Autumn 2007 was as harsh a season could get. My relationship with Kevin dissolved, and I was heartbroken. I was fed up with my brother living with me, and not contributing a dime towards the mounting bills. I was behind on my rent as well as everything else. My mood deteriorated with each passing day. I kicked my brother out and received nothing but harsh comments from immediate family. As an added bonus, my stepfather left my mother with no warning. The amount of crap was building so much so, it had no choice but to hit the peripheral fan.
It was late October 2007 found myself unraveling at a rapid pace. I couldn’t concentrate on anything of great importance. My mom was excruciatingly depressed and sad with facing the loss of her home, my brother not helping her with any of it. I, myself was faced with an eviction notice to vacate my apartment if I didn’t pay back due rent, and my job had cut hours. It was all that I could take anymore. One night, I finally said aloud to myself. “This is just not worth it anymore”. On my way home from work, I stopped off at the liquor store and a CVS. I picked myself up wine, and a huge bottle of Tylenol pms. I laid in my bed after consuming as much as I could. The next thing I realized, was I was in a hospital.
I was admitted into Carrier Clinic, a Rehabilitation & Mental Health hospital. I was there for 28 days undergoing group meetings and therapy. I admitted that my drinking was out of control, and found myself facing it head on , that I, in fact, was a full blown alcoholic. I had done some horrific acts prior to being put into the hospital, by what my mother told me. I was ashamed and scared half out of my mind. My father assisted with paying the back due to rent, and when I was released I stayed with my mother until I could get back on my feet again. In that time, I joined AA. I met some of the most wonderful women at the meetings, and they helped me work the 12 step program. I landed a new job and rented a room in one of the homes of an AA member. I also started dating a man named Jack M. Slowly, things were getting back to what I saw as my new normal. I went to 60 meetings in 60 days and started my amends with those I hurt along the way with my drinking problem. One of which was Kevin. He certainly didn’t deserve me lashing out at him because of all my personal issues at the time. I, therefore, sent him an email in February 2009. I continued attending meetings and dating Jack. He was such a sweet man, a real hard worker, and do-gooder. I assisted him at the functions held at the Knights of Columbus, and attended church with him on an occasional Sunday. We had a great deal of fun together. Yet, me being me, still felt something missing. I just couldn’t figure myself out. On the outside, people perceived me to be a happy person with gaining my life back, but inside, I didn’t feel that way. My family, minus my mom basically wrote me off because of my past behavior. I didn’t have very close friends at the time, other than my immediate group at AA. I just felt something of a great loss.
It was August 2009, while hanging out with Jack one evening, I received a call that I allowed to go to voice mail. It wasn’t until the following morning did I listen to it. It was Kevin. My heart skipped a beat upon listening to it. He finally read my email from back in February. He asked if I would call him back.
Although I was dating Jack, I called Kevin back. He was part of my amends and Jack understood that. However, I didn’t realize that feelings would stir back up from the moment I heard Kevin,s voice. I apologized for any wrong doings, and he accepted. We ended up talking for over an hour or so. It was mutual, the feelings that are.
Jack & I broke up soon after, and Kevin & I were back to dating again. Don,t get me wrong. Jack was a fantastic man, it was his life was ver demanding and at the time there really wasn’t room for me to be in it. To this day, Jack is a good friend.
Between August & December 2009, Kevin and I became closer and stronger than before. Our romance was back in full swing, and I couldn’t have been happier. By January 2010, I was moving into Kevin’s apartment in East Windsor, NJ. It was also around the time I lost my license because I couldn’t afford the auto insurance initially after getting out of the hospital. Long story short with that, I was just plain irresponsible. I was still able to get back and forth to work. I hired a guy to drive me in, and Kevin would pick me up to bring us home. This lasted over the course of 9 months until I paid off the fines in order to get my license back. I had stopped attending AA meetings because of the distance and didn’t keep in touch with the women at AA. I was “In Love”. Nothing else mattered. Our relationship was that of passion and fun. I felt as if nothing could possibly go wrong.
Late April 2011 Kevin and I decided to go away to Inner Harbor, Maryland for a long weekend. It was after a beautiful day of site seeing, and shopping we had gone to dinner at “The Rusty Scupper”, we were enjoying a salad together. Kevin asked me . “You really can’t ever have a cocktail again?” (The words echo in my mind to this day). I ordered a glass of white wine to go with dinner. After dinner was over with, we headed back to the hotel and hung out in the lounge. I continued to enjoy my glasses of wine over conversation with Kevin. I thought I had this under control. Sadly enough, It had control over me.
