Monday, January 30, 2012

Mrs. McGuire is not perfect...

"The further you walk with Him, the more He will ask of you.  More of your money, more of your service, more of your time.  He'll even ask you to give Him your big dream.  Until all that's left is one person--Jesus Christ.  One day you'll awaken to the fact that you have chosen Him as your supreme purpose in life, and you will realize that He himself has been your greatest dream, your longing, your desperate desire all along."   --Bruce Wilkinson as quoted in The Secret of the Lord
As we drove away from the Victory Home on June 11, 2011, I felt the biggest sense of relief I had felt in over a year and a half.  You know, someone would expect me to be crying, mourning, angry, etc. but, I wasn't.  I was relaxed.  I wasn't tense.  I wasn't anxious.  And I actually enjoyed the feeling.  At that point, I wanted to get as far away from Todd as I possible could without actually checking out completely.  


There was one thing I was worried about though...my girls.  Anytime I ever talk about "my girls" on this blog, I am talking about the dance team that I coached.  "My girls" were everything to me.  I had 26 of them.  I spent day in and day out with them at practice, games, competitions, parades; you name it, we did it.  I coached them hard.  I'm sure if you asked anyone of them today, they would agree that most days I was not the bubbly, fun-loving, patient person they sometimes wished they had, but that didn't matter, I wanted their best from them.  And they gave it to me.  By now, you have probably realized I have a Type A personality where I want everything perfectly planned out, organized, and flawless.  I was the same way with them.  Honestly, I'm not saying that is a good or a bad thing, sometimes I just wish that I would have seemed more "real" to them rather than dictator-ish.  


Anyways, I had the perfect life facade up in front of them too.  I didn't want one of them to know what was going on behind closed doors at Mrs. McGuire's house.  If they did, I would look weak.  I mean, if I expected certain behavior from them, then why couldn't I get that same type of behavior from my own husband?  Some woman I was, huh??  


Well, I agonized with Todd's parents the whole way home about how I would let them know where Todd was and what he had gotten us into.  I couldn't come up with the right words, at all.  I actually wrote it out and tried to memorize something.  Something that would give them just enough information to know what was going on if someone asked them, but not enough to let them know how completely heart-broken I was.  Because I felt if I was weak, then they would not follow my leadership.  I also wanted to tell them because since they were so important to me and we spent week after week together, I thought they should  hear what was going on in my life from me, not from some bystander, who would probably stretch the truth about the situation.  


I remember sitting them down before we went to camp.  As I started, I looked down at all of them and thought about how innocent their lives were and how I would never want them to go through anything like I was going through.  I wanted to protect them.  I wanted to protect them from me and my struggles.  I couldn't get anything out.  I was a complete and utter mess and I sputtered out something along the lines of, "Todd has gone to Fort Worth for six months.  He has a problem with drugs.  This will not affect you or the dance team in any way.  If I seem distant, this is probably the reason."  And that was that.  I didn't have to say anymore.  


They didn't react like I thought they would.  Honestly, I don't know exactly what I was expecting, but it wasn't what happened.  They were very sweet about it.  They hugged me and said they were thinking and praying for Beckett and me.  You know, the rest of the six months, they didn't ask me about it, unless I brought it up or said something about Todd.  I appreciated that so much from them because even though they are so young, they understood their boundaries.


After telling the girls, life got back to being normal.  Beckett and I did our thing.  Honestly, I didn't think about Todd as much as you would expect a wife whose husband was gone for 6 months too.  But, these were different circumstances than most wives that are away from their husbands for that long.  I didn't write Todd.  I sure didn't call down there to check on him.  For once, I was confident that he was being taken care of, and hopefully, he would get a little dose of Jesus while he was there.  Now, as I write that, I think that sounds pitiful.  But, as you will see, Todd got a WHOLE lot more than a little dose of Jesus and SO DID I.



This is camp, not long after I told the girls about Todd.



Sunday, January 29, 2012

I don't want to pray...

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
--Philippians 4:6


As soon as I got done with the little bit of paperwork and the guys prayed me in, they sent me upstairs to shower and lay down. "Great", I thought, "just another vacation". I knew I would have to go to Bible study or something like that eventually but they told me to go lay down until I felt better. They were all ex-drug addicts and they knew that I was about to go through it. I quit it all on June 11th, 2011. Drinking, smoking, pain pills, anxiety pills, depression pills, and ADHD medicine. I went upstairs, got as comfortable as I could and passed smooth out. I remember waking up a few times to turn off the tapes that were playing at the foot of my bunk bed. It seemed like every time I woke up there was a different sermon playing. I would turn it off and someone else would turn it right back on. I will explain the tapes more later. All I knew now was that they were messing with my high. I slept pretty well the rest of that day and all the way into the next morning which was Sunday morning.


As I woke up the next morning I heard what sounded like loud mumbling and some of it sounded like Spanish and some of it was a language I had never heard before. As I rolled over to see what it was I noticed that there were 2 hands on my back. I turned over and saw a middle-aged Hispanic man with tattoo's on his neck and arms. He introduced himself as Ricky in a very strong Spanish accent. I pushed back away from him and asked him sharply, "what do you think you are doing?" He said he was praying for me and my sickness to go away, and for the Holy Spirit to take control of my life immediately. By that time I felt so bad I didn't care what it took to make me feel better. Actually I told him he could continue to pray for me but I was going to try to go back to sleep. I don't care who a person is or what they believe, when someone is crying out to God on your behalf it makes you feel great. A non-believer may not admit that, but it is true and one thing I have learned over the past several months is that it doesn't matter how big and bad a person is, they always want you to pray for them. Sorry, just had to interject. 


It wasn't long before I woke up again, and again Ricky was praying for me. This time my head was throbbing, externally. I got up and went to one of the 4 bathrooms shared by the 60 guys that lived there. I looked in the mirror and noticed that I had a huge knot just above my left eye. All the guys were at church so there was nothing that could be done now. I couldn't sleep because my head was hurting so I decided to check out the place since I really didn't remember much about being checked in. The room I was in was just big enough for the 5 bunk beds it contained. The other 3 rooms that were upstairs pretty much mirrored each other. I decided to go downstairs. As I got to the bottom of the stairs in the hallway/entry-way there was a couple of the older guys (guys that had been there for 3+ months) that had stayed back to watch the home. They did their best to get me to go to church but I refused, I felt awful. I noticed the kitchen, it was fairly small for feeding 75+ people per meal I thought. I walked a few feet the other direction into the dining room/chapel/prayer room/bedroom. It was about 40' x 15' and my thoughts the whole time were "this is it?"




