I realized about 7 years ago that I needed my own recovery because I was becoming isolated and very insecure. I am an extrovert by nature so this was a big change for me and I didn't like it. I realized that I was hiding from the world, afraid they would see me as the unattractive, boring, useless person that I felt my husband saw. I realized I needed to be comfortable being me again. I am not just the wife of an addict. I am me. And I have value to offer this world.
Connecting with other women gave me a place to speak openly about the pain of betrayal, as well as the anger without the expectation to immediately "forgive and forget." Only others in this situation understand that I can and do desire to forgive and I am actively working on it . . . but I am not there yet. It's so easy to judge a situation as an outsider -- black and white -- but when you live it, you see the layers like an onion and understand that each layer must be processed before moving on to the next. I have found no better help for that than connecting with other women. We are in all different stages of this process and each person offers a new perspective. Seeing through so many lenses helps us recognize issues and make sense of things that are hard to see through our single myopic lens. Also, hearing another's story, particularly when it is very similar to my own helps me check my thoughts on my own situation. If I read a story and I think, "She does not have to take that." It makes me look at myself and say, "Am I standing up for myself the way I wish I could stand up for her?"
Contributed by a member of our Togetherness Community private facebook group. To find out more about our Togetherness Communities, click here.