The Hard Stuff

27 days.  Yes, today I am 27 days sober.  It was 27 days ago that my life truly began, and it was also 27 days ago that I hit rock bottom.  On that day, the first day, I would have described it very different.  I would have told you that my life was over and that I didn’t know how I was ever going to pick myself back up.  Don’t get me wrong, that day was horrible, and I can only hope I’ll never have to re-live it, but I also think it was necessary and most likely saved my life.  It’s amazing how clear things become with some time, good therapy, a few good podcasts, and of course no guilt ridden trips to the liquor store.

I am writing this post for one main reason.  I want to get my story out, so that maybe it will help any of you who are in a relationship with an addict.  The things I will write about are based only from my experience and no one else’s.  I am not a doctor or a therapist, I don’t have any licenses or degrees that validate any advice I give,  all I have are experiences, a lot of them, and I hope that through them I can help someone else who needs it.

Since I started this blog a couple weeks ago I have gone back and read my first post more times than I probably should have.  Each time, as grateful as I am that I was able to be honest and vulnerable that day, I can’t help but be angry at myself.  I’m not angry for the mistakes I made and all the sad details of my story, and I feel no regret putting it out there for the world to see.  What I am mad about is something that I’ve always done and I did it over and over again in that post.  I blamed myself.  I blamed myself over and over again for every bad thing that ever happened in my marriage, and I blamed myself for it coming to an end.  I will never discount the role alcohol played, and all the horrible img_5033mistakes I made when I was drowning in the bottle, but it is foolish to say in any type of ending that it is all one-sided.  This is why I wanted to write this blog for any of you who are married to, or are with someone who struggles with addiction.  The role you play is huge, at least it was in my experience, and I think every alcoholic out there reading this would agree with me.  Sitting here 27 days later with a clear head and far less emotion in my writing, I can finally be honest with myself and say that some of the situations I was placed in were not ok, and are also not what a loving, supportive partner would ever put the person they love through.  I am in no way trying to “bad mouth” my ex-husband because despite the pain and heartbreak, I wouldn’t have married him if he wasn’t a good person.  Having said that, I have realized that even the best people can do things that you will never understand.  My self-esteem and self-worth was so low that I let things slide and believed what I was constantly told, it was my fault.  My addiction caused everything.  I have so many questions that I wish I had the answer to, but I am also prepared to live my life without ever getting those answers, and thats ok.

Over the last 3 years I have attempted sobriety probably a dozen times.  Each time I started I woke up with high hopes, but inside it felt like I was already defeated.  My sobriety seemed to be more of a burden than a good thing.  When you are trying to stay sober being around alcohol in any way is a risk.  You are so vulnerable and still trying to detox your system, so your body still craves it as if you are still drinking. Because of this, I could not go to parties and I really just didn’t want alcohol around me.  This was not easy because my husband liked to have his parties on Sundays, and even though he didn’t drink, others did, and they didn’t care to bring over their own.  My husband let them, knowing my struggle and knowing how vulnerable I was.  After everything we had been through in our relationship and after how hard I was trying to stay sober, I would come home from work to a bottle of vodka on the table like it was water and I shouldn’t care.IMG_5031  I took that on though, I blamed myself because I’m the one with the problem so I shouldn’t expect my husband to stay sober with me.  He should still be able to live his life right?  Thats what I constantly told myself.  Although this is true in some ways, it is very false in others.  I was doing everything I could to save my life and better our relationship, and it felt like the support I got in return was very little.  What I did get was money here and there to help with therapy, and then words like “I don’t bring alcohol in the home during the week, so I’m supporting you”, and “I don’t want you to drink because you get so emotional and I can’t handle the drama”.  It didn’t feel very compassionate and I felt so alone in the whole thing.  There are many people that have now reached out to me and said “I never wanted to say anything Amelia, but it frustrated me the things I saw your husband do when you were trying to get sober.”  And now, I can finally say I agree.  I have my voice. I am frustrated.  I am hurt.  I am also smart and understand that my alcoholism was probably very hard to live with at times, but it doesn’t change the facts. When you marry someone, you vow to be there through the thick and the thin.  That’s what marriage is supposed to be about.  Marriage is not giving up after 3 months and treating it like a prom date was cancelled.  There are so many things that I wished he would have done, because I know he was capable of it.  He was my hero, my protector, and my safety net for years.  So why?  Ugh.  I don’t understand and I probably never will.  The one thing I needed was for him to show up like a husband should and have my back, be compassionate, loving, and protect me from the one thing that could kill me. IMG_5024If he would have just held me one time and told that everything was going to be ok and that I wouldn’t have to go through this alone, that would have done more for me than I can explain.  Maybe he didn’t know how to do those things though.  Who knows.  All I know is the man I was with for 7 years changed in an instant and I feel like he’s a stranger to me now.  So thats that.  Thats a sliver of my story, and I am not going to feel bad for sharing it.  Vulnerability is necessary even though hard to take sometimes.