It still hadn't completely set in with me that I was there for 6 months and it would be at least 30 days before I would have ANY contact with anyone from the outside world. I honestly still believed that my mom and dad, not Meagan, would feel sorry for me in time and come get me. I knew that Meagan wasn't coming anytime soon. I was pretty sure that I had drawn my last straw with her and like I said I didn't know if she would ever come back. Even that hadn't set in with me...yet. 


The guys got back from church and I asked Ricky to ask one of the leaders if I could go to the hospital to check out this knot on my head. They agreed and I was sent to the hospital with 2 other guys. The leader of the group was a 21-year-old guy that had been in the home for 5 months and the other was a 28-year-old guy who had been there for 3 weeks. After a few hours they finally called my name and they determined that it was shingles. One of the main causes of shingles is severe anxiety. So they sent me home with a steroid and anti-biotic. 


As I got back home Sunday evening they told me to go get some more rest because I was going to start my normal days the next morning. The next thing I know the guy who signed me in is walking from room to room turning on the lights and telling everyone good morning. As I look at my watch I see that it is 5:30 A.M., yes in the MORNING. I was told to get dressed for breakfast. We went downstairs at 6 for breakfast and at 6:30 we were back upstairs to clean up. At 7 everyone went into the chapel for 'Proverbs'. Since there is 31 chapters in the book of Proverbs, we would read each verse of that particular day of the month and then talk about the one that stood out to us. After a short break it was back downstairs for the BIG ONE....PRAYER TIME.



As I came downstairs I heard the worship music playing on the sound system and the volume was turned all the way up. All of the guys were on their knees with their heads bowed over the seat of their chair. Most, if not all, of them were praying out loud. Some of the guys were even crying out and yelling to God. At that time I had only heard rumors about people praying in tongues, I had never really believed people actually did it. Man, was I wrong. I got down on my knees and basically said this: "God, please get me out of here". Then I got up and went out of the chapel where I was met by one of the leaders. He asked me what was wrong and I told him that I did not want to pray. I told him that I did not pray like "that". You see I was raised Southern Baptist and it is taboo to even lift your hands during a song while the service is going, let alone pray out loud. So I sat outside during prayer time. Then it was time for praise and worship which again was crazy to this Southern Baptist. Guys were screaming and yelling about where Jesus had saved them from. In my mind I was too lost, I often looked at some of the other guys who had 3 teeth and ratty clothes and thought to myself that they needed to be at this place, not me. Wow, did I ever have a revelation on that one later.




After that it was time for a 2.5 hour teaching. This was the first part that was semi-normal to me. After that we had lunch and then the guys that had been there for 30 days or less stayed back for another 2 hour teaching. That was followed by a 2 hour break in which I was able to shower and take a nap. Then, at 5:00 p.m. we woke up cleaned up again and went back down for another 30 minute prayer time at 6 followed by more praise and worship. Then from 7-9 we had yet another teaching and then it was supper time. After supper we did a variety of things from praise and worship to studying different parts of the Bible and every now in then we got to go to bed early. Early as in 10:15ish.




On my fourth day there I had to return to the hospital for them to have another look at my shingles. This time I went with a different guy. One who had been in the men's home for about 10 months and he was given permission to look for a job. He was to use the phone at the hospital while I was getting all of my stuff done. By this time I was ready to go home. I really, REALLY needed to talk to Meagan. Mainly to beg her not to leave. I needed to talk to my parents so that I could manipulate them into coming to get me. I had had enough of this place. I would never do drugs again I thought to myself. So remembering that I had snuck a 20 dollar bill in my shoe I went and found the guy that I was there with and told him that I needed to use the phone to call my family because I was leaving. At the men's home there was absolutely NO phone call's for the entire 6 months. So he told me that they wouldn't let me use the phone back at the home. I told him that I had 20 bucks and I was going across the street to use the payphone. He then told me that he was going to have to tell Nick (the home director and now one of my closest friends) that I had the money, another no-no at the home, and that I had used the phone. I told him I didn't care what he did because I wasn't going back to that 'place'. 


He walked me across the street to use the phone, the whole time he was trying his best to talk me out of doing it. I called Meagan first and got her voicemail 3 times in a row. I decided to call my dad next. He answered and I immediately told him that this place was a cult and that they were making me pray in tongues and everything that I thought would make him come and get me. Those were the exact things that dad had asked Nick when he talked to him about the place the week before. My dad basically said that I needed to grow up, be a man, and stop trying to manipulate him. He said that he would see me in 4 weeks and he loved me. I tried to call Meagan a couple more times, not knowing that she was staring at her phone each time thinking that she did NOT want to talk to me. I left her a message and hung up the phone. We walked back to the hospital and he called our ride but not before telling them what I had done.


When we got back home Nick then informed that I would be on "discipline" until he said otherwise for breaking the rules. For the next 35 days God was about to stretch me almost to my limit.


...

Connections...

"The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing."
--Zephaniah 3:17

Before I begin explaining how our crazy web of connections created this amazing journey, I want to ask you to be patient.  Our little web can sometimes get confusing, but the beauty of it in the end, is unbelievable.  As I think through it all now, I realize how something like this cannot be man made, but only a perfect creation from God.

A list of characters who played a role as vessels to allow us to end up where we are today:

Karen Hilborn--my high school dance coach and one of my best friend's now.  I coached beside her for four years (two at the junior high level and two at the high school level).  Karen coaches the Benton High School cheerleaders.

Holly Trantham--Karen Hilborn's close friend.  Holly coached and taught alongside Karen for several years.  She coached the Benton High School Pepsteppers.  As the coach of the team, she hired me to choreograph routines.  Holly and I were not close, but we were friends.  I came into Holly's job and taught the same classes and coached the same team only four years after Holly and her family left Benton. 
 
Kelly--Holly's best friend.  I had no clue who Kelly was.

Bobby--Kelly's brother.  I had no clue who Bobby was.

I think it is important to explain who the people are and what their connection was in the beginning so that you can understand the full story.

Last time I left you, we had had our "Intervention" with Todd.  He was told he would go to a one year rehab in Russellville, AR.  He only said yes so that we would get off his back.  He wasn't excited and he wasn't really willing.  The only thing he knew was that he had no other choice. 

I remember when we were in the doctor's office like it was yesterday.  When we left, I had the biggest sense of relief.  I had told Todd what he would lose.  I had told him I was tired of all the mess he was putting Beckett and me through.  I had done my job.  However, I was so nervous for this all to be pulled off.  See, Todd was the master of all schemers.  He will tell you that today even.  He could con his way out or into any situation.  

