- Friends & Family
My husband is one of the strongest and most passionate people I know. He has a heart as big as the ocean.
He was an addict for nearly ten years of his life. He started out smoking weed at a very young age and didn’t see anything wrong with it.
He was in a motorcycle accident when he was 21 and was prescribed pain pills for his injuries. Before he realized it, he was completely dependent on the pills for his basic daily living. When he tried to stop taking them, he spiraled into a full-blown addiction that completely took over his life. He was incarcerated for theft more than once, he lost his driver’s license, and he destroyed his relationships.
It had been about six years since I had last seen him when I ran into him at a birthday party for his youngest daughter. He was 100 pounds soaking wet and had track marks from one end of his body to the other end. He was living in a tent underneath a bridge. My heart sank and I just couldn’t believe that a man who was so vibrant and full of love, laughter, and strength had let something take over his entire life the way pain pills had taken over his.
I took him in and he detoxed for three weeks. I quickly realized that he needed more help than I could give him. That didn’t mean I was going to leave his side or give up. We started our journey together during his rehabilitation. This was Matthew’s turning point. He realized that he had someone who loved him for the amazing person he was inside– the person drugs had stolen from him. First, he had to go to a rehab to get stabilized, then had to go turn himself in and get his legal issues taken care of from years before.
We were married a year into his recovery and have fought hard to get him back on the right path. He has learned so many lessons in his path to recovery but the one thing he reminds me of every single day is that he must live life one day at a time. Recovery is not an overnight process, but if you are willing to place one foot in front of the other, you are always moving in a forward direction. You constantly make the decision to take your life back little by little. He is also a firm believer that addiction can rear its ugly head to anyone at any time in their life.
Matthew has been working an honest program for well over six years now. He is confident that he would still be lost without the Lord and the love of his family that would not give up on him.
Matthew still battles every day, but the battle is different now. Regardless of how long he has been sober, he still battles with the consequences of things he did while he was in active addiction. We have a great life now, but it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. We have come through so much together as a family that we now know that we are strong enough to handle anything with God on our side.
We are a very strong family and still have a road ahead of us but we will face things together. If we could put a name on our journey, it would be “Unconditional Love”, because I promised my husband when I found him underneath that bridge I was going to show him love with no conditions involved. I was going to love him right in the middle of his mess until he recaptured the amazing person inside of him that everyone missed no matter how long that took.
Matthew’s addiction has taught us so much, but the most important thing it has taught us is to live life like every moment may be the last and therefore, we must all love as hard as humanly possible. Never give up on life, no matter what, because it is never late to turn your life around.