Its crazy living one day after another wondering/ stressing about who will have lived their last day in my family. I find myself often asking GOD, What is my purpose here? How do I get through each day making the right decisions for all involved? Why did I have to marry a alcoholic? Why does this family get hit so hard with Vodka?
Bryan was always such a hard worker. He had a huge heart. The first night we met, (had our first date), he brought my mom flowers. Did the 500 questions my dad had for him and also showed proof of identification after receiving the 3rd degree from my parents. I loved him from day one. He always made me feel so special. I am not a very materialistic person. There wasn’t much I wanted that I didn’t get. I dont do well keep flowers alive. Bryan would always get me fake roses, make a bouquet with a Slim Jim in the middle.
We lived around 30-60 minutes away from each other. I thought from day one, this is the one for me! At the time I worked in a group home taking care of residents with down syndrome, and other similar disorders. I also on the side worked taking care of elderly people, and spent many years working at Rally’s. I really care about people and always felt like I was meant to be a caregiver. I wanted so bad from the time I was a little girl, to be a mom and have a family of my own. No matter what time of day or night it was, if I wasn’t working, Bryan and I was either on the phone for hours at a time, or we were together. I loved life. I was 300-400 lbs, very active, and a happy go lucky girl. Wasn’t searching for the “one”. It just happened.
We were young and whenever could spend time together, we did. We spent a lot of time with our families, enjoying life together and had a hangout. Friday nights were our night to go to Alice’s Bar. Alice’s was just a little hole in the wall bar. They made the best chicken wings and fries. Became my favorite place after hanging out and enjoying a few drinks, while playing the coin slot machines with card games. We carried on with this every Friday night for a few years. Bryan proposed to me on Christmas Eve really late at his aunt and Uncles house. We were all drinking so I wondered throughout the night, was it real? or was Bryan just asking because of amount he had to drink.
We were married, and like a lot of other woman, I was now waiting for the right time to want my family I dreamed of when I was a child. No matter what the situation was, it just never seemed like was gonna be okay financially for us to make it. We had both worked full time jobs, always did odd jobs on the side trying to make ends meet. When trying to figure out how to budget so we weren’t struggling so much, I figured out the two places money had to be cut down. The most money spent was on beer (Bud light), and cigarettes, (Newport). This shouldn’t be to hard. We just have to find cheaper thrills and can do this by changing brands. Cigarettes was easy. As long as menthol, we always found a cheaper alternative. I thought beer would be the same. Bryan started drinking Busch that was cheaper for more, 30 pack vs 24 of Bud light. This no drinking thing was easy for me. Unfortunately, wasn’t same with Bryan. If we could not afford the case of beer every 3-4 days, he would find way to cover a few 40 oz bottles to get through each night.
My dream came true…. I got pregnant. I was at a doctor apt finding out I have some thyroid issues. No big deal. Levels elevated but nothing med cant fix. I was at the Dr trying to find out why I didn’t get pregnant. We never used protection. I had surgery when I was younger for erupted appendix. There was complications that kept me in hospital for like the first month of my 7th grade year. I was told then I may not be able to conceive when I got older. I was back to Dr to find out results of hormone levels and all that stuff to check for anything besides surgery, and thyroid disorder that could cause me to not be able to have a baby. I found out at the appointment I was in fact pregnant. I was so excited. I dreamed beforehand I had a baby boy. Always planned to have a son, then couple years later follow with a daughter. This would satisfy my purpose in life and meant the world to me.
Fast forward, 2016 I have my son Collyn 6/11/2003, and daughter Daisie 5/3/06. We are so close. I have my completed family. Throughout the years, Bryan had continued drinking his beer. He worked a lot, did so much for others, always made sure we were ok. The only issue was every single night, going to bed with my other half, completely wasted. To me this was so normal, I usually did not complain unless we were once again low on money. I never cared if we were rich or had all the fine things in life. Just happy to make it from one week to the next without red bills, or eviction notice! Bryan and I hardly ever argued or anything unless was over alcohol. I felt there was a problem where he could no longer go without, and when I shared concerns with him, his words “I have no problem at all drinking beer!” I now realize how much this “problem”, has changed our marriage, family, and the changes over the years in myself. I no longer was happy. I wanted to be home all the time. I went from being around people 24/7, and loving life to being a hermit, that wanted nothing to do with the social world. Through many attempts to quit drinking, things went back to normal after a week or so.
