I remember waking up to an amazing mango sunrise overlooking the pacific along the Californa Coast. It was the first time alone with the man I had been sharing a long-distance relationship with. You see he was just released from prison! [That’s another story, which I will share at another time.] We were getting ready to live out our dreams together.

For months, he was everything I ever thought I wanted in a man and much, much more. He helped me with everything around the house, he worked and saved money, but still made quality time for us. He was active exercising, eating, and living a healthy lifestyle. I was mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually in a place or space that most people will only dream of. You know that place called, there. You can’t describe it but you know it when you see and feel it. that “there”.

I could not in a million years fathom the storm we were entering. One day after many days, no, weeks of wondering what the hell was going on I learned he’s using crack to deal with his Post Incarceration Syndrome [PICS]. The next nine months were pure hell emotionally for me. How the hell did this happen? I’m still asking myself that question.

Somehow we managed through it, but only after he went to a treatment center. After learning about PICS and how that affected him, I opened myself open, trusting that he meant what he said and would do what he said he would. Events did not go that way, within the first 45 days he was back using, then he went a few months of working his recovery, and then he’s back to using. Each relapse is worse than the previous. This time, I found him in an empty dirty house that was being rehabbed. He was laying on the plastic-covered floor in the nude. He had crawled through a small opening in a basement window cutting himself in many places. Not only had he lost all the money he earned this week, but the physical toll it is having on his body. He now looks twenty years older, the undertone of his skin is dark, his eyes are void of life.

When he relapses my world feels like it has fallen apart. Literally, I physically fall apart with throbbing headaches, stomach cramps that I can’t shake, nor can I sleep. For days I watch him struggle to try to shake the residue of poison that flows through his body. Each time his mental capacity diminishes. He can barely hold a conversation of any length. I no longer know what I am holding on to because of the lies, dishonesty, broken promises, and disappearing acts.

If you are someone going through something similar or managing a healthy active recovery we want to hear from you. Let’s connect @ breakingchaningmendingminds@gmail.com.