I didn’t realize that I had been connected to individuals with some form of alcohol or drug addiction most of my life until recently when reflecting on my current relationship. I can clearly remember as a young child, my aunt who I lived with, drank a bottle of Wild Irish Rose every day. I never thought about it until when I was older and it became obvious to me that she had been a functional alcoholic back then and until the day she died.

When I was in middle school my mother came to get me to come home due to my aunt’s heavy drinking. My mother had just remarried and it wasn’t long before we realized “the deacon hubby” was a weekend alcoholic with an ugly temper when he become intoxicated. For some reason, I was the only person who could talk him down. I wonder now if that was the beginning of a caregiver or an enabler role I was setting my life up for.

During my college years, I met a man that seemed to have it “going on”: Good paying job, a nice apartment, new car, attractive, and athletic. We dated for 4 years, got married and returned from our honeymoon in Jamaica to the townhouse where we would finally live together. I then found out he used drugs, crack to be exact. For three days he failed to come home. I was devastated. I had no clue nor knowledge about drugs or addictions. I’m not going to make this a long story of going through the failed rehab with him. It didn’t take long for me to realize that he meant it when he told me he loved getting high. That ended a very miserable marriage.

Fast forward, I met the man of my dreams. However, after living together 6 short months he started experiencing Post Incarceration Syndrome. His decision on how to deal with his condition was drugs. Talking about opening the Pandora’s box and being sucked into a vacuum of heartache would be putting this turn of events lightly.

To be honest it has been very hard accepting the reality that the man I love chose to self medicate, and on illegal drugs. But, what is even harder for me is understanding how I chose/allowed someone who would do that into my life after dealing with an ex-husband who had taken me close to hell from his addiction. You could not have paid me a million dollars to even think that this man would become an addict and it happened right in front of me. Why didn’t I call it quits when I learned of his betrayal? Why am I still holding on to this roller-coaster of emotional ups and downs. I now question myself, what’s wrong with me to allow all the drama and mental hardship into my life?

Each day I live in a somewhat nagging daze of uncertainty. Wondering if he’s going to get high today? Will he end up ill or OD like DMX the rapper? Will he get shot or killed due to him owning money to the drug dealer? Can/Will I continue to be committed to our love with all the mental and emotional stress this causes me, and him? Can/Will I continue to be able to deal with all the financial issues his situation brings to the relationship? Then, there’s the questions of where is he when he disappears and if he’s in the company of someone he will have sex with? What is he exposing me and himself to while he is out there? Does the many good days we share outweigh the few bad days when the few bad weigh so heavily on everything else in the relationship?

We invite YOU to join us in real heart to heart conversations. Let’s talk about drugs, prison, sex, and life. DeVine’s Chat Space will kick off Saturday May 1. You don’t have to keep your situation to yourself. You are NOT the only one dealing with these life issues. We want to hear what you have to say about the above questions, ask your own questions, share your experiences, and share with us your success or failed strategies in dealing with Love On The Rocks! –by DeVine