After we left the doctor's office, I just really needed to talk to someone.  Someone I trusted and someone I knew would tell me the truth.  I called Karen.  She always will tell me what I NEED to hear, not necessarily what I WANT to hear.  I told her about the "Intervention."  I told her about Russellville. I told her about Todd's reaction.  Everything.  She already knew most of it, but by the end of the conversation, she was up to full speed.  As we neared the end, Karen remembered a crazy story about addiction that Holly had once told her.  She couldn't remember it all exactly, so she decided to call Holly.  

Within minutes of getting off the phone with Karen, I was on the phone with Holly.  I told Holly everything.  I told her about Todd's addiction and how it was tearing our family apart.  I told her how I was so tired of all the lies and manipulations.  I told her I was ready for something to break, whether it be a good thing or a bad thing.  Holly responded with one of the most hopeful stories I had heard in a long time.  You see, when you are around the addiction lifestyle, you don't always hear hopeful stories.  You hear of relapse.  You hear of jail sentences. You hear of death.  You rarely hear of freedom, redemption, and life.  This was the kind of story Holly told me.  She told me about her friend, Kelly, who had a brother, Bobby.  Bobby had fallen into the same cycle of addiction that Todd was in.  He tried different kinds of rehabs, leaving only to relapse and fail again.  He had broken relationships and people's trust.  And then, he hit rock bottom.  When that happened, Kelly introduced Bobby to a ministry called Victory Temple Ministries.  At Victory Temple, Bobby had found a relationship like no other.  He found a relationship with God that changed his life forever.  However, she warned me that Victory Temple was not like any other "rehab" or "institution" Todd had ever been too.  There, he wouldn't be able to smoke (I thought, "Thank goodness."), take his depression or anxiety medications, talk on the phone, have random visits, etc.  To me, that was awesome.  I hated Todd smoking.  I even made him change his clothes when he came in from smoking.  I hated him taking medication.  Not that I think anything is wrong with medication, but when you have to ration the medication for a 25 year old every day and just hope that he doesn't find where you hid it and take too many, it's not fun.  And since I was so tired of dealing with our relationship, I didn't care about seeing or talking to him.

Holly got me pumped up.  She's really good at that.  After talking to her, I actually had a little hope that Todd would be able to change.  Then, came the big task.  I had to research the place for myself and I had to convince Todd's family that Victory Temple was the place we had been looking for the past couple of years.  As we looked over the website for Victory Temple, we were a little hesitant.  It seemed like an extremely radical place and honestly, I didn't know if Todd could handle it.  When I say radical, I mean radical for God.  Yes, we all had gone to church for our entire lives, but could Todd really be radical for God and could he really be radical enough to change forever?

To convince us all it was the place, we had to check a few references.  Of course.  Remember, we were the enablers and we had to do our job.  Holly told me to call Bobby.  When I did, I couldn't even believe the things that Holly had told me about his past life.  He sounded like a man that really had it all together.  His family had been restored.  He loved God more than life itself and he even prayed for Todd and me over the phone.  This was something I had never known to happen before.  I actually felt that someone REALLY cared about Todd's well-being.  After talking to him, I was convinced.  

Todd's parents took a little more convincing.  I remember running inside to their house, where Todd was passed out.  It was actually the night I showed a video of a couple of posts ago.  I was so excited and ready to go that night.  Todd's dad decided to call the place.  As he called, I looked it up on the internet and showed it to his mom.  Steve, Todd's dad, talked to the home director.  It's funny to think about the questions he asked them that night:
-Are you a cult?
-Do you speak in tongues?
-Can he smoke?
-Can he take his medicine?
-etc.
After about thirty minutes of talking to the home director, they cautiously agreed.  

Todd woke up a few minutes later to find the computer screen directly in front of his face with Victory Temple Ministries website on the screen.  Steve said, "Todd, this is where you are going in the morning.  We are leaving at 6:00 am."

We left the next morning at 6:00.  It was the most torturous ride ever.  As you have read, Todd was as high as a kite.  He was either talking our ear off or snoring really loud.  Beckett was sitting in between us and he didn't pay him any attention.  He had NO idea what was really going on.  We had to stop every hour or so for him to smoke or "use the bathroom."  It was tiring putting up with him like that.  

When we got to the home, Bobby met us outside.  He didn't seem anything like a drug addict.  He was well dressed.  He spoke clearly.  He seemed genuine and acted as if he cared about Todd.  He showed us the church and other facilities as Todd was getting "checked in."  I say it like that because when we got back to the Men's Home (where Todd would be the next six months), Todd came straight up to me and very clearly stated, "They anointed me."  I laughed and said, "Good.  You need it." 

Bobby prayed for us.  Todd said his quick goodbyes and that was it.  We left him.

I wanted you to know this complex web of past and present connections to know this:  God was writing our story right in front of our eyes.  If Kelly would not have been friends with Holly, Holly would never have known Bobby's story.  If Karen wasn't friends with Holly, Karen would have never known Bobby's story.  And most importantly for us, if Karen would not have known Bobby's story, Todd, Meagan, and Beckett McGuire would not be the family they are becoming today.  This was only the beginning of journey with God through Victory Temple.  We had no idea the things to come that God had already designed.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Hardened Heart...

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God."
--Romans 8:18-21

By the time Todd came home from detox, I was completely numb to everything.  Numb to hurt.  Numb to disappointment.  And definitely, numb to love.  Sometimes when I think about how distant I had become from Todd, I wonder why I didn't leave him.  But, once again, God had a plan and it was NOT in His plan for that to happen.  And it didn't, thank the LORD.  We, as believers, must be reminded of this everyday.  For if we follow OUR plans, we will fail.  

I had "kicked" Todd out of the house when he came home.  I laid down a few ground rules too:
1.  He could not spend the night at our house.  
2.  He DEFINITELY couldn't use the debit card because it was MY money.  After all, I had worked my tail off to get into the position I was in. 
3.  He couldn't be alone with Beckett (after you read my last post, you know exactly why)
Now, I thought the rules were pretty easy.  They were too easy.  Todd used his time at his parent's home as an escape from responsibility.  It gave him more freedom.  He could look for pills all day long and no one would ever know.  I, for once, had some peace and quiet time.  I loved every minute of it.  I still worried about Todd, but my feelings were dwindling.  Out of sight, out of mind, right?  It was relaxing in our house for once.  Right now, thinking back, I'm trying to remember what kind of emotions I felt towards Todd during those few weeks and honestly, nothing but anger and disgust comes to mind.  I know it sounds awful to think that of your husband.  We are supposed to love our spouses for better or worse.  Well, our worse had gotten unbearable.  I blamed Todd for ruining our marriage.  I blamed him for Beckett not having a reliable father.  I blamed him for my embarrassment and the facade of a perfect life breaking down.

