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Round One. Part Two.

I arrived home safely after the encounter in the boon docks. After the very brief high wore off, I felt guilty. I made the decision I could not "help" my friend and I would focus on my "sobriety" and the upcoming changes in my new life. In my head, I had not relapsed because my issue was alcohol. I was aware I was dabbling in murky waters and if I kept on, I would drown. The pull to make excuses for my substitution of substances was grander than my ability to remain completely sober of mind. Recovery was very new to me. I found a lot of my dysfunction proceeded from vast amounts of alcohol, not other substances. After all, it was easier for me to hide. When I was intoxicated from booze, everyone knew around me. Pills-not so much. I mean, Eric was completely unaware or did not care. If I did not pick a fight with him, he was happy. The tell -tale signs were obvious if you knew me well and paid attention to my behavior-like chain smoking cigarettes and the dilation of my pupils. When I was high, there was nothing better than smoking cigarettes and getting lost in various tasks I would start but never seem to finish. It is true, the eyes are the window to the soul and in my case the window to what substances were occupying my brain. Pin-pointed pupils usually meant I was on "downers" and expanded pupils, well you get the gist, I was high on "uppers." I look back at old pictures, and I am like, "yep, I was high."

(Obviously, various medications unrelated to drugs can change your pupils. I am speaking from my experience).

One of the main reasons I hid the pills I was taking from Eric is because I did not want to share them. It was not long after and we started to move into our new home. I was excited and could not wait for a new start. I was determined to make our lives "perfect" and by that, I mean, to make our new home everything I ever wanted. And I did. It was beautiful. I worked my butt off. Eric and I moved everything by ourselves. I spent hours upon hours taking back control over my life by making it our happily ever after. I had a dining room where I could showcase my grandmother's fine China which made my heart happy. Outwardly, I had what I always wanted. Inwardly, I was dying. My goal to achieve perfection psychology damaged me.

During this time, Eric had a doctor's appointment and was prescribed pain killers. The doctor had prescribed them every few months because of his ongoing issues with his back. We used them to get high. He always shared with me. And this time was no different. It was our "happy pills" and honestly, back then, I liked him a lot more when I was taking them. The pills never lasted long. MAYBE a week. I also decided to go visit another doctor because I needed more clonazepam. I was doing what some refer to as "doctor shopping." During my visit I was prescribed clonazepam and another anti-depressant.

All was going seemingly well.

Until...Eric started hiding vodka. I knew Eric was drinking and he would lie about it until I found the mini bottles hidden in his clothes, briefcase, drawers...I walked around the house like a private investigator. He drove me mad. I was strong the first few times and did not drink. I poured it out furious at him for having the audacity to bring it into our home when I had recently come home from rehab for the exact behavior. The arguments were mild when I was sober. I expressed my concern and asked him to please stop. He said he would. He did not.

I tried not to let it bother me, but it did. The resentment I carried was deadly for my own self-destructive ways. My bitterness towards him made me lose my mind for a short period of time. I know firsthand what pain, betrayal, and hatred can do to the human body, mind, and spirit. It will eat you alive consuming everything you hold dear in this World.

I will never forget the evening that started the chain of events that directly affected my life forever.

The kids went to visit their Bebe (Eric's mother) in Myrtle Beach for her Spring Break. The kids were not at home, and I was cooking tacos for Eric and I for dinner. He came home from work and said he wanted to play his drums. (He never played his drums without being intoxicated). By this point, we were not taking any pills. We had run out. I was completely sober. I walked upstairs and kindly asked him if he had been drinking. He said, "No." I said, "okay" and as usual went to find the evidence to prove him wrong. This was an ongoing battle. He lied and I would search the whole house until I found what I was looking for. I knew I was not crazy, although way too many times he tried to make me feel like I was. This type of behavior does a number on your psychological health.

I walked back upstairs to find him religiously brushing his teeth. Another action was a dead giveaway. I showed him the mini bottle and asked him to please stop lying about it. The lies were more damaging than the truth (like I had any room to judge). In that moment, within my vulnerability, and the kids not being home, I told him I wanted to drink too. He was surprised and initially thought it was a terrible idea and tried to place rules on my drinking. I agreed just to get him to shut up. It sounded great. We were going to have a lovely night, and not take too many shots within a small amount of time. That was one of my rules. I agreed.

Just so you know- alcoholics cannot control how much they consume. Once the first drop of poison hits my lips I am done and off to the races I go. The first night, we had a great time. We connected through drinking like we had done our entire marriage. We stayed up talking, drinking, smoking, and having sex. Does not sound bad, right? Who would not want a night, care-free without kids to re-kindle the romance with not a care in the World?! But it has taken a hell of a lot of pain and bad experiences to understand that is NOT REAL CONNECTION. We were both searching for connection, love, and intimacy. Drugs and alcohol give a false sense of intimate encounters because it allows you to drop insecurities and be more carefree in your surroundings. The real challenge and intimacy are allowing someone to meet you sober, without substances influencing your personality and connection and let it organically flow. Spiritual connections last forever. And when you have the wisdom to realize all things in life have a divine spiritual essence, my friends, you will not let shallow encounters entertain you.

So, what could possibly go wrong? Everything.

The first night went great. It was time for round two. Round two was the beginning to an end. The end of what sanity I had left; alcohol and mind games began to take a toll on my mental health.

It makes me want to go hug that version of myself and tell her, "Be strong. You are about to face many trials. I need you to hold on for your family and for yourself."

There is a certain amount of pain that changes people. It changed me. At some point in your life, you will have an event(s) that will test you. My prayer is that you allow the test to be your testimony.

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