A happy Lindsey was with her best friend, putting on make up in the bathroom.
“Oh, I don’t like it. It looks weird.”
“Lindsey, it looks fine. You look beautiful!”
“If you say so.”
I had a beautiful knee-length coral dress on, brown sandals and a cute blue headband. My bracelet with the infinity sign and two pinky rings with the ampersand on them sitting on the counter waiting to be put on. I was almost ready, but oh so very nervous.
“I can’t believe this is happening!”
“I’m happy for you, Lindsey. Are you sure you want to go through with this?”
“Yes! I love him and I want to spend my life with him.”
“Okay. As long as you want to, I support you.”
We didn’t have much, but we were working on it. No engagement ring, but that was okay. We had the wedding bands, that was enough for me. I just wanted to hurry up and marry him, to let everyone know he was mine. We had a few problems, but doesn’t every couple?
I remember reciting the vows in front of the judge, staring into his eyes, smiling with my heart on the verge of bursting. I saw the tears well up in his eyes, his voice was shaky but I was surprising calm. The happiest day of my life thus far, I just knew things would be perfect from here on out. I was finally married to the love of my life!
Or so I thought.
Fast forward to the present day. I’m being smothered with kisses, but not by the same boy. Notice I said boy, not man. Today I’m with the man of my life, my true love, my soul mate. Not married, but with him. And he’s smothering me with kisses, hugs and reassurance. Reassurance that he won’t leave me, reassurance that he’s not going to cheat on me, reassurance that no matter how difficult things get, he’s in it for the long haul. He tells me that we can’t get married soon because he doesn’t want to rush, he wants to have the perfect ring, the perfect wedding. Why? Because I deserve it. I deserve to be treated like a princess, so that’s what he does. He knows that I’m having a difficult time with this, so he gives me love and compassion along with a shoulder to cry on. I even “ugly cried” in front of him. Tears, snot and all. He wouldn’t let me shield my face because he said I’m too beautiful for that. This is what true love is, not what I had 2 years ago.
Today, I’m in the process of divorcing the boy who left me. The boy that cheated on me. The boy that broke my heart. But that’s okay. I’m not okay, but I will be. It hurts when somebody breaks a lifetime vow to you; I’ve tried to kill myself twice since then. But I’m still here fighting.
Today, I have a perfect man, the perfect man for me. He loves me and he accepts me as I am, problems and all. It warms my heart knowing how much he cares about me.
Today, I am upset, I’m an emotional wreck and I want to drink more than ever, but I know I can’t. I just want to get wasted so I can’t feel the emotions, feel the pain, relive the trauma. But I can’t do that. I’ve got too much going for me to throw it all away. God only knows how strong this man is that I’m with because he has to tell me “no” every single day lately. I beg him to let me have just one drink. “I’ll be okay, just one drink. One bottle of wine. One bottle of liquor, that’s all.” But we both know that’s not the case.
You see, I’m an addict. I can’t have just one drink. That one drink will turn into a whole bottle. Then that one day will turn into the whole week. Then the want will become a need again. I pray that I never take another sip of alcohol in my life again because I know that it won’t end well.
Strength is not something that I ever thought I have possessed, but as it turns out, I’ve been wrong my whole life. Strength is very prominent in me, strength is something that I have more of than most people. The things I’ve been through, the trauma, the pain, the hurt are more than enough to kill a person. But I’m still here. I might not be thriving at this point, but I’m trying.
We can’t give up on life, we can’t give up on ourselves, no matter how much it hurts. We have to keep fighting.