Todd's parents and I used the few weeks to devise a plan for Todd.  Once again, we were ready to fix him.  All of us researched and called as many places as we could.  We tried to get the "best" one and the one we thought was "right" for him.  However, none of them felt right to me.  Then, Todd's dad found this place about an hour and a half away.  It was a year long program.  You may think a year sounds like a really long time, but to me, I was excited.  Maybe Todd could be fixed this time.  Maybe he would get over his childish ways and become a man.  And maybe our family could be restored.  

If you have ever seen the show "Intervention," you know exactly what happened next.  Todd's parents and I sat down in a room with his doctor, gave his ultimatums, and asked him if he would get help.  My ultimatum was that I would leave if he didn't go.  And I was so serious when I said it.  With much hesitation, he agreed.  And then, proceeded to get the "highest" I have ever seen him for the next two days.  








I know these pictures don't have anything to do with my post, but as a proud mama, I just wanted to include it.  Since we just started our blogging experience, I didn't get to blog about the birth of Beckett when it happened, so I may include some random pictures along the way.

OH, I just can't wait to tell you the next part...It is truly where everyone can see God's plan coming together so perfectly.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

But one day...

"Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest."
--Matthew 11:28


The next two weeks of my life were pretty much a blur. I had come home from detox and dove in where I left off. I couldn't go back to work until the drug test came back so I was pretty much on vacation. Getting high all day long every day. I would go visit my grandpa, whose stage 4 lung cancer was getting the best of him, including the incredible pain that required extremely strong pain medication. In fact the medication he was getting was usually only prescribed to terminally ill patients. I would go to see him and more times than not I would steal some pain medicine from him. As if that wasn't enough let me explain how much pain he was in; I had a really, really high tolerance for pain medication by this point and I would have to cut his dosage in half so that it didn't knock me totally out for a full day. The medicine was designed to last 72 hours. Now, when my grandpa took the medicine he was STILL IN PAIN! Looking back on this I am getting sick to my stomach explaining it, but I think it is important for someone reading this to realize that a drug addict doesn't care who they hurt or how they get their fix. I could not see past the tip of my nose.


Two weeks after the incident at work I returned to my job. For most people it would have been awkward but the pills I took daily numbed just about every emotion I had, including that one. My mom was off keeping Beckett that day and I asked her to go pick up my ADHD medication. I didn't just ask her once, I asked her several times and then I begged her to make the 35 minute drive and bring it to me in Hot Springs...yes, really. My dad called me and said that he had to run a few errands and we would just go together to get my script when I got off work. So when I got home My mom, dad, and Meagan were ready to take the ride over there. I was pretty high, because I had just gotten off work. Which in my eyes was my only responsibility at the time. Meagan had pretty much kicked me out, but to me she had given me freedom that I had wanted since the day we got married. Sad but that is just how I saw it, and I think deep down she knew that but would never have admitted it because that would mean admitting that she failed. They said we were going to go get my prescription and then going to eat, sounded great to me. When we got to the doctor's office we all went in to one of the rooms and sat down in a circle and that is when they hit me with the bombshell. I had to go to this place they had found for a whole year. I remember thinking at first "what had I done for this conclusion to be drawn?" In my mind I was doing a pretty good job of getting high and no one knowing. After a lot of tears, not because I was sad, but because deep down I knew that I was about to have to give up my pills, I agreed to do it. 


Leaving the doctors office my mind was racing with ideas on how I could get out of this. I knew 2 things for sure: One is that I HAD to go somewhere for help, two was that if I found somewhere else that was at least 3 months they would probably go for it. This all happened on that Thursday. I called the office that I worked at and told him that I would be resigning and followed that with a letter. We would go to this place on Saturday so I would spend the next day going to both sets of grandparents houses and telling them what I was doing. 


We woke up that morning and Meagan and I headed out to my grandparents on my dad's side, who are both in pretty good health. We ate breakfast and joked around with my cousins, but I think they could tell I wasn't really myself. The whole while we were out there my mom and dad and my aunt were looking for other places to go the next day. All they really wanted was for me to want to go somewhere. We had found a place that was going to cost several thousand dollars, but that didn't matter because my family would pay anything to 'fix' my problem for me. That particular place, to me, would have been more of a vacation, where I would have been given another set of meds, that would help me stop the ones I was taking. I knew it wasn't going to get me sober but it was going to get everyone off my back. So we told that set of grandparents and as always they just wanted me better. I said goodbye and went to see my mom's parents. 


I knew from the moment we had decided to visit my grandparents that I was going to get one of my grandpas pain patches. When we got there I wasted no time but to go grab one from his hiding spot and then I took half of it. We chatted for a while and we told them the deal and like my other grandparents they just wanted me to get better. By this time it was almost a done deal that I was going to this expensive rehab. We told my grandparents goodbye and I had no idea that would be the last time I would see my grandfather ever again. We headed to my mom and dad's house. When we got there I went to the bathroom and administered the other half of the pain medicine I had stolen. I went straight to the couch and passed out.


I woke up a few hours later to my mom and dad and Meagan all sitting in the living room with me. They had a website pulled up on the computer and I remember this like it was yesterday. Meagan pointed to the website and my dad said "this is were you are going in the morning. We are leaving at 6 a.m. so get some rest". I looked at the computer for a moment and the name of this place was Victory Temple Ministries in Ft. Worth, Texas. I read on there for a minute or two and about that time it hit me that I wasn't going to be on a vacation, but quite the opposite. They said that I would have to stop taking all of my prescription and worst of all there was NO smoking. I was FURIOUS I jumped in my car and took some sleeping pills and preceded to drive around smoking cigarette after cigarette. I didn't return back home until I started falling asleep at the wheel. I "played" with Beckett for a little while, for this would be my last night with him for 6 months. I say "played" because as you can see by the video Meagan posted, I was fighting just to stay awake since the pain medicine was combined now with the sleeping pills I had just taken. After that I went to bed.


video


We woke up early the next morning and, according to my dad, I was still high and stumbling around, we went to mine and Meagan's house to pack my suitcase and to pick them up. I just sat outside and smoked cigs while they packed. We headed to Ft. Worth a little after 6 a.m. on Saturday, June the 11th. I got loaded before we left and packed the as many pills as I could at the bottom of my cigarette pack that morning. We stopped about every 15 to 20 miles so that I could smoke and take a couple pills. They didn't know about the pills obviously. I don't remember much about the ride down there. We stopped just shy of Dallas so that I could get my 'great' meal before going to this place that I still didn't know much about. I went to the restroom at the restaurant and administered what would be the last pain medicine I would ever take. I was feeling awesome and ready to go. I guess it hadn't really set in that I would have NO contact with the outside world for the next 30 days and then would only see them for a few hours a couple times a month. 