 

5 thoughts on “The Hard Stuff

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  1. Amelia, real talk girl, I am proud of you. I am happy for your progress, but not only that, you wanting to share this information with the world so that others can benefit, says a lot of good things about your personality. I hope you are enjoying the sober life. I am so so happy to hear that you made it to this point. I thank God for you.

    Amelia, you see, there are so many things in life that traps us humans. Alcohol, sex, food, drugs, and the list goes on. While we are involved in the situation and feeding the addiction, it is hard to break free. Our body is such a victim and we do not realize it, but we become slaves to the condition. However, we need to learn to break free, and to take control of our spirits, mind, body and soul. Prior to knowing God, I told myself that I could not ever get over the spirit of lust. I though to myself, “how can I see a hot guy without looking and lusting”. However, I was dead wrong. When God cleared the problem away from me, I realized that it is possible to get over the problem. God assisted me. Since knowing God I have realized that a lot of the things that we think are normal even though they are bad are not actually normal, and are just an illusion e.g. Envy. Envy is not normal, and it is something that we can overcome. ‘

    If you are interested, I would like to discuss God with you. He has the power to help you to hold on to your newly found change, and to give you the motivation to keep going without looking back. He also has the power to help with the other things in your life that are not meant to be there, but that are taking residence with you.

    If you are interested, here is a full breakdown on God as I know him:

    I do not know whether you have a relationship with God or not. If you already have a good relationship with God, congratulations, you are on the right path. You do not need to read this comment any further. Chances are high that if you have a relationship with God, you probably already know everything that I am about to tell you. I would say this, keep praying, keep obeying him, and keep trusting in him, and he would come through for you, his promises would be made manifest in your life. However, if you do not yet have a relationship with God, you are in luck, here are some exciting details about God that you need to know:

    You may have heard that God is the creator of the universe and everything within it. This claim is 100% true. God did create everything in the universe, including us humans. Like a good father loves his children, God loves each and every one of us dearly. He likes to provide for us, to bless us, and to help us. His intention is to provide for us in this life and to also grant us eternal life. Eternal life is the life after this life that we are currently living, you can simply call it the after-life. Eternal life would last forever. Not everybody would gain access into the eternal life. Since that life would last forever and in it people would not die, it would not make sense to allow in violent people, liars, thieves and others. Since these people would not die, there would be no end to the problems that they would cause. Therefore, only the purest people are allowed in. We humans cannot be pure by ourselves. We are prone to envy, lying, cheating others and so much more. We learn to do these bad things from such a young age, by the time we reach adulthood, we are already too far gone in it. For this reason, God sent his son Jesus to die for our sins so that we can be easily redeemed and saved. The blood of Jesus has made us pure and worthy. After the death of Jesus, all we need to do is to believe in Jesus and obey the Word of God, and those are the core for gaining access into eternal life. Like I mentioned earlier, God loves to bless us, and he desires to give us everything that we need. However, because God exists in the spiritual realm and we exist in the physical realm, we need to learn to understand how God communicates and to build a relationship with him in order to understand him. Over the course of building a relationship with him, you would understand how he works and how to locate the blessings that he has sent to you both in this life and for the next.

    God wants you to inherit eternal life, as a matter of fact, eternal life is one of God’s greatest gifts to humankind. Nevertheless, God also cares about how you fare in this life. He wants you to know that he loves you. He does not ever want you to feel alone, confused, anxious or sad. He wants you to know the provisions that he has made for you. Like a good father, he loves us and he would like us to love him and obey him. He has put everything in place for our good. There are numerous bible verses that exemplify God’s love for us, here are a few:

    The Bible says in Romans 8: 38 – 39
    “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”

    God says in Jeremiah 29:11
    “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”

    God says in Isaiah 43:2
    “When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
    and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
    When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze”

    God says in Isaiah 41:10
    “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand”.