I didn’t abuse drinking like I had in the past, but it was apparent that it was taking its toll on me yet again. My anxiety was getting the best of me. I was seeing my doctor, and he was prescribing Xanax to calm my nerves. I never admitted that I was drinking, I simply blamed it on my job being stressful. Then again, my job was rather stressful at times, but I enjoyed the work I was doing.
I was head over heels in love with Kevin, and I adored his daughter Hannah. I looked so forward to seeing her during the holidays, and on vacations. Such a bright & beautiful young lady she was becoming. And, at the same time, I experienced this feeling of jealousy. To this day, I still don’t know why I had felt this way. One Summer we had gone to Virginia on vacation. Naturally, Kevin had his cases of beer, and I had brought down boxes of wine. I became so angry with Hannah because of her attitude towards participating in helping out ofter dinner or some other nonsense. I lashed out at her. She didn’t deserve it, no one did. Kevin brought her home to North Carolina early, while I picked us up to go home. It was the longest drive back, because of the guilt I felt inside to snapping at Hannah. I did apologize, but never forgot what I had done.
December 8th, 2012 Kevin asked me to marry him. I was never so happy I couldn’t wait to scream it to the world. However, it was kept a secret from his own father for close to a year. I never understood why. Heck, Even when I first moved in with Kevin, it was a secret from his father. I was always on guard with the man. I couldn’t be myself. And again, to this day never understanding the reasoning as to why was I a secret? But, now we were engaged, and I couldn’t wait to share my life with this amazing man for whom I fell in love with. Naturally, during our engagement, there were good times, as well as rough patches. That’s without saying. All relationships have them. But, (There’s always a but). I continued to drink. My mood swings were all consuming. Even when I didn’t drink, something about me was so off. I didn’t like being inside of my own head. I felt as if I was battling myself all of the time. I just brushed it off, though.
August 2013, we went away again to Virginia. Hannah and I drove in a separate car, following Kevin & the boat. When we arrived, it was one of the best vacation I had ever had. I loved hanging out and doing activities with Hannah. I almost forgot Kevin was there. In my mind, we were becoming a family. This feeling was amazing to me. I was finally going to become a stepmom to this vivacious young woman. I didn’t want to replace her mother, but I wanted us to have a strong relationship in which she could turn to me with anything. Life certainly was heading in that direction, at least that is how I pictured it to be. I was never happier than I was that summer.
It was only when Kevin and I returned home, did things start becoming tense. It was my job that was adding a great deal of tension between us. There were rumors mounting that the company was going to close, and although my company was busier than ever, the tension there was so great. I would come home daily and drink heavily yet again. I was short with Kevin, and at times insulting. I was waking up in the mornings with no desire to face the day ahead of me. The panic attacks were growing with more severity. I ended up having been rushed to the hospital because I thought I was experiencing a stroke. My blood pressure was elevated, and nothing seemed to calm me down. Then again..there was one thing that calmed me down, and that was a couple glasses of wine.
Months went by and I kept myself busy with work, and dealings of being inside my head. My thoughts would race from one thing to the very next. I felt like a hamster on a wheel. All that running and not getting anywhere. My thoughts growing darker as time went by before my eyes. May 31, 2014, is when my company closed its doors. I was at a complete loss. Saying goodbyes to a group of people with whom I considered a family. Heck, we spent more time there then we did at home. Just the idea of having to start off looking for a new job intimidated me. At the current time, the economy was in the later part of a recession.
At first, I just applied for the unemployment and thought of this being a little vacation, but that wore off rather quickly. I updated my resume months prior to my companies doors closing, and now I was applying everywhere. I went as far as sending my resume to companies in Manhattan. Yet, nothing was surfacing. I felt such a loss. I’d start drinking by noon after I spend the morning hours applying online. I’d clean here and there around the apartment. I crocheted to pass the time away. I played with our dogs, I picked up reading again, I just couldn’t find anything to fill the void of my day. I found myself napping after binging during the early afternoon hours until Kevin came home from work. My mood deteriorating with each passing day.
