So, as you may have read in my introductory post – I intend on being very honest with y’all. I share this story not to seem like a Debbie-Downer (cue the SNL-inspired trumpet notes), but to relate to someone and inspire hope for a life-changing event.
To preface this post, understand that we had moved 2.5 hours away from home, right after we were married, to pursue promotions in the company that we were working for.
So how did I get to that dark place?
I continuously put work ahead of my marriage
This is such a big deal and happens to so many people, that I think I will be writing about this as a single post in the very near future. The detrimental influence that becoming a workaholic can have on any kind of personal (especially romantic) relationship is undeniable.
To ensure there is a firm understanding: there is absolutely nothing wrong with loving your job! In fact, if you don’t love your job then you may need to look for a fresh career! But whenever you begin allowing you work to leak into your personal time, it is the start of a rough road.
It’s a tough thing to avoid, especially whenever you DO truly love the work that you do. Just become accountability partners with your significant other, and help each other log out of the work e-mail whenever you’re away from the office. It’ll make a big difference.
I began to hate work
I was a manager for a technology company at this time, and I had a problem ever putting down my work phone or avoiding checking sales number throughout the day, even on my days off. And still my level of performance began to decline dramatically. This caused friction in my personal life AND now my professional life too.
This is not a “chicken or the egg” type situation here. I wasn’t hating work because work did me dirty – I was hating work because I was doing them dirty. And I can’t say this was on purpose. It’s almost as though it happened so subtly that I didn’t realize that the little things I was letting go at my store were becoming a huge problem. It has always been very unlike me to not give my all at whatever I am doing – but I wasn’t me anymore. I think my boss even knew that. I hope he did.
I drank excessively every night
This is something that I couldn’t stop. At work, I would think all day about what I was going to drink that night. On my days off, I would plan my night of partying. I’d cycle through either drinking a bottle or two of wine per night, or a half a bottle of vodka mixed with orange juice, or downing ten margaritas. This caused financial hardship, some of which I am still paying for now while trying to re-build my credit. This also caused excessive weight gain. I do want to be clear that I never drove drunk or went to work sauced either, but this habit caused several problems just by itself.
Also, disclaimer: I don’t have an issue with drinking or anyone who has a drink. Drinking should not become a social crutch or a non-stop daily plan.
I contemplated ending my marriage
And not because I didn’t love my husband. I was just so mean and hateful, I felt like I was only trying to push him away over and over. I began to think that maybe I should just leave him so that he could find someone that he loved and who treated him the way that he deserved. I began to wonder if there was someone out there that he could love more and that he would be happier with.
It made it worse to picture myself without him, whenever this is truly nothing separating us aside from my stubborn attitude and depression. I would lash out, and then I would hide in the bathroom or a closet and bawl until I didn’t have any tears left. I almost wished that he would leave me so I could mope around and try to blame him instead. I was miserable.
I thought about dying and imagined no one would care
I never allowed myself to get to that point of contemplating actual suicide, and I don’t want to make light of that type of situation. That is a very serious and delicate situation that indicates a major need for intervention.
What I did was imagine what the world would be like if I wasn’t here. I assumed that my husband would move on effortlessly and be somewhat relieved in light of my absence. I thought that my family would forget about me soon thereafter.
I thought about how none of my friends were making a true-to-life effort to come visit me. In fact, my family only came once and not everyone was able to make that trip. But the truth was that I visited home semi-often, so it wasn’t absolutely necessary. When you’re in the dark place then you’re not always thinking logically.
And how did I get out?
Well, first and foremost, the Lord Jesus Christ is the Doer of all things good that happen in my life. And these are the steps that I took, as a result of His goodness.
We quit our jobs and moved back home
This was a giant risk and we had to fully put my trust in the Lord to get us through this. We put in a deposit for a rental house, rented a moving van, and headed out. We spent every waking hour applying and interviewing, which is an experience in itself.
I thought I was going to just explode with anticipation or deflate from boredom, but even with this stressor, I was SO happy to finally be home. Back on my old stomping grounds (almost). To be thirty minutes away from my parents, twenty from my best friend, and fifteen from my in-laws was more relaxing than I had felt since we had moved. We even ended up landing a spot two miles from my husband’s two very best friends. I was beginning to heal.
Then we found jobs!
And along with them, we vowed to never let them take precedent over our relationship, family, or sanity. Now we are leaving work at work. We still have our five-minute rundown of what happened during our workday once we get home, but then that’s it. We eat, we visit, we watch our favorite Netflix shows, and we just enjoy our time off.
I drank dramatically less, and as a result we reached our dream
Sophye! Our sweet baby girl! (Well, she actually hasn’t been born yet. But she’s in the works! July 2017, actually.) I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), and that makes it very difficult to get pregnant.
It makes it very easy to grow a mustache, gain weight, or get emotional, but not too easy on the baby-making process.
I can’t tell you how many tears that I’ve cried after my doctor appointments while trying to find out what to do. We were told we were going to have to go out-of-state to get an expensive medical treatment if we even wanted a shot, and to be honest, we weren’t financially prepared for that.
But my older brother told me to stop drinking so much. He didn’t suggest it. He didn’t hint at it. He didn’t ask. He told me to stop. He knew how depressed that I was because that’s what big brothers are for.
I didn’t quit drinking. But reducing to a few glasses of wine a week was a huge change. And now we are beyond blessed. I couldn’t have asked for more. I can’t wait for her to be here.
We spent more time together as a couple, and we’ve grown in love
As a couple. I want to emphasize that. Because I never did, and it makes all the difference. When we were away, we spent time together because we only had each other. But we spent that time with friends too, and we were always out. Now we spend solo time, just the two of us, and honestly every healthy relationship needs it.
Like I said earlier, the eating, visiting, binge-watching TV shows – it doesn’t get better for us. The family is a body, and if you don’t take care of the body then you’ll get sick and begin to die. Take care of your body, and other things will take care of themselves – I’m living it.
As always, please leave feedback and share with me your experiences and what you’ve come through, if you feel comfortable doing so.