    The Bible says in Philippians 4:6
    “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done”.

    The Bible says in James 1:5
    “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking”.

    The Bible says in Psalm 34:18:
    “The LORD is near the brokenhearted; he delivers those who are discouraged”

    If you wish to build a solid relationship with God, I would include below a lengthy and detailed suggestion on how you can do so. However, I find that many people get scared at the length of the suggestions. I want to say this, it is a step by step process, do not feel the need to execute it all in one day. Go at a pace that works for you and trust the process. Some people also get the impression that I am judging them or trying to tell them how to act or how to be, No! I do not want it to come across that way, because that is not my intention, I am simply giving friendly suggestions. Some people also get the impression that i am trying to say that if they do not do everything on my suggestion list that they would be doomed. I am not trying to say this. Also bear in mind, that although my suggestions seem lengthy, they would quickly become second nature to you. If you struggle with any of the steps, you can ask God for assistance and he would it make it easier for you.

    If you are ready, here are my suggestions:

    1. Confession of faith: you need to find a quiet space. Imagine that Jesus is in front of you. Ask him for forgiveness of your past sins and the sins of your ancestors. Ask him to give you the strength to forgive those who have offended you. Honestly, I suggest that you forgive the people who have offended you, because whatever they did to you is now in the past, and upon a confession of Jesus as your Lord, you become a new creation. In addition, God commands that we need to forgive others, before he can forgive us. You can also get a deliverance before your confession of faith. Deliverance will rid you off any ungodly spirits that have taken residence in your body and mind. A pastor with a deliverance anointing should be able to help with this. There are also videos on YouTube, where pastors with a deliverance anointing pray directly for people through the videos. You just need to search “deliverance prayer” in the search bar to reach these videos. Now, you need to tell Jesus that you want him to come and be your lord and personal savior, and surrender to him. You need to know that Jesus died for you. He died on the cross so that you may have a chance at salvation. The minute you give your life to Jesus, you need to know that you can no longer live as you wish, you shall live according to the stipulations in the bible. Believe in your heart that Jesus was risen up from the dead by God, and confess with your mouth that he is the messiah and your personal savior.

    2. Prayers: Women need to pray with their hair covered with a scarf or any piece of clothing, this does not apply to men. If you have any unforgiveness, bitterness, or anger in you, it is better to address it before prayer. You are better off coming to God on a clean slate. If you are struggling with dealing with these negative emotions, ask God to help you deal with them first, before proceeding to your actual prayer (a quick prayer asking God to help you with these emotions should be fine). Singing worship and praise songs before praying is useful, because it allows you to get into the prayer mood. Ask Jesus to bless you with eternal life. Tell him to make a place for you in his heavenly abode. You need to understand that praying for heaven is the best prayer that you can ever pray. Life on earth is so short, you need to be worried about eternal life, which is so much longer. God knows that you need clothes, food, shelter etc. He is your creator and he knows your every need. The bible tells us to pray for eternal life and God would provide our other needs (i.e. clothes, shelter etc.) according to his riches. If there is something bothering you, tell God in prayer, commit it to him and ask him to do it for you. However, bear in mind that this life is temporary and so are the things in this life. When you are praying, the devil will try to disrupt your prayers by bringing sudden disturbances such as sudden phone calls or loud noises and evil thoughts. An example of an evil thought that the devil tries to use to stop people from praying is by bringing the thought that Jesus is not present and that they are simply wasting their time. Jesus is there with you when you pray. So pray like you mean it. Pray the same way you will if Jesus was right in front of you because he is. You need to understand how prayers work as well. You see, when you pray, God answers prayers. God usually has three answers to prayers Yes, Yes but Wait, and No. God has a reason for every answer that he gives. He loves you and he will make sure that everything works out well for you in the end. When you get a No from God, sometimes it is not because that thing is not good for you at that point in time, but it may be because God is trying to draw your attention to something that you are doing wrong in your life. When you get a No from God, you need to evaluate yourself, what is the motive of your prayer? is it pure? Is it Godly? Is there an area of sin in your life that you need to work on? When you reflect on these things and you find something in yourself lacking, try to fix it. When God says Yes to prayers and sends you his blessings, trust me, there are spiritual forces of the devil in high places that work against people so that their blessings from God would not reach them. You need to pray against these spiritual forces. Rebuke them by the power and the name of Jesus. This way, your blessings would be able to reach you. Lastly, some people pray lazy prayers. For example, someone might pray for a job, without actually applying to any. God does not reward laziness. When you are praying for something, you need to be putting some work in as well. God rewards hard-work and we ought to strive to be hardworking. God’s role is to direct, bless, and make your path clear. However, bear in mind that sometimes God answers even lazy prayers and gives us undeserved blessings, that shows you the power of his love. He would always be with you. You need to make sure that you are close to God in prayer. Do not cease to tell him about what you are struggling with. If you are struggling with sins of the flesh that you believe are hindering your spiritual growth, you need to make sure that you tell God. Make sure that you pray for an increment in faith. Faith is important, you need to have faith in God. When we pray, we need to have faith, God does not like it when we doubt his ability to provide us with what we want, he is mighty and nothing is impossible with him. When you are low in faith, pray to God for an increment in faith. Remember to pray for your family, your city, your country and the world in fact, no prayers are too big for God. Pray that unsaved people would be saved. Pray for your non-Christian family members, pray that they see the light and become saved. When you pray, make sure that you take care of sins. The bible says that we need to forgive others if we want our sins to be forgiven. Make sure you forgive others, ask for forgiveness of your sins first before praying. Sins can block your prayers from getting to God. Try to avoid sin, but pray for forgiveness of sins everyday, because sometimes, we are not aware of the sins that we are committing. When you get answers to your prayers, remember to thank God.