Life just became a chore at this point. My mom & Kevin would talk about their days at work, and I had nothing to add. My pride was shattered. I couldn’t nail an interview let alone a job. Added with Kevin constantly inquiring, “Did you attempt applying here & there?” The tension could be cut with a sharp knife now. We were arguing more frequent, and I was sobbing hysterically because of my inadequacies on not being able to land a job. The Noon drinking then started before coffee could be made in the morning. I couldn’t wait for Kevin to leave for work, so I could drink to calm my shattered nerves. I was the taking naps all before 11 am in the morning. This vicious cycle continued right up until December 2014. Kevin’s daughter Hannah was up in NJ to celebrate the Christmas holiday. I sincerely couldn’t wait for her arrival in order to bake together, play Wii, and watch Christmas shows. It just plain never happened. Hannah was a witness to my mood being unstable. The day after Christmas, she made it harshly made, that she didn’t want her father & I to marry. I was the “Evil Bitch”. Those two words sunk in dramatically. The hurt like no other. I simply took off the ring, walked across the room past Hannah, and handed the ring to Kevin. Turned away, and went into our bedroom, where I stayed crying straight through to the New Year holiday. It was the beginning of what I wanted to now be the end. I endured nothing but sheer guilt, and anger. My mind was my worse enemy. For the first time ever, all I wanted to do was fall asleep’ and never wake up. I took over 20 prescription Lexapro tablets and washed it down with several glasses of wine. Naturally, I slept. However, when I awoke, I felt a thousand times worse. It was the day after New Years, and Hannah was returning home to North Carolina. That was the last and final time I ever saw my future step daughter. My heart was broken. I had sincerely loved her. But, she didn’t want anything to do with me ever again.
The months that followed were the most horrible months of my life. I did land a job the beginning of the new year, but by then, I was so lost. It was like I was existing in a body that was already dead. The hurt, shame, and guilt were entirely too much to handle. Kevin & I barely spoke, and even if we did, It was certain that I would fall apart. I couldn’t get a grip on my emotions to save myself. I lost the job I started within three months. Got hired by another company, then that fell through. By the time the third job came in a six month period, I was certainly in the suicidal mindset. I barely ate but consumed enough wine to knock me over. I didn’t feel human anymore. I was just existing. Kevin didn’t know what was happening to me because I couldn’t even muster up an explanation. I just wanted nothing to do with living anymore.
By July 2015, I was an empty shell of a human being. Kevin definitely didn’t seem to care if I lived or died. One thing he uses to joke about was a comment that resinated in my day after devastating day. “Your time has expired”. And, that was exactly how I felt. I had expired. One bad argument after the other. Phone calls made by my mother trying to explain to him what was happening to me. But, he didn’t understand, nor did he want to try anymore.
(Journal entry 07/20/15: Back to another day of reality. Life ultimately sucking me dry. I can’t stand the hurt anymore. Every time I drive over the railroad tracks on my way to work, I pray the damn thing would run me down!!! I don’t blame Kev, he is clueless as to what I feel, nor does he give a shit. What’s the fucking point?)
(Journal entry 08-11-15: I’m so tired of crying all of the time-Tired of feeling so much tired of hurting-tired of this so called existence. Kev doesn’t even care if I’m homeless, he just wants me out of life once and for all. None of this is his fault. He can’t help it if he doesn’t understand… Damnit!! I don’t even understand it!! I just want to die already. If it weren’t so much being afraid of the initial pain of being struck by the train, I’d do it this moment. Maybe, just hang myself, drown…why can’t I just fall asleep and just not wake up?)
August 16, 2015, My mother and Aunt Joan met Kevin and I half way between Bridgewater and East Windsor in a parking lot in Montgomery. It was there I said goodbye to Kevin.
I was heading to Robert Wood Hospital Somerset, Somerville, NJ. I was placed in PESS. Psychiatric Evaluation Ward. Then after 24 hours, moved to 5 West where doctors, therapist, and psychiatrist determined the following: I was diagnosed the obvious, an alcoholic. But, also. Bipolar 2, severe depression, PTSD (Post traumatic syndrome), and OCD. It was there that I learned that my beloved grandmother had suffered the same exact mental illness. A family secret until it was happening to me.
What was to follow was my recovery and education with my mental illness. Please join me in learning how I have dealt with this, A new chapter in my life.