Acceptance of one’s self is a funny little thing. So easy on the surface, to put in words, but so hard to really do. My husband has had a long road of struggles in his life from being born a cleft palate and all that comes along with it, to struggles with depression and addiction.
We just passed the two year mark on his sobriety and life couldn’t be sweeter. To celebrate those two life changing years we went out for a beer. Just kidding, it’s okay to laugh about it, we do. Laughter is good for the soul.
Now, seriously, he decided it was time to share his story with the world. I am incredibly proud of what he has done and who he has become. So many dealing with these issue are not as lucky as us. My husband is a warrior that came out on the other side and this is what he shared:
“This post is a little long, but I’ve felt compelled to finally share my story. My life has changed a lot in the last 2 years, so please, hear me out. Maybe it will hit home, maybe it will help someone, maybe it will inspire you. But please don’t feel sorry for me.
I am an alcoholic, I think in some ways, I always knew that. Today is my 2nd Sober Birthday. I lacked that filter to turn off the drinking. I just never wanted to admit it. Now, that’s just the start. My problems run deeper, much deeper. Almost 7 years ago, I was also diagnosed with major depression disorder and underwent counseling for a number of years. There were many factors that contributed to my depression. I was born with a facial birth defect that added trauma from so many surgeries. I was sexually abused by someone, outside my family, when I was a small child. Yes, I said it. You read it. Life is not always roses. There is more. My wife experienced four miscarriages while we were trying to start a family. We lost four beautiful lives, let that sink in for a minute, And these are just the “highlights.” Yeah, life is not always simple.
The more I tried to avoid the issues, the more I drank to hide the pain. It only made things worse. Worse for me, worse for my friends, worse for my family.
My disease is not an excuse. I’ve hurt people, destroyed relationships and made some big mistakes. All I can do is apologize and hope those I’ve hurt can find it in their heart to forgive me and let me back into their lives. Some of you have forgiven me and others have chosen not to be a part of my life anymore, and that is okay.
It’s not easy. We weren’t promised easy. We were promised grace and forgiveness. Even when you think you can’t, you can be a warrior. You can overcome anything when you let Jesus take over. You just need to open your heart and have faith.
Two years ago, my life began to change. The night before I entered treatment for alcoholism, I dropped to my knees and asked our Lord, Jesus Christ, to come back into my life and take over. I want to share how great our God is and be an advocate for so many who struggle.
Today marks my second year of sobriety. It’s my “2nd Birthday.” It’s been a long, happy, painful and unexpected journey. In that time, I’ve strengthened my marriage, become a better father, a better friend and most importantly, someone who now wants a relationship with God instead of just believing in Him.
I’ve learned that God wants me to help people who’ve suffered or still suffer from addiction, abuse or mental illness. It’s never too late to stop trying to do everything yourself and let God takeover as He’s always wanted to do.
I speak to groups to help them transition from rehab back into real life while living with this disease. I’ve spoken with friends, past and present, to help them talk through similar struggles they are facing. God is using me to help them heal while continuing to heal and strengthen me at the same time.
Almost a year ago, my family and I moved into our forever home. Many people sell a house, buy a house and move with lots of headaches along the way. Only God can do it with the ease, good fortune and blessings we had along the way. The building process, the move, the amazing neighbors, it just all fell perfectly into place. I’m not saying submitting to God will give you the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but it will change your life, your perspective and heart! It will make your life full and help you realize what a wonderful God we serve. He provides in non-material ways that make you feel like the richest person in the world.
For the rest of my life, I will live with depression, be an alcoholic and a child abuse survivor. Those labels will not define me. When I walk with Jesus, I know I can overcome anything and be the one standing at the end of the rainbow.
Living with this disease and suffering from depression are nothing to be ashamed of. More people than you know probably are struggling. Many are afraid to ask for help. I encourage you to talk to someone if you are struggling. Seek help from counselors or a treatment facility; if you’re tired of trying to do it yourself only to end up more tired, miserable and alone. Pick up the phone and call me. I’ve been lead to help others who are walking in my shoes. I know that it is not easy. I’ve walked a long hard road to get where I am. I have lost friends, ones I’ve cared about; they either don’t understand or don’t want to. But through it all, I have found clarity. I have made new friends who know the real me and are good for me. I have found myself, and I kind of like the guy.
It’s not easy, life never is, but God never gave up on me. He never forgot about me. God is good and loving. He wants you to seek Him and provide for you in ways you’ve never dreamed of. He will not give up on you and neither will I.
If you have questions please, reach out to me via direct message, email or phone. If you know someone who needs to talk, encourage them to do the same. Just please, don’t sit there and do nothing.”
What a testimonial, what a great God we serve. As he found his way to our lord, my relationship only deepened. We have been blessed with grace. Through the struggles, I am finding a new norm and a new sparkle. I have learned a lot in the past few years from watching him battle for his happiness, his family and his sobriety but that is a story for another day. Click here to read that story.
If you know anyone struggling with addiction, depression or more, reach out. There is always a hand to help, you just have to have the courage to ask. Until we chat again, remember, in the midst of chaos, sparkle. Don’t let life dull you shine.
The Manicured Mom