    3. The Bible: You need to make sure that you are reading the bible and that you are obeying it. I suggest you begin with the New Testament because the coming of Jesus changed many of the things that were practiced before. However, bear in mind that the old testament is also important. You can find free bible apps on google play. You can also find free bibles online. The New Living Translation is an easy to read bible version. However, the most popular one is the King James Version.

    4. Hearing from God: Trust me, God would speak to you. He would speak to you through dreams. Through people, through situations, through the bible and so much more. You need to practice and perfect the art of hearing God’s voice. Dreams contain a lot of symbolism. When you possess an avid knowledge of what the bible says, you would understand the biblical meaning of all the symbols in your dreams. However, for now, you can search online bible dream dictionaries for the meaning of things you see in your dream. You also need to know that although there are general meanings for some symbols, some interpretations are based on context. Take context into account. God does communicate via dreams. Sometimes, you might be asking God for direction on something. Pay attention to the words all around you during this time i.e, the things people say, words you see when reading the bible etc. Sometimes you might even just turn on your TV and the TV anchor would say something that directly relates to what you are going through. Pay attention to these things. You would know it is God’s voice when whatever is said is not in contradiction to the bible and God’s nature. If it is in contradiction then it might just be something random that popped up. You can also hear God’s voice by meditating on him. You can do this by finding a quiet space, you can play some background Christian music if you want. During this time, close your eyes and focus on God. Do some praise and worship in your heart first, then invite Jesus to come to you. Ask a question and pay attention to any bible verses that are brought to your mind, inner voices that you hear, any general feelings etc. If what is said is in line with the bible, then it is probably God speaking. It might take several weeks before you begin to hear God via meditation. If you keep trying one method and it does not work, try another method, like paying attention to the words around you. As you practice the art of listening and hearing, God might give you the gift of seeing visions or the gift of hearing an inner voice, and take you to deeper depths of hearing.

    5. Fasting: fasting is an effective way to get God’s attention. Fasting is a way to spend time with him. You deprive yourself of food because what you seek for is more than food. There are different types of fasting, and you need to plan what works for you. There is the:

    A. Avoidance fasting: This is a fasting form where you avoid something that you cannot do without i.e. Coffee.

    B. Daniel’s fast: In this sort of fasting, you only eat fruit and vegetables and drink water. You do not eat anything cooked or anything other than fruits and vegetables.