As we got close to the Victory Home Meagan called Bobby, who is now a good friend of mine. He was the liaison for all of this. He was pretty much the reason for me going there. He had gone through the Home 2 years prior and after his 6 months there he and his wife moved from Oklahoma down to Ft. Worth so that he could stay connected with the ministry. That was crazy to me, but oh well. We arrived at the Home a little after 2 that afternoon and Bobby met us there. I stepped across the street to smoke my final cigarettes and then I was ready to be signed in. Bobby took my family down the road to see the Women's Home while I was doing the paper work. Once the paper work was done a group of about 8 or so guys took me into the chapel and then they busted out the olive oil and put some on my forehead. This was a bit odd to me, but I was so high that I didn't read too much into it. In this group of guys there was a white guy, black guy, Hispanic guy, young, old, well-dressed, and not so well dressed guys. I didn't think anything about that at the time either. They all prayed for me and then rejoiced with loud screams and praises because, they said, the kingdom of God had grown by one. "yeah yeah, I thought, whatever". After all of this was done I went out to say my goodbyes. I hugged and kissed them all and sent them on their way. As they pulled off I honestly didn't know if I would ever see Meagan or Beckett again. Also what I really had no idea of was that God was fixing to rock my world and steal my heart forever!



Here's a sweet little picture of Beckett the day before we left...


This is a picture of Beckett the morning...Todd thought he needed to wear his sunglasses. 





...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I believe in miracles...

"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.  He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come."
--John 16:13



I said yesterday that I was going to post some different things that happened during the time from Beckett's birth until he was about 3 and a half months old.  Some people may wonder why I want to tell some of the things that happened behind our closed doors.  I believe that as Todd's wife, I was so blind to certain things that were happening.  I didn't want to believe the "signs" I was seeing everyday.  I hope this can help someone.

One night, at the end of spring, I had a church softball game.  I didn't really want to take Beckett to the game because it was windy outside.  Todd didn't have a ballgame that particular night.  I was a little leery about leaving Beckett with Todd on his own, but as Todd would say, "I'm a grown man, Meagan.  I can handle it."  I remember leaving that night worried.  The last thing I said to Todd was, "Whatever you do, don't fall asleep without putting Beckett in his crib."  Those words right there tell you that I didn't trust Todd.  I went to my game and after, as I was driving home, I called Todd.  No answer.  I called him again. No answer.  I ended up calling him 7 times on the drive back to the house from the softball fields (it's probably only a 5 minute drive).  Each time I called, I got more and more sick to my stomach.  As I drove up to the house, I was so afraid to go inside.  As I walked through the front door, I started calling out Todd's name with no response.  Our den was at the back of our old house.  It seemed like forever for me to get there.  When I walked in, I saw a sight that I never would have to see again.  Todd had passed out.  His legs were still positioned as if he were sitting up, but his body had fallen back like he was asleep on the couch.  Beckett was right beside asleep.  He was actually in the crease of the sectional.  No one knows what could have happened that night had Beckett not been face up in the crease or if he could have accidentally rolled off.  I jerked Beckett up and yelled at Todd that he would never keep him alone.  From then on, the babysitting started over.  If I ever had a ballgame, I never left Beckett with Todd.  Either my parents or Todd parents would come sit with them or I would take Beckett.  I am so thankful that God was holding our precious baby that night in His arms. 
 

Other things that happened weren't quite as bad.  Everyday occurrences could be something like the following:
going to sleep at 7:00 for the night
sleeping on the couch 
slurred speech
red eyes
lethargic movements
temper tantrums
random "things" he had to go to the store for
not letting me in his car
missing money
deleting ALL his text messages
talking on the phone outside
etc.

Looking back at this list of things, I wonder why I didn't do anything sooner. But, that's the point right there.  No matter what I could have done or did do, I couldn't change Todd.  Bottom line.  Todd couldn't even change Todd.  It took an act of God to change Todd.

The day that Todd talked about when he took so many pills at work was the day I realized what kind of problem he really had.  I always knew there was a real problem, but I don't think I understood how bad it was because I had only HEARD about all the pills.  I remember getting the phone call as I was picking up Beckett from the babysitter.  I needed to call Todd's work and I needed to call it immediately.  I knew exactly what the problem was.  I didn't know the specifics, but I just knew it had to deal with drugs.  When his mom and I got to the drug-testing facility, I was so embarrassed.  I just knew he had lost ANOTHER job.  After corralling him (which was a task in itself), we went back to pick up his car at his office.  Todd was trying to get into the car before I could.  He even wanted to drive home.  He started fiddling with the console and somehow (I don't know how), I pushed my way through.  When I opened the console of his car and saw several FULL pill bottles, I literally got sick.  I looked at his mom and lost it.  I couldn't believe it. 

Beckett was so young and the time had come.  The time had come for me to put a stop to it all.  I couldn't trust Todd around Beckett and honestly, I didn't really care one way or another if I was with Todd.  I had a great "out" right then.  I was ready to leave. 

Todd went to a detox center that night.  I was so glad for him to be away so I could spend some time thinking about what I needed to do for Beckett and me.  He was only away for a couple of days, but it was all I needed.  I didn't let him come back home.  He stayed with his parents for a couple of weeks and basically, had an easy life.  He couldn't go back to work until the drug test came back.  So, he just hung out and got high.  


This is a picture of Todd the night before he left home for Fort Worth, Texas.  It was the last time he would call Benton, Arkansas his home (little did we know).  I don't need to say much more about it, because just like the old saying goes, "A picture is worth a thousand words."

I can't wait for everyone to know the rest of our story.  Our lives were about to change forever...

Friday, January 20, 2012

Boy oh boy...


