If you read my book you know that in the the opening paragraphs I talk about how I had an all-time low in 2007 when I found out I’d been conned by my boyfriend. He had lied about having cancer to cover up his opioid addiction and I was pregnant with his child. This, coming off the heels of my first husband having an affair with our neighbor and getting her pregnant was not great news for me.
But, it got even worse.
December, 2006: I confronted my then-boyfriend about his drug addiction. He admitted it and said he would quit. He did for a few weeks, which coincidentally is when I became pregnant.
January, 2007: He was using again. We had just found out I was pregnant, and in sheer desperation, I called his family and told them everything. They asked me to get him home and they would have an intervention. The intervention took place and he agreed to go to rehab. I really hoped he would get clean and sober, then we could have our baby and live happily ever after.
You know where this is going, right?
He went to The Meadows in Arizona– famous for housing celebrities like Selena Gomez, Whitney Houston, and Kate Moss and more recently, Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey. After my boyfriend had been there a few weeks, I was invited for family week.
I participated in group therapy with strangers and their families. It was uncomfortable but to be honest, I was finally getting real with myself and looking at my own issues. I shared my shame stories, cried in front of everyone and was generally the most vulnerable I had ever been in front of a group of people. As I left, my boyfriend was acting weird. When I got home, I hacked into his email and found email after email from a woman named Debbie. Apparently, they were in love.
Debbie was another patient at The Meadows. Debbie was in our group while I was there crying my eyes out. Debbie had sent one email to my boyfriend– she had sent many, but this one was the kicker– the one that lowered me to a heap on the floor…it said, “Is it bad that I think it’s funny that your girlfriend is in our group? I mean, what were the chances that we would all be grouped together!?”
This woman was essentially laughing about the fact that we were together in a small group while we all talked about our deepest, darkest secrets.
Needless to say the phone calls that followed were not pretty. That was my final straw with him. Not the opioid addiction, not the lying about cancer, not the conning me, but Debbie.
Part of my motivation to change was her. I was was so determined to be better than her, to actually DO the work, knowing she had spent thousands of dollars on a fancy rehab and was not in fact doing the work. That, coupled with the fact that I was pregnant I knew I needed to get better. I needed to change.
WHAT IS YOUR MOTIVATION?
Did you or do you have a Debbie in your life? Many people say, “don’t ever do it for anyone else but yourself” and while I agree that’s true, I think there’s something to be said about looking at what motivates you. Do you want to be a better mother for your kids? Do you want to show your mother you will parent better than she did? Do you want to prove to your ex that you’re NOT in fact crazy and that you are the best version of yourself?
Hey, again, it’s not about doing the work for someone else. It’s about grabbing on to whatever motivates you. Maybe you can use that as your catalyst. Eventually, that will fall away, you’ll see the changes you’re making and you’ll keep going.
I honestly could give a shit about Debbie now. My recovery is for me AND my kids. I live my best life and work on myself first and foremost for me now. But, I’d be lying if I didn’t said in the beginning there a small part of me that wanted to prove others wrong.
Tomorrow I’m going to be talking about “having your shit together” and your purpose as your path. Stay tuned!