    C. Water fast: In this sort of fasting, you do not eat anything, you only drink water. No food, just water.

    D. Total fast: In this sort of fasting, you do not eat or drink anything. You do not drink even water.

    Make sure that you work out what works for you. You can pray to God for directions on the timing of the fasting to follow. However, as a general time-frame, on fasting days, many Christians fast from 6am to 6pm. Many Christians also use those moments when they feel hungry/ feel cravings as prompts to pray. You need to have increased prayers during fasting periods.

    6. Temptations: When you believe in Jesus. Trust me, the devil sometimes would throw trials and tribulations into your life, the goal of this is to get you to denounce your faith. The goal is to frustrate you. You need to pray and fast when trials and tribulations strike. God would never leave you or forsake you. He would be with you and with God, you will overcome this if it ever happens.

    7. Spreading the gospel: Now that you know the truth, you are chosen. It is now your duty to share the truth in the bible with others. Make sure that you save people from falling prey to Satan’s tactics. You need to join the fight to depopulate the devil’s camp, while populating God’s kingdom. With spreading the gospel, do not feel the need to finish reading the whole bible before you begin. You can teach people the little you know.

    8. Read: There is a lot of material out there. There are ministers of God who have practiced for about 40 years. These people have a lot of stories about their ministry. Some of them have the gift to heal others, others see visions, some of them hear God’s voice. Many of these people have written books about how they accomplished what they have accomplished, and how they got their gift. Buy these books and read them. If you do not have money, some of these ministers have shared their stories for free on YouTube, take advantage of that.

    9: Reform yourself: begin to watch Christian movies and listen to Christian music. Make sure that your thoughts, actions, and words are in obedience to the word of God. Make sure that you are not doing anything sinful in your thoughts, actions or words. Refine your world, the space around you, the things you see and hear, make it all about God. You can also join a community of bible believing Christians. However, I need to tell you that there is sectarianism in the religion. Do not pay attention to sectarianism, pay attention to the bible. The bible is your authority. If a church seems to have too much sectarianism issue going on, if they are more focused on promoting their denomination than promoting God and the word in his bible, you need to stop going there. Get a water baptism, and pray so that God would baptize you in the holy spirit.

    (I know I have written this list in the order of 1 to 9. It is crucial that you begin with Step 1. Prayers are something that you need to do constantly, so is bible study, hearing from God and reforming yourself. However, you can start small with fasting and spreading the gospel. You can start by preaching to your family members in the beginning phase of spreading the gospel, but you need to expand on these over time. I know this list seems long and all these seem deep, but trust me, you would blend into it so easily and it would become second nature to you. Pray to God to make all of these easy for you, and he will. The devil would try to trick you into believing that God’s standards are too high and that you would never overcome sin, when in actuality, you can. So therefore, pray to God and believe and he would help you overcome sin).

    If you ever backslide and fall back into sin again while trying to follow God’s word. You need to ask him to forgive you and try to get back on track. You should also ask him to strengthen you, so that you can have more strength in withstanding and blocking off sin. God would hear your prayer and he would send help according to his will.

    If you have any questions, feel free to let me know. If you need to talk, I am here for you. God bless you. Have a blessed day 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Wow, your doing a great job. I’ve found that writing ND communicating really helps you move forward in a positive way. You are aware of enablers and can recognise signs and attitudes that pull you back. Stay strong. You got this. Write!

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  3. Just wanted to say I am enjoying following your journey, although I do not know you. Keep on feeling your feelings and sharing your words with the world. Also, I’ve been doing a little reading about the term “gaslighting” lately (my own shit/path I’m currently on) and was reminded of it in regards to this comment: ““I don’t want you to drink because you get so emotional and I can’t handle the drama.” I think it’s great that you accept accountability for your alcoholism and how it affected your marriage – but I think it’s equally great you remember to look at it as a whole and acknowledge some of the behavior that may have not been ideal from his end. Anyways, I think you’re doing an amazing job handling yourself and all the emotions and challenges that come up. Keep on keepin’ on!

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    1. Hey! Thank you SO much for your sweet comment. It’s always been so easy for me to blame myself, because alcoholism is an easy one to blame, but as I’ve gotten sober I’ve realized there was so much more to it. I guess you can say I am having my own back finally. I haven’t ever really done that, been there for myself and stood up for me. Anyway, thanks again, and I hope you have had happy holidays. I am excited to read your blog!!

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