"Who, then, are those who fear the LORD? He will instruct them in the ways they should choose. They will spend their days in prosperity, and their descendants will inherit the land. The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare."
--Psalms 25:12-15


I feel so hypocritical just looking at this picture.  We did everything we were supposed to do when I was pregnant, right down to getting maternity pictures made.  Behind our "masks," there was so much hurt, betrayal, addiction, and loneliness.  God's precious gift to us was fast approaching and in the end, changed our lives forever.  

...


It was the night before Father's Day 2010 and I was out back smoking a cigarette when Meagan came running out back and said "oh my gosh, Todd get in here right now". When I got inside she pointed to a positive pregnancy test laying on the bathroom sink. At first I was in disbelief. Not that she could get pregnant, because since our lives were 'normal' again we could keep going with our "perfect" family, so about 3 weeks prior we decided to start trying.


When I saw this I was genuinely overwhelmed with happiness. In my mind I still believed that I was casually taking pills again and that I could stop whenever I wanted. I was so happy that I jumped in my car and drove to Walgreen's where I bought 3 more tests: one digital, one name-brand, and one cheap one. I called Meagan while I was gone and told her to drink 5 cups of water. When I returned she took the 3 new tests and sure enough they all said it was true. We immediately called our parents over and we told our dads that it we had their Father's Day gift. They were all extremely excited but in the back of their minds still held their reservations. Probably because, as Meagan said, you could just tell I wasn't always clearly thinking. 


So for the next couple of months we just bragged and bragged on our newest addition that was coming along. We did all the cliche stuff like pick names and colors, for each sex of course. 


During this time I decided it was time for me to go back to work and make some extra money for our growing family. I quickly got a sales job for a nation-wide trucking newspaper. The stress of the job got to me right away and my first thought was to call the mental health doctor and start my script again. So I did and he not only started me back but he upped the dosage too...all because I knew what to say to him.


I started taking everything that I had taken before. Here we go again I often thought as I shoved a handful of pills in my mouth. It wasn't long before I didn't care about the work I was doing and was let go from that job. It was time for a 'real' job with a steady income and benefits that would be best for a new family. Or at least that is what the rest of my family said. Anyone that has ever had a drug problem knows that you will do whatever your family wants in order for them to stay off your back and more importantly OUT of your business. 


So in October of 2010 I started working for a state agency in Hot Springs. At first it was great. Everyone was happy for me and it seemed like I was taking my pills with out any outside problems...life was great. 


As I got more comfortable around the people I worked with I began to feel them out and find out who the "cool" one's were and who the one's were that I could ask if they had anything for back pain. I got a few pain meds here and there but those employees that gave them to me didn't last long at all. They weren't very good at taking pills I would think to myself while watching one of them clean out her desk.


On February 17, 2011 Beckett Owen McGuire was born at 2:34 p.m. I was so happy. I had it all now. A beautiful wife, a beautiful son, and I was also able to take my happy pills again and do what I thought was function normally. I showed him off just like any proud dad would. I was done being an addict. No, I wasn't done taking the pills, just done taking them daily......yeah right. He was so much fun and it really brought us together as a family. I loved it and everything just might be okay. At first we did everything together. Then I had to go back to work. And even work went well for the next few months.



I had been working there for 8 months now and was getting really comfortable asking around for different meds and taking my pills while I was working and everything. One day while I at work I acquired several bottles of different muscle relaxers and pain pills. Nothing really that strong so I decided to open each of the 6 or so bottles and take 2 of 3 out of each one. This was during my lunch break and the next thing I remember is my boss pushing me in a wheel chair out the back door so that one of the male employees could take me down the road to a drug testing facility. 


I had passed out in my office to be found by my boss's boss. I remember giving my boss a fake phone number for Meagan when he asked. She will never know I thought. After I had been there for about 45 minutes my mom and Meagan walked through the door to find me laughing and yelling and flailing about. I did not care at the time because I knew that even if I failed, I had a bottle with each of the things I would fail for with my name on it.


I finally was able to pee in the cup and my mom and Meagan drove me back to the office to get my things so we could go home. I begged them to let me drive my car home (being a drug addict I was so excited about my score that day that I didn't want it to leave my side) so I ran and jumped in my car, which we were just going to leave at the office overnight, and Meagan ran over to get me out of the car. Finally she decided she would just drive my car home. Remember I am still really high and I reach into my console, which is right next to her arm, and try to sneak them out and move them away from her. She immediately stopped me and that is when she saw all 7 or 8 of the bottles stuffed with pills and I think for the first time all this became super real to Meagan. She had never really seen the extent of my problem until now.


We went straight back to my mom's car and headed home. We only stopped at home long enough for me to pack my bags and head to a detox center in Little Rock. It was only for 4 or 5 days but it was somewhere until my family figured out what to do with me. We got there late on a Thursday night and I got settled in. The next couple of days were rough but I made it. Monday was Memorial day and Meagan and my mom and dad came to eat with me. Towards the end of the visit the Doctor decided to draw up my discharge papers and we headed home. As soon as we got home I went straight to one of my hiding spots and took a Xanax. I had no intentions of quitting this time and actually I remember thinking about how mad I was that they flushed all that other stuff. Some dad I was. I used Beckett as an accessory. I would carry him around in public just so everyone else thought I was a great dad. Meagan and I knew the truth, but honestly I didn't care, heck I really didn't even need that responsibility anyway.


The decisions made in the next couple of weeks changed my life forever.


...




One day, when Todd and I get finished telling our past, all you will see on here is posts about our baby, Beckett.  :) Until then, you will have to look back at this sweet picture and realize what a miracle baby he really is.


After Todd got finished with his first rehab stint, it was time for the "perfect" family to begin.  I was all about trying to get pregnant as soon as Todd showed me just a little bit of responsibility.  When he did, I thought, "Alright, the time has come."  This sounds so stupid now thinking back about how naive I was about the situation.  People try and try to conceive month after month, year after year, constantly having problems and are left feeling hopeless, empty, and broken.  Here I was, trying to conceive not only for my selfish reasons, but to fill the void that was left by the hurt of my husband.  I have talked about everything being intentional.  God's plans for Beckett were very intentional.  I truly believe it was easy for me to conceive because God knew the things I would go through throughout the next year and a half.  Yes, pride kept me with Todd many times, but so did our baby.  That is why Beckett is a miracle baby.  


When I saw the pregnancy test was positive, I completely was beside myself.  I didn't know whether to cry or jump up and down.  I didn't know what to do.  We immediately were ready to tell our families.  You know, honestly, I knew they were very excited, but it was like there was a big "elephant" in the room.  The elephant being Todd's past addiction to pills and the threat of him relapsing.  Little did we know, he had already relapsed.  Actually, only three days before when he met with "the neighbor."  Sickening.  I know.  


