This time a year ago I was still in a foggy state of mind trying to stabilise on subutex. Life wasn’t really mine, I purely existed from day to day wondering if things would really get better.
Over the past twelve months so many things have changed, some have been trying and yet another hurdle to get over but others have been enlightening and rewarding.
Having stabilised last summer on subutex, the drug induced fog began to lift. It was a scary experience having been out of it for so long. However it enabled me to start uni and attempt to focus on the future.
Christmas was fast approaching and although I liked uni it was terrifying. I was triggered frequently and seeking refuge behind my front door was all I wanted. Something more needed to change, I needed to fight harder. So I came off the subutex. For two weeks I felt like I was dying. My body ached like I can’t even begin to describe, my head was all over the place and my seat on the sofa became my place of safety.
From Mid-december to around the end of March my mood was all over the place. I had thoughts of ending everything, I cut, I craved co-codamol, I couldn’t focus and I shut myself down from lots of people, especially my husband.
But despite this shitty feeling inside I still got my arse into uni most days and got some work done. I surprised myself. I passed an in-class exam with a first. I had convinced myself that I had failed and was stunned at what I achieved. It gave me a little boost, perhaps my brain was beginning to work. I fought those negative thoughts and tried to focus on finishing my first year with some work handed in on time. It was bloody hard but I got some essays in – a major accomplishment for me.
But despite this, something was missing. I had felt it for months but I hadn’t been in a place to deal with it. My marriage was in seriously bad shape. We barely spoke, we didn’t seem like a married couple and there was this increasing disconnect emotionally.
My husband had a new work colleague who started working with him in August. She was 24, care-free and someone whom my husband seemed to connect with. I met her and thought she was ok although I didn’t like the way she draped herself over all the guys. I didn’t trust her with my husband, especially given how shit things were at home.
In April we celebrated our 12th anniversary. But it felt totally forced and unreal. What were we really celebrating? We spent the weekend over our anniversary arguing, much of which wound up with his colleagues name being mentioned, my addiction and mental illness. Cruel things were said and I almost walked away.
The female colleague and I had sort of become friendly acquaintances, I had met up with her for a drink and gone to get a new tattoo with her. My thinking being that if I got to know her, my own fears would diminish and I would be ok with my husbands new work best friend. But for months I didn’t hear anything and when I tried to approach my husband about it I got told that she felt I didn’t like her. Truth be told I didn’t think she liked me. I had got vibes from her that suggested that there was some jealousy about how close my hubby and I were at Christmas. I got this from the way she looked at him…perhaps it was in my head, but it didn’t mean I didn’t like her. We had a lot in common and I was willing to be accepting and open to their friendship.
I was shocked at this disclosure and felt bad that she thought this…so I sent her a message trying to set the record straight. I heard nothing. Ok, so I sent a second message a few days later explaining…this time she replied a short message which I now know was bullshit. In an argument with hubby about said female colleague it transpired that she hadn’t replied because she thought I was lying. I don’t get angry with others very often, but this fucked me off so much. She barely knew me to make that distinction and my husband wasn’t helping matters in the slightest. He defended her to me constantly and I was the bad one here.
What tipped me over the edge was the fact that he considered her to be his best friend and confidante yet he refused to talk to me or be emotionally in the marriage. She is now 25 and has gone out with my husband and other work colleagues on several occasions. Pictures get posted on Facebook and the one that pissed me off the most was a selfie of him and her which she later used as a profile pic. The pic in conjunction with the news that she thought I was a liar made me mad.
I messaged her again and asked her how the fuck she could think that about me when all I had done was to try and be friendly. I lost my rag totally and ranted a bunch of stuff that perhaps I shouldn’t have. But most people I know would not then behave in the way she did. She didn’t say it exactly but reading between the lines she basically told me to fuck off and quite clearly didn’t give a shit.
Two days later my hubby’s work colleague turned 50. We went along to his drinks celebrations. I had met a few of his colleagues before and given that it was also the final day of exams I wanted to celebrate. We were there for a few hours having a laugh and then she arrived.
I tried to break the ice and say hi and ask about her new tattoo but she simply ignored me. I hadn’t liked the way she had been over familiar with the guys as it’s just screams ‘attention seeker’ but she was all over the guys and if people weren’t taking notice of her she made sure to get some attention. Turns out she was also not talking to my husband.
