Happy, relieved and grateful as I write this post; 534 days sober from the Opiate Addiction that almost killed me.
As I’ve mentioned before, my inability to stop abusing those pills had already killed so much of me emotionally, psychologically, financially and even physically. At the time, I don’t think anyone predicted such a fast turnaround and then of course me asking for a Separation didn’t help matters. Some people truly questioned if I had lost my mind or was I relapsing?
When this all went down 8 months ago; maybe things would have played out differently had the other half filed for Divorce and Custody right away. Maybe I would have relapsed from the blow of that happening? The emotional impact from Divorce alone could have triggered me into a downward trajectory.
Then there was the threat of a Court Custody battle – maybe I would have lost that too?
The odds were against me statistically (they always have been in some regard) but I accomplished what I set out to do. I regained the power my Addiction took away from me and rightfully restored what is mine.
I only took what is mine.
I never asked for a “payday” although I could have tried I suppose. On my own; self-represented – I negotiated my own Settlement which will be finalized the first week of January 2020 as we will become legally Divorced. So far, I feel satisfied and relieved by the outcome and hope the other party does too.
The Court System and the Family Law Rules are daunting for anyone, even if you have experience or studied Family Law. After years of working in a Bank, I can navigate paperwork and forms quite easily. Representing myself came naturally and it was once I dropped my Lawyer and took matters into my own hands that shit got done.
Moving out of the Matrimonial Home with the Kids was the only option for me in order to finally create a break in the tension. Without doing that, I’m not sure the outcome would have been the same.
I watched a timely movie called “A Marriage Story” on Netflix the other day. There was a part of the movie where Ray Liotta (playing an incredible role as a tough Lawyer) says:
“We start off Reasonable, they start somewhere off Crazy and we end up somewhere between reasonable and crazy.”
It was so relatable I almost cried. It was relatable because it’s true – there seems to always be someone who is reasonable yet the other is crazy. This is true in Marriage, Relationships and Divorce. Movies have been made out of plot-lines revolving around another partner being “crazy” – good or bad. It’s not really funny to think of the outcomes for those who truly are in those Relationships. You have to wonder and realize that they didn’t start out that way.
In the end of a Relationship; I believe we are the closest to our truest self than we’ve ever been while together. I know I finally let the things I had kept inside, out and didn’t let my boundaries come down. I finally asked for the respect I knew I deserved but would never receive. For 8 months, the people who were in my life for so long did everything they could to keep me down. They didn’t want to see me move out with my kids.
They didn’t want to see me make strides in my 2nd Career in Cannabis as much as they didn’t want me to consume it. There were moments I truly believed they wished me dead or worse – off addicted to Opiates again.
Unfortunately, they just wanted the other party to win. No one won.
Actually that’s not true. The kids do win in many ways – they don’t have a Mother addicted to Opiates any more. They get to have the benefit of having their Mother nurture them in ways she wasn’t. This heals the pain for me of losing my Parents prematurely and of course l will always carry that with me. There will always be moments of sadness as my children grow and I wish I had what most people my age have. They have loving, supportive Parents who stand by them no matter what.
It’s because I never had this in my life that I am who I am – I raised myself. I can finally come to terms with that after having the notion validated by so many people this past year. I finally allowed myself to accept things I could never change and these are just things about ME that aren’t even bad. Like for example; I love to work. I love to be around people, brainstorming ideas and talking. It gives me energy and excitement.
Well, my former spouse and even my own Mother would often say my love for working was another Addiction of mine.
It’s not. It’s my passion and I’m not going to apologize for it any more.
I’m not going to apologize for much of anything any more.
I used to apologize for no reason or just for being me – quite a bit but back then. I should’ve been apologizing for the massive secret of my Addiction I had been keeping for most of my marriage. I tried after the fact but we all know how that worked out.
Now that everything is settled – life really does go on. It’s exciting to have such passion for life again and an energy for my 3 girls to match theirs. I am lucky, grateful and blessed to be able to spend every day with them and not have to plug away at work 9-5 like the majority of most moms do. I cannot take that for granted. I worked hard for this opportunity too; don’t get me wrong.
I’ve had a job since I was a child. First as a competitive dancer, earning a paycheque for a dance company through performances at competitions and expensive lessons for 35 hours a week. It was insanity and I’d never let my girls do it. I’ve become the woman I am today because of it but it’s led to some pretty serious body issues that are permeneant.
At 15, I began working part-time in Retail jobs but that was still 20-30 hours a week, after school and weekends. I started working at the Bank at 20 years old when all my friends enjoyed University; part-time work free. I didn’t take a year abroad or go for an expensive, on campus University education. Instead, I worked part-time, had my car to commute into Toronto for school and began working full time at the Bank almost immediately after Graduation.
Now I am my own boss in my life, as a Mother and as a Business Woman/Entrepreneur. It feels so fucking good you have no idea. My kids love having me this way as a happy, healthy Mother that the transition into a new house went flawlessly. I am able to focus on them completely now as I’m not longer stressed to the max over Court dates and legal paperwork.
I’m also a new Student as I decided to do a few University courses at McMaster in the Science of Cannabis. My plan is to pursue my Masters Degree in Business Administration. It is a 3 year commitment but one I can balance on my own. Most of the coursework is done Online, on my own so I’ll be able to manage. I will not waste this once in a lifetime opportunity where the timing to go back to school is perfect.
Lately I’ve been thinking about my Dad a lot and knowing he would be proud of me. I fought a pretty long battle against Addiction and then another to change my situation for good. If I had not, I doubt I would be here today.
It will be my first Christmas on my own, with my girls but I am not sad about it.
We have come a long way in the last 8 months and I’m hopeful that 2020 will be a new chapter for us as Ex Spouses but Co-Parents. If I could give any advice if you plan to leave your marriage – have a plan for yourself and for the kids to manage your emotional well-being. Get into Counselling or programs specifically geared to kids and Divorce.
Remember that the dust does settle some day (if you let it) and so, keeping the acrimony to a minimum is essential. Keep this in mind if you have children and feel like you need to share your Partners dirty laundry with your Family and Friends. One day, when you don’t feel as angry any more – your family will always remember and carry the resentment for you.
I’m not angry about it – it’s just the way it is. Family is supposed to be there for you and sometimes people just take it too far.
Angieupinsmoke.com has been up for 8 months now. It began as my outlet to share my story but also change the narrative around Addiction. I never planned to write about Divorce and Relationships but the feedback I’ve received has kept me going on so many hard days. I would not have made it through this without writing.
Coming out of my self-imposed cell that I was trapped in helped heal the trauma, pain and Shame from everything. I’ve had women end their marriages, engagements, and get into Treatment for their own Addictions.
That’s what this is all about – helping other Women see past the bullshit and move forward.
You are never alone.
You are never trapped.