At this time, I went into straight organization mode.  Surprise, surprise.  Todd had to get a job.  He had to have good insurance because mine was so expensive.  We had to go register like a "normal" little couple that was pregnant.  We had to get the nursery in order.  We had to go see the doctor.  We HAD to do everything.  That is what you do when you are organized.  You get everything done no matter what the cost.   I paid little attention to Todd.  I didn't want to know if he was taking pills again because if he was, MY plan would fall through.  My plan being the "perfect" family.


Nine months went by fast.  On February 17, 2011 at 2:34 p.m. our precious baby was born.  Birth is so hard to describe unless you have been through, whether you were able to keep your sweet miracle or let them go.  I remember trying to get my friends to describe to me what it was like, but when they did, I never really understood until it happened.  The morning we went to the hospital to be induced, I was so excited.  It was finally my time to prove to Todd that you could go through pain without pain medication.  I wanted to be able to have Beckett without any help, including an epidural.  But, after the first 15 minutes of contractions, I had all I could handle and got my epidural.  After that though, I didn't take any pain medication.  I only took ibuprofen.  Once again, I was trying to fix Todd and by me not taking any medications, I thought he would learn that he didn't have to either.  He didn't need to be weak anymore.  Grow up.  Be a man.  Be strong.  Get over the "pain" you are having and do it alone.  Well, during the two day stay at the hospital, Todd tried to get the nurse to give him my pain medications.  He got ice packs, heating pads, heat packs, etc.  It was as if he was the one who had the baby.  


The next three and a half months were a roller coaster.  I never felt more lonely in my life than in those following months.  Although I had the rest of our families constantly surrounding us and pouring out their love over Beckett, the one person who I wanted to share it with the most, was gone.  Not physically, but emotionally and mentally.  


Tomorrow, I will be posting about some of the scary things that happened while Beckett was young and Todd was high.  I know those two descriptions should never go together, but when you live with an addict, it happens.  


Our sweet pictures were taken by Lainie Deerman.  You can visit her website here.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

The beginning of the end...

"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."
--I Corinthians 10:13


Our life was great...for a few months. At the beginning of the summer of 2010, Meagan and I, along with her parents and mine went to Tulsa as Meagan and her dance team headed to camp. We all decided to go and make a vacation out of it. I was still unemployed and also, more importantly, I was still sober!  All of that was about to change. My parents and I decided to come back a couple days earlier than everyone else and since I had been clean and sober for a few months, I could be trusted with the house to myself.


Later that evening I was out doing some yard work when I noticed one of the neighbors out doing his usual...drinking a beer and smoking a cigarette. I think I was just bored and like most addicts, who were sober for the first time in a long time, decided I could now do drugs socially and that pills could be 'fun' again. So I walked down the street and casually started chatting with the 'neighbor.' I did not waste any time in asking if he had anything for "back pain". He said yes and went inside and got me a few muscle relaxers and that was that. I didn't wake up the next morning in cold sweats so I guess to me that meant I could take pills again. I went out early to finish the yard work and it seemed like I had just gotten out there when up walked the 'neighbor.'  He told me that he had some pain meds if I wanted to buy some. My family didn't trust me with much money yet but I immediately gave him all the cash I had in exchange for the overpriced drugs and ran inside and did them.


It was on. Meagan got back late that night and I was back to my old self in just a few days. I just had a little more experience this time. It was hard for me to get money so I would volunteer to do odd jobs for my Grandpa, because he was ill with lung cancer, plus he wanted to help me because he was proud of me. Also, like the rest of my family, he was trying to do whatever he could that would help me to keep Meagan in my life because WE all knew that most girls wouldn't have hung around this long...if they only knew what else she would endure.


I got right back into my old ways and running with the old crowd. When I say running with the old crowd, I mean I was getting drugs from the same people behind Meagan's back. One of the saddest things looking back was that they all knew about my rehab. Some "friends."  Actually thinking back I can only think of ONE of them who refused to sell me anything after my stent in rehab. He was actually prescribed to them for a real injury. I used to tell him that I was going to get them regardless so he should just sell me some, but he would not do it. Now I see that it wasn't about me. The blood was not on his hands regardless of what I did.


About this same time, Meagan and I learned of some news that would change our lives forever.


...


I can't tell you how proud I was of Todd when he came home from rehab.  Now, if you have never had someone you love enter and complete any type of rehab, you will not understand what I am talking about.  You probably are even thinking, "Why in the world would she be proud of a drug addict?"  Let me tell you.  For the first time, I finally could talk to my husband and I felt like he was actually talking back to me, as himself.  He looked healthy.  His eyes were clear.  There is something about Todd's eyes.  They were always the tell-tell sign that everything was fine or my worst nightmare had happened again.  I love when his eyes are clear.  It gives me peace. And I know I can trust him.  


I really believed he had put it behind him. We were once again on a new path and a new adventure.  It was time to have that "perfect marriage."  But, after a few months, I realized I was wrong, again.  I never actually caught him with pills or saw him take them, but I knew.  We all knew.  We saw it in his eyes.  I also knew it was time to put the defense back up.  When I say defense, I'm talking REAL defense.  Defense against Todd.  Defense against friends.  Defense against family.  Everyone.  It was time for me to go into "pride mode."  I couldn't let everyone else see that my life was messed up once again.  As a teacher, you are expected to live as an example to your students.  You are expected to be a mentor and be a sounding board whenever they need help.  How was I supposed to be this kind of leader when my own husband was doing the things that I preach to kids about not doing?  That is the question I dealt with for a few years day after day. This is one of the reasons I became so independent.  If I was associated with Todd and his 'dealings,' then, how could I expect any parent to trust their child under my leadership?  So, I chose not to associate with it.  As a matter of fact, I chose to be blind to it.


Don't worry, though.  Part of my saving grace through the next two years was about to appear...


  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The addiction comes to light...


"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those that love Him, who have been called according to his purpose."
--Romans 8:28


Meagan and I got settled in and started our new little adventure. I was still getting a $600 check in the mail each week and by this time was doing absolutely nothing work related. It was about time for Meagan to go back to school and this meant it was time for me to have all day at home conjuring up different ways to get my fix. I couldn't wait for her to go back to work honestly. I knew that my job wasn't going to last much longer so I milked it for all it was worth. The poor guy finally called me in late August of 2009 and told me that it just didn't make sense for him to keep paying me...duh, I thought. 


