My name is Jaime and I am a recovering addict. For months I have been the quiet addict hiding behind my lap top too humiliated and ashamed to share my story. But now here I am, a nervous wreck but determined to put my story into words and share my battle with addiction. As you all know when we tell our stories we leave out some of the gory details but I know we can all read between the lines. So here I go; I'm literally just going to allow my heart to open. I know there are some people that are going to try and pick my story apart due to some of the circumstances, but this is me telling "my story, in my words".
My Battle with the Demon: Addiction
In 2009 I divorced my first husband and was the first in my family to ever go through a divorce, I will leave it at that, but I think you can probably tell this was VERY difficult. We have three children and it was in the best interest of myself, and my children, to leave my marriage. For an extended period of time I didn't speak to anyone in my family; but we wont get into any of that. Shortly after my split from my husband I became involved with a man who is now my future husband. He's also a father, and his son was the youngest of the four (my three and his one). His ex wife was battling breast cancer and while we knew her condition was not good, and we knew it could one day take her life, I don't think we ever fully believed it would actually happen or at least not so quickly. Looking back, today, I think we didn't believe it due to the way she fought her battle. She fought her battle with so much courage and strength while living each and every day to its fullest. Often times looking at her and watching her it was hard to believe she was even ill. She honestly fought like a warrior.
Now like in every divorce we had our share of disagreements in the beginning, but we were eventually able to put those aside and form a relationship. My step sons mother was in the public eye ALOT, on local news stations, in the local papers, wrote and published two books and in her words was "very well connected." She did this to help shine a light on breast cancer and share her story. While I know her reasons for taking her story public. I don't feel that she or any of us for that matter ever thought her small town Illinois fame would back fire, but jump up a couple of years and boy did it ever back fire!
In 2013, my now husband finally sold his home, and my lease was finally up so we made the decision to purchase our first home together and move to small town that neither of us were very familiar with. We were excited to move to a new community and officially blend our families together. We were all very happy and eager to get settled into our new home and in our new community. Shortly after moving into our new house we received the phone call that we never wanted to receive. We were actually away with the kids at Holiday World for a week long vacation when my husbands ex wife called to say that her cancer had spread, and that there was no more the medical team could do for her. She said that she was, "Out of options." I remember that call like it was yesterday, and again we knew she was ill and we knew her chances were not good, but I still couldn't wrap my brain around any of this. I remember I had to take a walk because I wasn't able to look her son in the eye without crying. We didn't want him to know anything until we were able to make it home and reunite him with his mother. We immediately packed up and headed home. I cried behind my sun glasses the entire way...
Once we were home we agreed that we would all meet and tell her son together, I felt out of place and I didn't know what to do or how to handle any of this. Yes, my husband and I had been dating for four years at the time, and his ex and I knew one another. We talked frequently—yes I was active in their sons life—but I still did not know my place. I didn't know what to do, what to say or how to handle any of this. But she did! She sat her little boy down, held him in her arms, and told him the doctors ran out of her magic cancer medicine. She told him that she was going to go to heaven soon. She did this with such grace and was so gentle and even seemed at peace. I remember looking at her and wondering where she got her strength from? We were all in tears, and to this day, it will forever be etched in my brain. It still sends me into a tailspin when I think about it for too long.
Over the next few weeks her and I began to talk daily. She would come over and we would have lunch together, and we would take the kids to the pool together. She shared all of hopes and dreams for her sons future with me. She wanted me to know what she expected and which certain wishes she had for her son. My husband and I talked about marriage. Well, more like I talked about marriage, and he was confused. To this day I know that she put the pressure on him to pop the question and this topic is one that she brought up daily. She almost insisted at times that she wanted to know "it" was going to happen and her reason was simply because her son couldn't go through anymore drastic life changes. At this point he had his mom, his dad, a step mom (not by marriage but an active participant in his life), as well at three older siblings. As a mother I understood where she was coming from. In early September 2013 my husband popped the question and his ex wife seemed thrilled. She was asking us details about our plans etc. In my mind I was in a cloud and felt like I didn't have a grip on any of this. Later that month she passed away.
This is when my hell began. And if you remember earlier in this story about her being in the public eye? Well now I will tell you why this caused so much damage for all of us. Once she passed away it was like we were all under a constant microscope. That small town we were so excited to move to, well that went to total hell. I was especially judged every day by people whom I had never even meant. It was horrible, if I cried I was making it about me, and if I didn't cry I was a heartless bitch! The rumors began to fly and people said anything that anyone could say,or make up; they were doing it. By the beginning of November I did not know which way was up and which way was down. We had four kids all in a new school district under a microscope hearing rumors, being taunted, not knowing who their friends were etc. It was horrible! My oldest son who was 16 at the time was a wreck. He starting hanging with the wrong crowd at school, threw his football dreams down the drain, and began getting into trouble.
