of the warning signs of a drug addict prior to marrying him. Then I started to blame myself for everything; maybe if I was a better wife he could have stayed clean, maybe if I noticed the signs of a drug addict I could have gotten him help sooner. Maybe…just maybe there was something I could have done differently. The honest and raw truth is there was not anything I could have done differently, that I was not already doing, protecting my daughter and myself.
If there is one thing I learned from this experience that I want to make crystal clear to anyone that finds themselves in similar situations is do not blame yourself. I can’t stress that enough, your loved ones addiction is not your fault and you can’t fix them. No matter what you do for them, if they want to stop and be sober they have to do it for themselves first. If they do not do it for themselves first, they won’t succeed in being sober, for you or even their children. Addicts are very deceiving, they will say and do anything to have control over you to keep you so close to them, so you don’t actually see them for who they really are.
You have the absolute right to pursue a life of happiness and safety, and never feel guilty for putting yourself first or your family.
Sarah Chavis has lived from the happiest of times to the most challenging of times. In 2014 she gave birth to her daughter (the high) and buy 2017 she was divorcing her husband (the low). Divorce wasn’t something that she wanted to happen, but she had to do it for both her daughter and herself. Sarah chronicles her experiences and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly at her blog – http://itsabellalife.org .