It wasn't long before I got in touch with one of the owners of a local car dealership and we talked about possibilities for my employment with them. I started to work for them around the end of September of 09. I was still taking the pills, but never really letting it affect me at work. I had been there for a couple of months and things seemed to be going really well. I had made some friends and established myself there. 


One day in mid-December 2009 things changed in my life and they have never been the same. I was not having any problems getting the pills I needed to maintain my addiction. I don't know if I got bored with that or what, but on this particular day I decided I was going to break into my neighbors house, or a house nearby mine. So I left on my lunch break and drove to my parents house to get a crow-bar from my dad's shop. I then went near my house and drove around for a bit. I passed by some friends of mine and my families house and I remember thinking "hmmm, they seem like the type of people that if they had been prescribed pain medicine that they would take one or two and put the rest up in the cabinet". Reading that now it sounds so ignorant, but those were my exact thoughts.


So in the middle of the day there I was in a residential neighborhood kicking and prying at their side door of their house. I circled the house once or twice and about the same time I made it back to the door I was working on and 2 police cars came flying onto the property. They asked me what I was doing and of course I lied. The next thing I knew I was in an investigation room with 3 or 4 detectives telling my story and then I was off to jail.


My Aunt, mom and dad, and Meagan were there shortly to bail me out (they did that a lot for the next few months). I went home and that night we met at a local counseling clinic and I spilled my guts about exactly what I was doing. I really didn't leave out anything and honestly I was super tired of taking the pills and at the beginning I was relieved that it had all come to light and I had a chance to quit with HELP! 


I started classes and meetings as I awaited my court date. I truly wanted to clean up and grow up but it just wouldn't last. I had been in the local program for about a month and a half when I decided to break the law again. I didn't get caught by law enforcement but I did get caught by one of my counselors who immediately suggested that I go to an inpatient facility. So I called Meagan and told her that is what I had decided to do and at the time she was actually happy for me.


In mid-February 2010 I checked into a rehab in Little Rock for 30 days. Not before going to a 7-day detox that was one of the worst experiences of my life. By the time I got over to the rehab and in that time Meagan had found out what I had done in order to end up there. She was furious. Things got better and she and my mom and dad came to visit me after I had been gone for about 10 days. At that time I began publicly smoking cigarettes and we all thought I could quit the pills and then I could focus on stopping the smoking.   


During all of this my grandfather had begun his intense chemotherapy for his stage 4 lung cancer. I had been so afraid something would happen to him while I was away. It seemed like the 36 days that I was gone was an eternity. It was amazing when I got out though. Meagan and I were so happy and we just spent all of our time together. We went on dates and just really enjoyed each other. It was all short-lived and my screw-ups were far from over.


...


After we got back from our Honeymoon, I decided to re-group.  I just put the things that had happened behind me and decided to move forward.  It wasn't that easy, but I HAD to make it work.  People always talk about how the first year of marriage is the hardest.  This gave me comfort.  I figured that Todd and I weren't the only ones going through a rough phase in our relationship.  However, when we hung out with other friends that had not been married long, they seemed happier.  It seemed easy for them.  Not for us.  


Our lives changed completely in December.  One day in mid-December, I went to my parents house during my lunch break to visit my mom.  I had tried to call Todd a couple of times that morning and thought it was weird when he didn't respond.  At first, I didn't think anything about it, but then I got worried.  We had argued a little before work that day and I was already feeling guilty about it.  I texted and called him a couple of more times and had no response.  I decided to call his work.  I could tell something was really wrong when I got in touch with someone there.  They didn't necessarily tell me something was wrong, I just knew.  I called Todd's mom to see if she had heard anything.  I could tell from the sound of her voice that something was terribly wrong.  Honestly, I was afraid she was going to tell me Todd had been hurt or in a car accident.  Boy, was I shocked when she told me what was going on.  Todd had been arrested that day.  


I can't describe the intense feelings I had when I heard those words.  I was completely numb.  I couldn't think logically.  I was hysterical.  I think I felt every emotion possible.  I know that God was with me that day because my mom was there.  Had I not been with my mom, I don't know if I would have been able to keep it together.   We had to go meet Todd's family at the police station.  That day I found out several things that I had never known.  I found out Todd had a serious addiction.  I found out that my life was not going to be perfect and definitely not going to be what I had once thought it would.  I became extremely vulnerable.  Everywhere I went, I felt like people were staring or talking bad about Todd or me.  Many people questioned why I stayed with Todd.  Many people questioned a lot of things about us over the next few years.  I was supposed to have it together and here my husband was breaking into a house.  It didn't make sense...


That night, we got a plan into action.  I didn't know anything about addiction, much less if it was treatable and how.  Todd would start attending a local counseling clinic in what they called "Intensive outpatient treatment."  I felt better.  Because I am so logical and plan-oriented, I just wanted a checklist to complete.  The checklist would equal a normal life...Or so I thought.  Everything was taken away from Todd.  All of his freedom.  We watched him like a hawk.  He was treated as if he was a child.  We consoled, babied, lectured, etc.  I thought that if I told Todd the right things, then he would change.  I am a fixer.  I thought I was "fixing" him.  Todd didn't get anything out of the clinic.  In fact, he relapsed while going to the meetings.  


In February of 2010, Todd entered a 30 day inpatient treatment facility.  I remember thinking how proud of him I was that he had decided to take this step and finally realize his problem.  I mean, I was really PROUD of him.  Then, I found out he was only going because he was scared of getting in trouble.  I was so mad.  I felt stupid.  I felt betrayed, once again.  I didn't understand how it could be so hard to just STOP.  Anything bad you could think of your husband, I probably did.  During the time Todd was there, I decided I needed to get closer to God.  God is who we turn to whenever we need help, RIGHT?  He knows all the answers.  I went through all the motions.  I read a bible study.  I wrote down my prayers for Todd everyday and mailed them to him.  I thought that by me doing a bible study and saying the "right" things to Todd, he would change.  Honestly, as the time went by, I felt closer to Todd than I ever had.  He was changing.  He looked healthier when we went to visit him.  He was ONLY smoking.  I didn't even care because he wasn't taking pills.  We didn't want him to get too frustrated trying to stop smoking that he went to pills again, so I said it was okay for awhile. (That sounds so stupid now) The problem with me was, I was trying to fix Todd.  I didn't think a thing about fixing myself.  I was fine.  I didn't have an addiction.  I had a good job and people liked me.  


The next few months, Todd and I really enjoyed being around each other.  He was sober. I wasn't being controlling.  I trusted him.