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I am just now prepared to tell my story.  It is long and it is very hard.  I could not tell it all here.  It began with the choices I made.  First to marry an alcoholic.  Second, not to learn about alcoholism and it's devastating effects it can bring on the afflicted, their spouse and children.  Third, not to recognize or make the effort to see what my daughters were becoming as adults with children.  28 years ago my alcoholic husband injured our five month old daughter requiring a month long stay in the hospital.  That daughter, physically scarred from this accident grew up to become a heroin addict and alcoholic.  So did her year and a half older sister.  My ex-husband now is in end stage liver failure and will never regain his normal color.  He looks green, mustardy green.  He's confused.  He is 56.  My oldest lost custody of both of her children.  I have custody of my other daughter's child.  I lost a sister to prescription drug abuse two years ago.  Her and her drug using sons lived with (supposedly took care of) my Mother.  When she died (there were a combination of six drugs in her body) my three other sisters did not bother with my Mother.  They were angry at her for allowing her to live with her.  Now they focused that anger on me and stopped talking to me.  So in reality, I lost four sisters that day.  I don't believe hitting a bottom is finding the cure for addiction.  I have witnessed too many harsh bottoms.  Some of those include death, complete loss of teeth that rotted, losing custody of children, going to jail several times, losing contact with loved ones, assaults on them with the person charged doing years of jail time, watching once blossoming young girls become selfish and untrustworthy, losing all money and jewelry, hiding in fear when the door knocks, not answering the telephone, not holding down a job, not bathing, not seeing a doctor until it becomes a life-threatening emergency, leaving hospitals and rehabs AMA over and over.  This is my life.  If when these symtoms began there was no shame attached to talking about your loved one with a disease, I might have sought treatment earlier, for them, for me.  There will be no more family holiday gatherings.  I find myself living without so much, living like an addict.  That's the "Reader's Digest" version.

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Categories: Alcohol, Family, Daughter, Grandmother, Husband, Mother, Sister, Wife, Heroin, Prescription Drugs


June 14, 2013 | Jane

Thank you for sharing! The more stories we tell, the less shame there will be. No one should feel lonely within addiction’s grip on a family.

If you’d like to speak to someone about your family’s struggles with addiction (and how to get them possible help), please call this toll-free and confidential number:

1-855-DRUGFREE (1-855-378-4373)

Sending good thoughts your way!

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