About Me

Feb 21, 2023

This blog was originally written about 2 years ago ( Start of 2021 approximately). I am a single mom and author with 2 books published currently. I also have a blog page, which you can find at: andreagreenbooks.wordpress.com. You will find blogs as well as some photographs I have taken. Feel free to take a look. I would be forever grateful if you could buy me a coffee. Even more if you could sign up to support me every month. I will set up a couple tiers as soon as I figure that out, so until then please keep checking back.

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April and May of every year are hard for me, as they bring up memories I would really rather not continue to relive. When the events in this blog occurred, several things were going desperately wrong in my life. I had always tried (but failed) to do the best I knew how. I believed up to that point that my efforts would, someday, be rewarded. How wrong I was. My life crashed down on me in the space of 2 months, causing insomnia and anxiety.

During the rest of the year, my anxiety flares up at random times. But during April and May, it's almost constant. I hope this blog will give you insight into me as a person and maybe as an author. If I'm lucky, it will also give you hope. Whatever traumas you are going through, you are still here. You can get through it. It may be ugly, and it may be entirely without grace, but that does not matter. The only thing that matters is that you do. Not. Give. Up.

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My late husband killed himself on May 1, 2014, after a phone call with me. Let me give you the ugliness of my life.

My late husband was an alcoholic. He was when we met, and yes. I knew it. But it was mostly under control, or so I naively believed. He became out of control with his drinking, to the point it had begun to change him as a person. We got into an argument which resulted in me and my youngest daughter (the only one left at home) spending the night at a friend's. We came back the next day to an empty house and a strange site.

My minivan was parked in the yard with the side door open. In the back, a vacuum hose went from the exhaust through a back window that had been opened. (It was one of the ones that can only open sideways just a bit.) Inside the van, leaning against the seat was my daughter's American Girl doll and a wooden cross. Not something you want to see.

After a couple phone calls, I found out he had called the Sheriffs on himself, and they'd taken him for a 72-hour hold. On day 3, I got a call from the facility. They explained where he was and that his detox was so dangerous it would take a full extra 24 hours to get the alcohol out of his system. Mind you, my husband rarely drank hard alcohol. No, Natural Light was his go-to drink.

Typically, detox takes 72 hours. In his case, it took longer. Which, to this day, I have a hard time wrapping my head around. But when I answered that phone call, I begged them to keep him in. I explained what I had found and tried to make them understand that not only was he a danger to himself but to others. Their argument for releasing him? They didn't treat alcoholism. I don't think there's any need for me to explain why I knew that to be a lie, is there?

So, I called into work and spent the entire day on the phone. I called lawyers, the police, the facility. I even tried to call government officials. I begged anyone and everyone who didn't hang up on me to help. I didn't get any. In the state of Texas, a spouse cannot have their spouse committed. Period. (Um, I don't think anyone is in a better position to know if their spouse needs help, but what do I know? I was only living it.) My last phone call that day was to his mother. I told her in no uncertain terms that she would be picking him up the next day. She proceeded to tell me, "Fine. I don't want him here, but I guess I have no choice." And no, she didn't. I had my 7-year-old daughter to consider.

Everything was fine for about a week until my husband called me. He pleaded his case, saying he'd been sober for a week and that he wanted to try to be the man I deserved. If that had been true, I'd have been happy. But, when I stipulated that he complete a program and stay sober for a period of time, after which we would see about fixing our marriage, he balked. There was no "I'll try." There was no "for you, I'd do anything." There was only, "I can't." That was his choice. To give us up for his beer.

His uncle called me 2 hours later. I called my friend, I think. I must have because I vaguely remember her being there. I vaguely remember someone having a conversation with EMTs about whether I needed to be sedated. I don't know who called them or when. It was a close thing, but in the end, they didn't, with the stipulation that someone watches me. I don't remember much after that.

May 1st, 2014, ended my husband's problems. But because of his choice, he missed my daughter growing up into the teenager she is. He missed the evenings together; he missed hanging out with our friends, eating BBQ, and listening to music in front of the fire pit. He'll miss my daughter's high school graduation and all the other milestones of her life. And that was his choice. He could have chosen to fight for sobriety, he could have chosen to fight for us, but he didn't. He. Gave. Up.

The last few days have been hard for me. One of my new followers on Twitter is fighting his own battle for sobriety. His battle just started, and he's doing everything he can to not lose. And I'm happy for him and his family. I love to see people fight for their lives. What I hate is the bitterness, hurt, and jealousy that invariably sneaks out. Because I am jealous. I'm jealous that he cares enough to fight for his sobriety and his family, and my husband didn't.

I'm bitter because I was blamed for my husband's death. I get that it was my refusal that set him off. I get that, believe me. I carry that guilt around all day, every day. And it's a heavy burden. But I also know that I was the only one in his family who loved him enough to tell him he had a problem. I didn't sweep it under the rug. I didn't put it off as, "that's just how he is." I didn't sugarcoat it. He had a problem, and I was watching him slowly die.

I'm hurt because my daughter and I weren't enough. Really, there's nothing else to say about that because that's the complicated, plain, and simple truth. We. Weren't. Enough. And that fucking hurts. That's a knife to the chest, over and over.

Alcoholism kills if you don't fight it. But, it doesn't kill only the drinker. It kills relationships, families, and friendships. Like any addiction, alcohol becomes your sole focus, the only thing you think about, the only thing you care about. It doesn't matter if it's 1 a day or a 36-pack in a day and a half. If you are needing, looking forward to that next drink, if you are counting down until your next one, it's a problem. If you open the fridge for stuff for dinner and come out with a beer in your hand, it's a problem. If you need a drink of water in the morning, and you automatically grab a beer, it's a problem. And not just for you. For everyone around you.

Addiction in any form fundamentally changes you. It turns you into someone else. Someone who is angrier, who is mean, who only cares about themselves. And the excuse "you knew I was an addict/alcoholic when we started dating/got married" doesn't fly. It's a copout to justify your continuing your behavior.

That statement right there is a choice between the people you care about and the substance, whatever it is. Right there, at that moment, you have chosen to give up your family and friends for a substance that doesn't care if/when it kills you. Think about that for a moment. Reread this paragraph, then think about what I said a little more.

By making that statement, you have chosen a substance over those who care about and love you. You have turned your back on them and told them they aren't good enough for you, that they don't fulfill you. Only the substance does. So the next time your significant other, family member, or friend brings up your addiction, before those words leave your mouth, pull them back. Think about the choice you're about to make. Think about how much you stand to lose if they return the effort and turn their backs. And be brutally honest.

You lose family dinners, laughing in the kitchen throwing flour everywhere. You lose nights with your friends eating good food over a fire pit. You lose out on the milestones they reach. You lose growing old with that one special person. If those words leave your mouth, if you tell them they aren't good enough, you are giving all of that up. Is that really what you want? Or is it that you're scared and are afraid to fight it alone?

Before those words leave your mouth, stop. Think about what you're giving up. Realize you're probably just scared. You're scared you'll fail. You're scared they'll give up on you and won't stick around. But let me say this: The people who truly care will fight with you every goddamn day. They'll check on you, be there for you when you're having a hard time. They will listen to you when you're upset, and they'll let you cry on their shoulders. The people you want in your life will stick it out with you every step of the way. Trust in that, and trust in them.

You are not alone. And one last thing. I am here, hoping that you can find it in you to keep fighting. Even if I don't know you even exist, if you are fighting addiction, whether to drugs, alcohol, or anything, understand I am rooting for you. Keep on fighting. You are not alone.

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