I was thirty-three years old, seemingly happily married and with a thriving career when my life was turned upside down. I woke up on a Tuesday to find my husband had unexpectedly passed away during the night. My life, a seemingly happy marriage, and a thriving career crashed that morning. I had to face a grieving process and a sobering new reality that my life was a mess - a personal and financial disaster as a result of being married to a drug addict and a crushing blow to my confidence by realizing that for years, I lived in a ‘happy lie.” To my family, friends and outside observers, I seemed happy and fulfilled with everything anyone would want.
My new reality was filled with sadness and a deep sense of loss - the realization that I gave up my own identity for years in exchange for making everyone else in my life happier. My new reality was a sobering reminder. I was scared, overwhelmed and felt helpless about which direction to go or where to get help. Like many in my situation, I tried to “fix myself” by reading self-help books and although they make things seem “easier read than done” I did experience a small but significant breakthrough; the realization that my life was a result of choices I made and no one else's fault.