July 14, 2015

The Many Faces of Recovery

by Harmony Rose

I am not an expert in this field per say, but I have been with my alcoholic husband for 15 years and I believe that gives me a lot of insight on this disease. If sobriety was as simple as putting down the bottle or tossing away those pills more people would be clean. The truth of the matter is that stopping using and admitting your life is unmanageable is just the first step.

Recovery means exactly that – you have to recover from the inside out. When my husband was actively drinking he didn't have a few drinks every day and he could go periods without having a drink at all. On the other hand, the lies, manipulation, and blame seemed to be an everyday occurrence, as the drinking got worse so did his behaviors. Denial is a huge component of alcoholism.

Something started happening around the thrird month of his sobriety: my husband thought someone made him a super hero of AA so now he had all the answers! He just wanted people to notice he was going to meetings and he wanted to be told how great he was doing but it was all a facade – he wasn't being real with himself, or anyone else for that matter. The more I complained the more verbally abusive he became towards me and he spent all his time away from home. One day he told me he wanted to separate. He didn't know if he wanted to be married to me anymore so he moved into the other room and took off his wedding ring.

By this time he was so selfish and destructive that for a moment I wish he would drink again because my drunk husband was far less painful than this sober monster he had become. Then a few weeks later the biggest blow of all: he proceeded to tell me that he had been unfaithful.I have never felt such heartache before, I could not catch my breath.  I took a bottle of pills dumped them in my hand and for a moment considered taking them all so the pain would stop. I looked up toward the ceiling and said “please help me, I surrender.”

At that very moment I felt a warm sensation go through my body from head to toe like I was being hugged from the inside out. I put the pills down and felt all the resentment and anger I had towards my husband fade away. I was given the ability to forgive him completely for all the years of terrible things he had done to me. A few weeks after that his sponsor had him read a few pages in the Big Book and my husband read something new that made him believe that he wanted to work on our marriage. We have witnessed the miracles in our life that AA promises if you follow the program as suggested.

Today my husband has 1,002 days of sobriety. We renewed our wedding vows a year ago and just celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary. I can't tell you that our life is perfect because we still have our struggles from past issues. I am a part of my husband’s recovery; we go to AA meetings every weekend together. My hope in sharing our personal struggles is that it may help others know you’re never alone. Without complete honesty we wouldn't be where we are today. We want people to know that you can free yourself from the emotional prison you live in with true forgiveness.

Wishing you peace and serenity,


Harmony Rose is the author of “Married Under The Influence,” a finalist for The National Indie Excellence Award. She is also the wife of a recovering alcoholic, and a mom and step-mom. She and her family hope to spread the message of hope to everyone searching for it.


More Voices of Recovery:

A Love Sparked By Recovery

Finding Light in the Darkness

Finding Joe

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