On leaving the pub we said goodbye to everyone and he bent down and whispered in her ear. I didn’t like how over familiar he was with her but I didn’t know at that moment that she had not spoken to him for two days. He only told me because whispering in another woman’s ear in front of your wife is not ideal and keeping secrets is even worse.
I felt bad. Why was she ignoring him when her issue seemed to be with me? It all sounds pathetic now, but for the past 9 months my husband had disappeared emotionally from our marriage and part of the reason was this woman.
I used to think that sleeping with someone else would be the worst thing to happen, but him being emotionally attached to another woman, someone who has already had an affair with one of the other married drivers, I was scared.
Since this all emerged a couple of weeks ago something has changed between hubby and me. The girl is really immature and after an easy life I think. She likes having the attention of as many guys as possible and tells them that girls hate her! I have realised that girls don’t like her because she doesn’t have any boundaries when it comes to guys already taken. She’s also a total prick tease to the guys she has no intention on sleeping with but who she seems happy to lead on being all touchy feely.
Hubby doesn’t do well with rejection any more than I do. His previous friends have fucked him over time after time and he doesn’t let people in any more. This girl was a first in many, many years. He’s angry that he let her in and says that he’s not going to let her back in now.
I probably sound like a bitch, paranoid and jealous. People can think what they like.
One of the things that came out in one of many arguments was that he felt I had abandoned him. Something I had promised I would never do to him.
Unintentionally perhaps I did, but the disconnect wasn’t just me, he admitted that he had shut himself off from me to protect himself.
This whole episode has woken us both up to how things have been and because we stopped communicating we were making our lives totally separate and keeping everything shit to ourselves causing ill feeling and uncertainty.
By talking things out and letting go of all the fears, hurt, judgements and assumptions, we have started a process of healing. We have actually gone out and had fun, we have talked in ways that we haven’t in years and most importantly we are emotionally reconnecting. He’s no longer trying to find a million ways to escape me and home and I’m no longer feeling like my best friend has abandoned me.
We have known each other since we were 14, we are turning 37 soon. We have a family together and a life which is worth fighting for. The situation with his work colleague has gone to an uncomfortable place of small talk but not because of him.
It was never for me to make her like me, I’m his wife and we have a life together. I was willing to make things easy and accept her as his friend, making it so we could be in the same room at the same time without a load of that shit that can happen.
I feel bad for him in some ways, but I also feel that our marriage should always come first and that if someone is bad mouthing me then he should defend and support me. Things he didn’t do and for which I feel let down.
Honestly, hand on heart, I don’t want their friendship to be fixed. I think she is toxic and without morals. She told me when I met her that she didn’t go for married men or those over 30….Mmm the guy she had the affair with is married with 3 small kids and is almost 40. She’s full of bullshit and whilst I did my very best to see the good in her and trust her, she is the last woman you would want to be around your husband. So I hope that she fades into the background and that my husband and I can continue to mend our marriage.
In the meantime other things have been happening which are also helping to rebuild and strengthen my marriage. Last Friday I was discharged from the drug and alcohol unit. Its over a year since I took any cocodamol and 6 months since I came off subutex.
I managed to write some essays but I also took the end of year exams too! Official results are due in two weeks, however provisionally I managed to pass all the exams and the essays I got in!
I now have 8 essays left from the year to write in 6 weeks! Talk about pressure!
Although this year has been hard, trying and unbearable at times, I feel incredibly proud of what I have achieved.
Mentally each day is still a battle, the difference is that for the first time in my life I now recognise signs that I am not coping and instead of keeping it to myself I ask for help or find ways to manage it. I don’t always do a great job, I know I mess up and always feel bad when I do, but I’m no longer being controlled by substances.
I can now look back on my teens and recognise that I have always turned to something unhealthy to help deal with my emotions. I also understand that my childhood and teens have led to a distorted way of seeing the world.
For the first time in years I am feeling stable and that I am living my life rather than just existing. Each day my marriage grows stronger and better, my children are happy and healthy and I am no longer searching for away to escape all my feelings.
For now, I am going to enjoy where I am and focus on getting my essays in so I stand a chance of completing this year at uni.
Thank you to all of you who read this, follow me on Twitter and have given me your support and encouragement.