As a mother I was watching my oldest son unravel. My step son just lost his mother, my other two kids were confused, and there was the other one who refused to leave my side because she was scared I might die. It was hell! We were to be married on November 18th and I was a mess. This is when I started frequently taking pain pills to numb myself just to cope and deal with our lives falling apart. I was about to marry a man that I loved but began asking myself if he loved me, or if he was marrying me because his ex-wife wanted him too. Or even as shitty as this is going to sound... was he doing it because his son needed a mom? I didn't know, hell at this point I didn't know anything except that I could no longer deal with any of this. But I couldn't let on to anyone that I was crumbling! After all, everyone was already talking about me and saying horrific things... I had to keep my cool and I had to be here for the kids. I also had a high profile career that was very demanding at the time. A career that I worked my ass of for, a career that I loved and put my heart and soul into. I had no time to be weak, or let anyone see me break a sweat.
So I began taking more and more pain pills to numb myself...
Hell! I don't even remember our wedding night because of the numbness the pain pills gave me. I was so high I can't tell you any details from that night. I was numb. A week after our wedding my oldest child went away to a school out in Utah to help him deal with his issues and to get him away from the reality he wanted to escape. This was another turning point, my oldest son I gave birth to when I was only 18 and now I am sending him away to school, what the hell has happened to my life? I've never been super close to my family and I felt alone. I relied on my two best friends at that time, as my anchor.
And then, my addiction hit full throttle. I was taking pills daily and mass amounts anything I could take to numb myself. I no longer wanted to feel anything. From this point you all probably know how my story will go...
The lies started. I began to question my husband, and looking back, I had every right to be questioning him. We did not have the best marriage in the beginning! Hell, our lives had just been sent into a total tail spin. We were all a mess!
Now I'm going to jump to 2015; the year of more hell. My son returned home and did great for a short while, but quickly began to fall back into the same crowd. He ended up in and out of trouble, my marriage became a total train wreck, and the little town where we live was still on the gossip train! It was just too damn much. So I began to go out A LOT, I started using more and more. I lost my career, and then started using even more. Then, I met someone, the bad boy that I thought I had always wanted. Finally someone who understood me, someone who shared my addiction, someone who provided me an escape from my own reality. Before long my little "drug induced affair" turned into a violent drug enraged hell. I left my home, my family, and even my kids. I was convinced they were all better off without me. I was convinced that I'd failed them. So I left, I gave up on myself, and only wanted my drug, the drug that took away all feeling and numbed me to the point that I did not care about anyone or anything. The drug that destroyed my life!
Again now, jumping ahead to March 2016 when I returned home after my family and husband begging and pleading with me to return. He starting tracking me and following me so I returned, and that's when I tried to kill myself and take my own life. I no longer wanted to live. I no longer wanted to feel anything and the only life I had come to know was the life of getting high and running away from my problems. I no longer recognized the person in the mirror. My weight was 105 pounds, sopping wet. I was a mess and wanted to give up. My suicide attempt failed and that is when I finally realized that I needed help! I finally told my husband about my addiction, and from there I went into rehab.
Today I still struggle and still fight my addiction every damn day. I cant believe everything I was robbed of and lost to my addiction. I still cant believe some of the things I did. I feel like I let my entire family down, I let my children down, and wonder, "How is this my reality?"
I don't want my story to seem like I am blaming anyone else; especially my step son's mother! That's not that case. The truth of the matter is that I felt like I had so much piled up on me with no where to turn that I turned to pill bottles and thought that they were my only friend. I still hate myself for hurting the people that I love the most! I still hate myself for letting them down. I hate myself for hurting and using people that I met during my addiction. I have so much guilt that it will eat me alive if I allow it. I was alone, lost, confused and felt as if I had no one with no where to turn. When I read this it sounds like a pity party and that is the last thing I want, but this is my story and this is how I ended up an addict.
Now, today, I am clean and I am sober. I want to live! I am now happy and finally at peace. I hate this damn disease, and I hate what it does to people. It's a demon. It's a demon that lives in my head and tortures me every single day. A demon that begs me to come play one more round every day, a demon that I can not let win... I won't! I refuse to give up!
Clean, sober, and in recovery since: April 6 2016