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The Shift. Part One.

There was a gradual shift making its way throughout my life. The shift was deadly. I tried many things to hold on to what normalcy I had. And for a brief time, it worked until it did not. When the kids were younger, I was a beast in the gym (my goal is to get back there). I worked out hard, but I drank harder. I had my routine and was very dedicated to my schedule. It kept me functioning from my other extra-curricular activities at night. During the day, the kids and I went to the gym five days a week for two hours. It was my saving grace. It was my therapy, and it gave me a break for myself because as a mother of three little ones I was on call 24/7. Afterwards, we would eat lunch, nap and then go to a park, or have a playdate with one of my mommy friends. Don't get it twisted, it was not that luxurious. It was like herding cattle trying to get the kids in-and-out of the mini-van without 59000 meltdowns of not wanting to wear shoes, or which color sippy cup they wanted. By the time I made it to the gym, it was headphones on and world off. Not to mention, I was usually hungover and mad at Eric about something. (Back then, it was usually because he was still in bed as I took care of everything I felt like. He would help get the kids dressed some days then lay back in bed and I would not say a word. The anger I felt towards him not meeting my expectations of what he should be doing had me drinking myself into an oblivion.) Yes, taking care of three little ones all the same age was stressful, but God had called me to be a mother, I was good at it. I was not good at communicating my feelings and telling Eric how I felt-that was until I was drunk and threatened divorce or cried about wanting to go back home to Alabama.

Truth is, I was miserable because I did not who I was in anymore. I was caught up in my role as a mother forgetting who I was in Christ. I was miserable being married to Eric because It was nothing like I EXPECTED. He was not what I expected. And guess what? If you asked him...he would say the same thing about me! I was not what he expected. The fun girl who was carefree and laughed at his jokes was no longer fun and no longer laughed at his jokes. I was not innocent. It takes two to tango like we did. We were both immature and lacked self-love for ourselves. So, what did we do? Demolish each other with hateful words then have a make-up sex right after acting like it did not happen. Over and over again until it became our new normal. After we put the kids to bed, or they were asleep, is when most of our fights would occur. Plenty of time for the vodka, beer, wine, and pills to seep in our spirit and make us at war with each other. I was usually outside on our back porch talking to my best friend smoking cigarettes while Eric was inside awaiting to say something to set me off. He was cruel with his words. Most nights he wanted my attention, and I wanted nothing to do with him. I wanted to be alone or do my own thing and it bother him. He wanted me inside watching a Sci-fi movie and I wanted to talk and smoke my cigarettes.

I remember when I first started to get blackouts. I used to party hard with Eric when we dated and very rarely did, I have blackouts. But-my body and mind had changed. I was drinking a lot faster in a short amount of time and taking an antidepressant along with pain pill or clonazepam. It was a cocktail mixer that would make anyone non-functional. And I held on to that cocktail as long as I could...

The shift that changed my whole demeanor was when Eric started taking pictures and videos of me. At my lowest point, he stood with a lens in my face to capture it. To capture the disgust. Then, he would send it to his mother building a case to take the kids away from me. All while, buying the vodka, and drinking with me. He participated in my downfall and years later (2018) used the ammo in front of a judge. The video he used I was standing at our kitchen island with hate in my blurred eyes and speech saying, "you are a hypocrite." That day the court ruled in his favor.

I finally got tired of the hurt, and left Eric in October 2017. There was one problem...I could not run from myself and my own demise. That was the beginning of my downfall.

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