Living with an addict

How not to celebrate Memorial Day

 Memorial Day 2010.  My neighbors are grilling steaks or fishing at the lake or lots of other activities that say "Welcome Summer".  I'm talking with a policeman about how many pills my husband took over the last three days and how his addiction has ruined our lives.  My husband has had an addiciton, a love affair, with pain medications off and on for over 20 years.  I've been married to him for five years.  When we met, he was sober.  That didn't last long.  Most of our marriage, he has been addicted to one thing or another. And all of this garbage has seemed more important than me.  As addicts do, he would spend all our money on drugs, leaving us broke.  Many times, I'd get in the car in the morning to go to work, only to discover that he'd run out all the gas chasing his pills.  He'd drive to any hospital he thought he could get something out of.  Most of these mornings, I would have to call into work, since I had no money left until payday more than a few days away.  My addict of a husband didn't understand the concept of conserving gas and making it last until payday so I could work and pay the bills.  Most employers are not understanding when I call and say I can't get there because my husband has run the car empty.  And I dared not tell anyone about his problem, about our problem.  I was embarassed at what people would think of me if they knew my husband was an addict.  They would think surely I have no problem with what he is doing.  People couldn't be further from the truth.  I hate his pain pill addiction.  I love my husband with all my heart.  I know that he is capable of much better but I hate his desire for pills above anything. 

 I don't know why his latest binge happened.  I'm not sure he knows either.  Over about 3 or 4 days, my husband took 33 Xanax, a tranquilizer, I guess you could say.  On top of that, he took nearly 40 Lortab, a pain medicine.  Both of these drugs suppress the central nervous system.  He made himself incompacitated.  He crawled around on the living room floor, unable to stand or walk.  He couldn't understand anything I said.  He mumbled.  He screamed incoherently.  It was a nightmarish several days.  I reached my point of being fed up with him.  I called 911 with the intention of getting him put out of the house for good.  I didn't care where he went.  He just couldn't stay here anymore.  An ambulance and a police car came to our apartment.  The ambulance took my husband to the hospital as an overdose.  I filled out the report with the police officer.  I showed him the medicine bottles and together we counted how many pills my brilliant husband had downed.  I asked the officer what I had to do to get my husband to never come home again.  He told me to go to the magistrate for a restraining order and then to legal aid for a divorce lawyer.  The next morning, I got up to do just that.  But, I was at the magistrate before the office opened.  I had time to think.  I realized that I wasn't yet ready to give up on my husband.  I decided he could have one last chance.  That's what I told him when I went to his hospital room a few days after he was admitted.  It was an intervention.  I told my darling husband how things were going to be if he wanted to come home.  NO more pills.  Get sober and stay that way or we wouldn't stay married.  I told him it was his choice, me or the pills and that this was his last chance.  Then I left his hospital room.

My husband was in the hospital a week before being moved to a treatment center.  He has made a commitment to stay clean.  It's been a few months now since that wonderful Memorial Day and we both are learning to live with him being straight.  It's like meeting again for the first time and getting to know each other the way we did when we were dating.  I had been so angry at him for so long that I had turned into a banshee.  That was the only way I could cope with what he was doing and how much it hurt.  I am learning to communicate with him without screaming and without all the anger.   He is learning what life, what our relationship can be without the haze of pain pills.

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Comments 10 comments

EmpressFelicity profile image

EmpressFelicity 6 years ago from Kent, England, UK

Hope everything turns out OK for you and your husband... best of luck.


lcbenefield profile image

lcbenefield 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks so much. We both are working very hard to make him being straight a permanent thing. It's not easy. But our marriage is so worth it.


JillKostow profile image

JillKostow 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

I guess he had to hit rock bottom to be able to win his battle against pills. I know your struggle, (some what), we are trying to help a family member now with a similar addiction. Pills and Alcohol. The hardest part is waiting for him to hit rock bottom. You can't help someone who does not want to help themselves. We are just standing by and waiting, just being there for him when he decides he needs it. I am so glad everything is working out for you, and best of luck for the future!!! It is a learning experience and I am sure you and your husband can work through it together.


lcbenefield profile image

lcbenefield 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Jill, I appreciate your comment. I understand your situation. You are right. No matter how bad you may want them to quit, they won't until they are sick of it themselves. Best wishes for you and your family member.


Wife Who Saves 6 years ago

I hope that everything goes well for both of you. Once you find out why he wants to take the pills, you can tackle that underlying problem. Best wishes.


lcbenefield profile image

lcbenefield 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks for the kind words, wife who saves. We're in therapy trying to get us both better. He wants to stay straight and I am so proud of him.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

Thank you for the follow! It's been 11 months since you wrote this hub I hope all is well. Addictions are never, ever, ever fun.


lcbenefield profile image

lcbenefield 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Sunshine, Thanks for your follow as well. Things are going much better. I appreciate the good wishes. His craving will never go away but now he has a resolve to be clean. He smokes a pack of cigarretes a day but compared to what he was on, I'll take cigarettes any day. He is much improved and I am so proud of him.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

Excellent news!!! Wishing him good luck and you as well. I'm a cig addict also. I posted a hub today about being Perfect, I'm not. Take care of each other :-)


lcbenefield profile image

lcbenefield 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Sunshine, I read your hub about being perfect. It definitely would be a boring world full of perfect people.

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