Lifestyle (Home, Travel, Family),Personal,Uncategorized

My Husband The Heroin Addict

husband heroin addict

husband heroin addict
Today we celebrate one year that my husband has been sober.   It’s truly like a new birthday for him and the anniversary of when we got a new lease on life.   We mostly try not to think too much about what life was like leading up to that day.  It actually gives me a lump in my throat to even recall so many memories surrounding those days to share the story.

I’ve sat down many times and started to write about these events with intentions to share a story of hope.   Rare is it that an addict gets the chance to recover, and even more rare that they embrace it.   Someone struggling with drug addiction is likely someone who has blown through tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars and just as many chances to requite the love of their family.

When my husband was finally caught and corned in his addiction (after I secretly dipped his urine) I was on an unpaid maternity leave with a 2.5 year old and 2.5 month old at home to take care of.   One of my best friends was helping me call facilities that might be able to help us and a 28 day stay at most facilities was shaping up to cost over $30,000.  I don’t know many people, let alone drug addicts, who can front that kind of money on the fly.   I share our story to normalize this epidemic and try and raise some money to give back to another family suffering through this heartache.

On the outside my husband had everything.   To look at him you’d probably think he was handsome, drove a nice car, and had beautiful children.   Oh, did I mention his sweet, funny, amazing wifey 😉   Our marriage was tanking.   We had been in marriage therapy for almost 2 years at the time he went to rehab.   I would bring up my suspicions in therapy and our therapist had suggested on several occasions that I drug test my husband.   I had ordered the tests on Amazon but it’s a difficult thing to ask your spouse to pee in a cup….especially someone who can switch to angry and defensive so easily.

By the time my second son was born I had fallen out of love with my husband.   I wanted to stick by him because we had a family together but we were completely disconnected.   He had no interest in my friends, family, or activities.   I would beg him to take me on a date but every night he would zone out in front of the television and start asking me by 9:30 pm if I was going to bed soon.   I went to bed alone every single night for years.  I would go out with friends when my older son went to sleep as often as I could to forget how lonely I was at home.

There were so many things that made me suspicious of him.   They wouldn’t all be happen at once and when I list them now you’ll think “boy, she’s an idiot for waiting so long to confirm that”.   Some things that made me suspicious included:

urinary hesitancy, pupils dilated and constricted, vomiting and abdominal complaints, constant sniffling and tissue use beyond allergy season, difficulty sleeping while on vacations, extreme sweating at odd times, always wanting to go to bed after me, always needing to go out to his car first if I needed to borrow it for some reason, finding a straw in his pants pocket, nodding off at random times (like reading to my son mid-day), periods of apnea and sudden/extreme snoring at night.

Put in a list like that it seems so clear, but he was pretty functional, considering.  I had actually mentioned to my brother and his that I questioned whether drugs were involved in some of his behaviors and they both seemed to think I was crazy.

Personality wise he was becoming uglier and uglier.   He was so jealous and insecure that he was unhappy when others would succeed.   He resented all my friends and family because we enjoyed each other’s company which was more than could be said for his.  I went to most social events alone.   Weddings, parties, family events – if I brought Chris it was unpredictable who was coming with me.   If he was high he might be nice and upbeat but even then he was often so quick to flip the switch and say something totally nasty and out of line to someone I loved.

His problem started with dabbling recreationally with pills with two friends from high school.   I remember catching him when we were dating and I was working on my Master’s Degree.   Several times I almost left him but we were young and at that age people I respected would dabble in substances so I let it go and thought he would “grow up”.  I was concerned that being a nurse practitioner I could somehow become wrongfully accused of how he accessed narcotics.

So fast forward a bunch of years Chris stopped using with a friend and disconnected from pretty much everyone but a drug dealer.   When his funds got short he was introduced by this dealer to heroin to try and maintain his addiction at a lower cost.  What a bargain, huh?  After the fact I found out this drug dealer used to drop off drugs at my home and my husband would drive my baby to the dealer’s house while I was at work to keep his habit going.   Really it’s sickening memories but I know there are so many who can relate.  I tear up to even think that my child met this person or drove in the car with Chris when he was at risk to nod off behind the wheel.  Chris was snorting heroine at the end and only stopped there because he had no one to show him how to proceed to a stronger or faster high.  It was only a matter of time before he got there.

