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My story starts rather uneventfully.
I was browsing Plenty Of Fish after another unsuccessful date when I found the women I ended up marrying. C and I bonded on similar music tastes, and after a few days of texting, we went on our first date.
Within two weeks, we were official. She was so different from all the other girls I had dated. C was upfront with me about having a history of mental illness and addiction, but neither made a presence in our relationship.
She was charming and attentive. She gave me the strength to walk away from an unhealthy friendship with an ex. C was everything I needed, and after only a month of knowing each other, I proposed.
Planning the wedding was easy. We both agreed on a simple courthouse wedding. C and I both felt that a marriage was sacred and saying vows are personal and neither of us felt it warranted an audience.
I bought a dress online, and she let me pick out both our rings. I secured a photographer and C planned our honeymoon. There was no rushing, no dieting to fit into my dress. No chaos, no stress. We set the date for August 28th, the four month “anniversary” of the day we officially started dating.
All our friends and family were supportive. I didn’t get a single question about my decision to marry someone I’d only know for a short time. Everyone found it romantic, falling under the “when you know, you know” category.
My mother-in-law to be helped me try on my dress when it first came in. I felt like the pieces were all falling into place. This was where I was supposed to be. This is why I had suffered hardships like the death of my mother at age 20, an awful break-up, and a giant falling out with my brother who had been living with me and decided to steal my money and sneak away to Colorado.
Finally, my life was where I wanted it to be. Finally it was what I deserved.
The day of my wedding, I woke up with my brother-in-law’s fiancée, and my future mother in law. We relaxed, drank coffee, watched TV and casually got ready. Back at our apartment, my soon-to-be wife was getting ready with her brother. We met up at City Hall and got married. It was absolutely the best day of my life.
Married life was everything I dreamt it would be. We settled into our life together with ease. I often found myself proclaiming to anyone who would listen “I love being married! It’s the greatest thing in the world!”
C had been smoking weed occasionally since the beginning of our relationship. It didn’t pose a problem in our marriage. It actually helped her with anxiety and helped her manage her moods. I told her she knew better than I did how she felt, and I felt confident that if it became a problem, she would tell me, and we would handle it together. Things seemed under control for the most part.
Around Thanksgiving, I could see the mental illness and addiction both start pulling her under. She would argue with me, shut down and then look at me and I could see her drowning inside herself.
Her occasional smoking turned into an everyday affair. C dabbled into other methods of drug use and constantly talked about wanting to use heroin, a drug she lusted after. The holiday season was only made worse by a family crisis that lasted for most of December.
In January, C’s health insurance from her job kicked in. Immediately she went to a therapist and was able to get on the medication she needed to help with her mental illness. It was a weight lifted off the relationship, once she stabilized on them. Drug use went down. I could see my wife returning back to me.
C soon decided she wanted to go into an intensive outpatient program. She wanted to go on Suboxone to help manage her cravings. She told me she wanted to get on top of her addiction before it became a problem again.
She had been through all this before, so I took her lead. If she thought IOP was what she needed, than that was what she would get. Monday through Friday she would work all day, and then go to group for three hours.
Addiction is a family disease they say. So I bought work books. I went to friends and family programs. I went to meetings with her. It works if you work it. My marriage was worth it.
Getting clean was a bigger struggle than anything. We used to have great communication and it got to a point when we had to have a therapy session together just so we could have really get on the same page together.
Next month is our one year wedding anniversary. I can proudly say that at that time, C will be six months clean.
I’ve never regretted getting married to someone who needed to get clean. Our first year of marriage has been hard but it’s also been the biggest adventure of my life. I can’t wait to see what the next year brings.