By the book

I’m so tired of people telling me I cant make good decisions right now!  I “get it” I lost my husband.  That has affected me, in so many ways, ways I’m not even sure of.  However, it didn’t just make me morph into a completely different person (yes it has, and will continue to change me, but I’m still me)!  I’ve been losing my husband for the last 5 years.  Literally.  Oxycontin started taking him from me.  I started grieving him, ironically through the *stages* of grief, I started those stages then.  It started slowly, the real Jason would disappear for gaps of time from me, (not actually disappear but he would act strange) but most of the time be his awesome self.  Most of the time he was still “him.”  I was to naive to know what the hell was going on.  I believed him when I found a needle, I believed him  that it was our roommates, and he assured me he’d talk to him about it and that it would never happen again.  He was lying – it was his.  I never suspected anything.
Denial Then it got worse, we moved back to the mainland (goodbye Maui!!!) and by this time – I knew he had a problem with Oxycontin, but I thought it was just a Dr. prescription problem, I didn’t realize the extent of it. I would plead with him to quit, make a deal, plans, we would move, I would say if he would stop I’d do *whatever* Bargaining Anyone who has been married to a drug addict knows the amount of pleading you do!!!   He got worse, we lost our house, he got even worse.  It started that I no longer saw him most of the time, instead I saw only glimpses of him.  He was literally gone all the time, didn’t show up to our catering jobs, stopped providing for us financially,  when he was home he would sit outside or in the garage and smoke, not wanting to be bothered, not really *there.* He wouldn’t even come to bed until the wee hours of the morning, if at all.  I didn’t know how to help him.  We moved into our 5th wheel, then into a house we were renting, He admitted he had a problem and would go cold turkey, be OK for a few months, then he’d be gone again.  I felt like my world was crashing and collapsing in on me.  Like in a trash compacter (star wars anyone?) and I didn’t have R2D2 around to make it stop.  I started getting help, but I wouldn’t leave, I loved him.  I had vowed till  death do us part and I loved him.  I expected to be with him forever.  Things got crazier and crazier, two years before he died, he got arrested and charged with a whole slew of things.  While he was in jail I got a job (first one since I was married to him!) and got my kids and I our own place.  When he got out – he moved back in and got his legal stuff settled (I’m seriously condensing 5 years here…).  He was great for quite a while – clean, sober, and an amazing father and husband.  I had Jason back, I had the man I fell head over heels in love with back.  I quit my job – well started working from home, and I thought things were finally going to go back to normal.  It didn’t.  He relapsed, started gambling and disappearing.  I really got depressed here, I had been *OK* had my own job and place, had trusted him, and it was falling apart – again.   I cried every day during this time of my life (it DID NOT HELP that i was pregnant again!!!)  I felt like my entire life was pointless.  There was no hope.
Depression  The disappearing got worse, and worse and worse.  We moved again.  He was gone the whole first month in “our” new place.  Just gone, no phone communication, no anything.  It killed me.   I got the call he was in jail again, I was devastated.  That was my “rock bottom”  I locked myself in the bathroom asked my sister to take my kids and fell apart.  I was angry, so angry at God, at Jason at myself.  I was just angry.  I was the good girl, the homeschooler, the virgin when I  got married, I didn’t deserve this.  I was pregnant, had four kids already, my husband was in jail – again.  I felt like life was just out of control.   It was my *bottom.* But after the tears were dry, after I had my bad *day,* that was the turning point in my life.  I’d been through the disbelief and denial, I had been through the anger and the pain for the last 4 or five months, and then I moved to acceptance.  That was my moment I started accepting who Jason was and that we would never be the same, Acceptance ,  I started to learn how to love someone for who, and in spite of who they are.  I was still in love with him (love is a choice you make everyday) but I accepted that he was a drug addict that day, that he couldn’t choose me over drugs.  It was not in his power.  After that day I was OK, It was still hard.   The worst was going to visit him in Jail – he HATED me.   He was so angry at me for not bailing him out right away (never mind I couldn’t, I didn’t have the money).  I went anyway,and the longer he was in the better he was.  Those damn drugs – once they left him, I had him back again.  I did manage to bail him out, and we started the legal process again.  However, it was to much, he didn’t have the life tools to deal with his life.   He relapsed, detoxed, relapsed detoxed.  But he WAS trying.  He was different, (I was different to)  he didn’t beat the beast, but he had gotten the fire in him to fight it again.  I felt like we were going to be OK.  He still would disappear, he still couldn’t be trusted with our money, but he was back.  Most of the time, I had him back.  And I wasn’t trying to *fix him* I really thought he was going to go back to jail when his trial was over, and I was going to stick by him.  I had resolved that I was going to be with him, I thought he was probably going to go to jail  for a year and a half (there was a possibility he would get off on probation but I was preparing for the worst) when he got out, we would rebuild.  I had hope.   He got really bad again two months before he died.  Disappeared for three days and gambled our tax return.  After that, he got on the wait list to go to the Maverick house (an in patient rehab) and started going every day to meetings in order to get in.  I had so much hope, such a strong hope that life was going to be OK, he was going to get help, I was going to get my husband back, I was prepared to be alone while he was i rehab/and or jail, but a few years, when you look at a lifetime, seemed like nothing.  Just a small price to pay for forever.  Then he got sick on Friday, and was dead by Tuesday.  It was over.  I had stuck by him through his entire addiction, become self sufficient emotionally, financially, and as a parent.  I put in the hard work and he died.  I didn’t reap what I sowed.  It wasn’t fair.  It isn’t easy, but its not what other people are going through when they lose their spouse suddenly.  I  began losing my husband five  years ago to drugs.  We fought against it and tried our best.  But i slowly lost him over the last five years.  That is tragic, but true.  It was supposed to end with him getting well, and us being in love again.  It didn’t, it ended in his death.  That sucks.  But its not the same.  I feel guilty for feeling the way I do.  In some ways life is so much easier now that he’s gone, I don’t have to hide the car keys, change the pin on my bank account weekly, I can have a *real* bank account.  I don’t have to be paranoid I’m going to find needles, I don’t have to fight anymore .  Its over, it ended.   The struggle with drugs is over.  I’m sad it ended this way.  But it did.  I’m glad I stayed with him, I’m glad I fought my hardest, I’m glad I know I did literally everything I could do.  I miss him, but I’m happy he’s at peace.  Jason was tormented by a huge demon, on a daily basis.  he was tormented by the monster Oxycontin, tormented by the choices he made, tormented by himself.  Its over.  The struggle is over.  He’s with Jesus and I’m here.  Very capable of taking care of myself and my children.  Very capable of relying on God, very capable of asking for help if I need it, and not when I don’t.  I’m OK.  Gods got me, just like he has the past five years.   Does that sound like your typical loss of a husband?  Not really, so no, I’m not grieving or processing by the book.  I’m not going to fit in your box and do things the way I should.  I am going to be careful, I have two trusted friends who I have given permission to say “hey that’s dumb!!” to me.  I wish I could just follow a set of steps and be OK. But grief is not like that, I am unique, my experience was unique.  Jason was unique, I loved Jason, up until the moment he died. I loved him and was committed to him 100%.  Now he’s gone.  Its not fair.  I’m still here, and I’m still going to be OK, so are my kids.  Yes, I am different, I was Jason’s wife, that is a part of me that will never return.  Its gone to, it died with him.
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