Beginning of 2016, Bryan went to detox. Was there overnight, no communication, while doing one meeting after another, in order to help him learn ways to live without the crave for alcohol. This lasted until insurance felt like should be “cured” and continue outpatient with meetings, stay sober and a day program to help. This alcohol has really changed our lives. However, for the first time since married, I thought maybe this was it. This was his answer to live alcohol free and a happy sober life. That alone was a huge challenge for me. I had to meet my husband all over again. Hoping can fall back in love, Hoping will help him health wise, alcohol would no longer be a strain on us, and hoping our marriage would be okay with a stranger walking in. I didn’t know sober Bryan. What if he dont like me anymore? What if I am not good enough, pretty, skinny…. Everything anyone could imagine going through my head, went there.
It was weird. I remember thinking through some hard times, wow he really stepped up for US. He really loves me and the kids and chose us over the beer. The kids were also in heaven. Even if daddy was crabby and yelling about anything, it was okay because he didn’t have any beer. Things got hard financially again. I remember one night, him saying, “I quit drinking so would not have these problems and still do, what was the point?” I remember feeling defeated at this point, but still hung in there with high hopes. Things started changing a lot. His moods went from one extent to another real fast. I realized I could not do this anymore. I am not gonna watch him and my kids all suffer, all while thinking Bryan is sober. He was still attending meetings, along with the day program. He received his chips for month sobriety, Bryan was so happy at this point. I went with him to meeting in which he received chip. There was a lot of useful sources, for people to use. meetings were full. I loved this feeling. We may be broke, losing one thing at a time. However I am married to a sober man!
Ha-ha. Devil played another joke on me! Bryan caved in. Not only to beer, but way worse. Bryan learned at the meetings, drinking vodka, is very easy to cover… I dont care what pro says it, There is a smell to vodka. All alcohol becomes extinguishable from the pores of the body. I know addiction is a disease, I know is alcohol is just like any other source feeding addiction. I know he cant reprogram his brain. I know the pain he suffers overrides the happiness of accomplishment… Why is it legal? I am so tired of this government saying heroine is top killer, they’re gonna crack down on users, lock them up. If they could tax it, make money off it, I 100% believe heroine would be legal. Hardly ever hear of VODKA being a killer. Take life saving meds away from patients, legalize pot to treat pain since found way to tax it…. Not even a whisper out here about self medicating with Vodka. Not gonna lie. The pain I feel every single day, from autoimmune disorders I have no control of, there’s not even a cure… No hope for less pain, yet 1 by 1, losing the medications that help me daily just get through… Yet others can down a pint, be pain free, legal, cheap, easy to sneak, and will take away all problems (for the day in their heads anyways)… Sounds tempting! Thankfully I have my kids to keep me from giving in to that temptation.
One day they will know, that they were chosen over everything by their mom. The thing that hurts the worse with Bryan, when all is said and done, it feels like the love he has for me and our kids, isn’t stronger than the feeling a pint can give for a few hours. I dont blame him now however. I dont think that he will survive his body going through withdrawals again. Everyone ask me how do I get through each day, in pain, doing everything I can to make other lives easiest as can. All I can think is I cant give up. I cant let my body rest. I cant “check-out”! The kids need me. Oma, Bryans mom, does all possible to help. We’ve jumped so many hurdles together. My mom and dad do all they can. I hate asking for help. Saving that until my body shuts down more uncontrollably. Until then, the kids, Oma, my mom and dad, and I are a team. We, (Collyn, Daisie, and I), would be under a bridge by now without the support of the gees (grandparents) give!