As with most marriages, we have ups and downs. Unfortunately, for us it always seemed like more downs than ups. First off-I went from having the coolest, most fun jobs in LA, to being all alone and pregnant in Philadelphia! All the way across the country from anyone that I knew! And then I had a baby. Which honestly rocked my world. Being a new mother is the most AMAZING thing I have ever done, and my daughter was the best baby I have ever heard of or met, but it was still hard. It’s the biggest change you will ever experience in your life. Long story short, Depression became my best friend.
The NFL is a lot of fun, but also a lot of stress. Stanley was under so much pressure, and didn’t know how to handle all that was happening with me and a baby and his job. Then, he was TRADED. You hear about it happening all the time, but when it happens to you and your family, for the first time, every emotion possible takes over. But, Stanley did what he usually did–don’t talk about it. Numb out. So long story short, numbing out became Stanley’s best friend.
We started our next journey in Indianapolis. The stress didn’t go away for Stanley, if anything it increased. And there I was, with a baby, in a new place, all alone, all over again. Words can’t really explain the roller coaster that I had been on up to this point! Then I got pregnant, again. I thought I was never going to be able to catch my breath! I found out in Nov. that I was expecting, and then in January, Stanley was injured with what most would call a “career ending injury.” He shattered his entire shoulder. The blade, the socket, you name it, into 100+ pieces. So we had to prepare to fly to Cali for him to get surgery done by a specialist that we searched the country to find. So there I was, having to move us across the country while being sick 24/7 because of my pregnancy, with my 1 year old daughter, a dog, and a 250-pound patient/husband that literally couldn’t move. It was one of those life moments where you are waiting for Ashton Kutcher to come out and say you’ve been punk’d.
I wanted to curl into a ball in a cave and never come out. I didn’t know how to go on. Then, it got worse.
Stanley was given pain pills, lots and lots of pain pills, as he should have been after having such a traumatic injury. The pills that I thought should last a life time disappeared. I asked Stanley about it and he said he got rid of them. Months later, Stanley came to me telling me he was addicted. He told me he has actually struggled with addiction before, but had never talked to anyone about it. I appreciated him telling me, but I didn’t really understand. He told me he was done with it all, so I believed him and just went on with life. I kept my focus on my pregnancy and 1 year old daughter while trying to just keep my head above water. Sadly, things just kept getting worse and worse. The lies kept getting worse and worse, our marriage kept getting worse and worse, his addiction kept getting worse and worse. I thought having our son would help things. For me it did, because it gave me something to focus on! But Stanley was battling a war all on his own. He buried so much shame that he just wanted to be numb from it. And numb he was. He was checked out in every way of the word. Things kept happening and I could no longer live in denial or be blind to it. I knew exactly what he was up to and kicked him out. I wasn’t going to stand by his actions any longer or allow him to make these decisions with our kids around. It got to a point where I had done all I knew how to do, and told Stanley that I was preparing for things to be over.
Months passed and the days got darker and darker. I tried to read a little on addicts and it just kept saying they need to hit “rock bottom” for things to change! I would think “HOW IS THIS NOT ROCK BOTTOM?!” I couldn’t imagine things being any worse than they were. Then my world stopped. Stanley hit his “rock bottom”. He was taken to the hospital, then taken to a rehab facility. Those were the worst days of my life. I was so scared and felt so alone. I know we are constantly being watched over, but this was the moment I completely surrendered and opened the door to our angels in heaven.
I was still moving forward with the decision I had made prior to this happening. When you file for divorce, you are given 90 days to pull the papers before they are finalized. I didn’t even think about the possibility of pulling the papers. When I went to visit Stanley, I had no intention of talking about anything I had decided to do as I wasnt sure that was the right place or time. But for some reason, I told him he had 90 days to change my mind. 90 days to save what we thought was lost. No clue how those words came out of my mouth, but they were words that needed to be said. Because in that moment, I saw a glimmer of hope in his eyes. I knew we had an angel, or many, among us, fighting for and with us.
Almost overnight it seemed, my husband began to change. He transformed into the man I always knew he could be.
I started growing and changing as well. I decided to start going to addiction meetings for family members. There, my eyes were opened to this disease and I started to understand that war my husband had been fighting. I also learned about my own recovery, and what was needed for me to heal. I found love again! My heart was softened and I let Stanley back in. We were healing as individuals, but this is where we started healing our marriage. Living in this new light came with so much joy and love. The ups finally started to conquer the downs.
I have lived through some of the darkest days imaginable with addiction, but I am now living in some of the brightest. We continue to see miracle after miracle in our lives and are constantly in Awe of our Savior, Jesus Christ and his atonement. I feel so fortunate to have had a positive experience from addiction but I know that this will be a part of our life forever. It’s not a destination, it’s a Journey. A journey that I am truly grateful for. With out it, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
I chose to share my story in hopes that it can help someone out there who is or who knows someone who is struggling with addiction. Know that you are not alone, and the way to win this war is through the help of your higher power, mine being my Savior, Jesus Christ, and through His example of LOVE.
My favorite quote that I have learned from my experience thus far is “LET GO & LET GOD”. In all things, including times of total darkness, just give it to God. Have faith and know that with him, everything, and everyone, will be taken care of.
If you have any questions for me or my husband please email us firstname.lastname@example.org
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