I can’t tell you how many times I voice recorded him at night.   He had suddenly started with a snoring problem that would wake me from sleep at night.   He would stop breathing for 10 second intervals as I listened.  I would record the episodes on my phone and play them for him.   That is how most addicts die – they stop breathing in their sleep.    Unfortunately that didn’t scare him and thank God I never woke up a widow.

I share these details because I’m sure there are thousands of wives, friends, children like me fighting to save an addict.  I would get so angry with Chris because I was hurt that he didn’t want to spend time with me and wouldn’t get out of bed to help me with Mac in the morning.   I was pushing him away which only pushed him further into his habit.   When he was high he was not lonely.   He did not have to face that his family was questioning what kind of husband and father he was becoming.

I know this problem is common because I happen to have a close friend whose husband can tell almost the exact same story as Chris.    He was the one who referred us to The Plymouth House.   It was mid September last year that Chris’ brother drove him 3.5 hours away to focus on getting better for that next month.   I would wait every day for a phone call that didn’t always come because sober Chris had to realize if he was even someone who wanted a wife and kids.   I sent him cards and drawings from Mac and I every single day so he would know we were standing in his corner.  I suddenly had hope that we might be a couple again.

While he was in rehab my best friend’s hubby sent me a Ted talk about addiction.  Johann Hari talks about loving an addict.   It’s worth watching if you’re interested in the topic of addiction.   It was sort of thrown into my lap and it’s still a really overwhelming concept for me but I feel very passionate about it.

Addicts are usually very kind hearted people who at some point started allowing themselves to make really bad decisions.  Isn’t it difficult for all of us to own up to the bad decisions we regret making?  There is so much self loathing – mostly hating a lot of bad decisions one has made.   Addicts are depressed because they are doing depressing things.  Drugs help mask or numb these negative emotions.   This is extremely over simplified because I am only starting to understand the magnitude of addiction.

The 12 steps of recovery, which is the only focus of the Plymouth House, provide tools for drug addicts/alcoholics to embrace life.  Accepting exactly who they are and what they have done is where it starts.  They deal with resentments in a systematic fashion, make amends, build a relationship with a God of their understanding, and move forward to help other drug addicts/alcoholics.  The 12 steps are the key to managing a new sober life.

I don’t want to make this too long or about me.   I wanted to share how much The Plymouth House has helped Chris and given my family back a loving husband and father.  A lot of addicts don’t have the funds to get through a 28 day stay.   Unfortunately insurance companies see the statistics on recovery and don’t invest much money behind those suffering from addiction.  So I am hoping to raise the funds for a scholarship to save the life of another son, father, brother (or daughter, mother, sister, etc) so that their family can find the blessings that were handed to my family.

Chris and I have been working hard to make this stamped jewelry to bring awareness to the cause.   This is not just a problem of bums in urban areas.   This is a suburban crisis.   Working in the medical field I see so many people legally addicted to prescription painkillers on a weekly basis.  If that prescriber retires what will these patients do for their next fix?

So this jewelry is nothing fancy.   Really – don’t send a check if you’re thinking this will be stylish.  I am just a mom….not a jewelry designer!  They say the message “Love An Addict” which is the message of Johann Hari’s talk.  If people actually wear them hopefully it will spark conversation and get people talking about how tragically ordinary my story is becoming.  This is a problem killing very diverse people and tearing so many families apart.   My hope is to spare one family this sorrow with your help.

So the aim of the fundraiser is to cover a scholarship for someone’s stay at the Plymouth House.   Unlike many places we looked into a stay at the Plymouth House is closer to $8,000 because the accommodations are not aimed at luxury living or medical care.   The staff at the facility are themselves recovered addicts.  As a thank you for a $25 donation to the Plymouth House scholarship fund I will send you a bracelet or choker.  We are covering the costs of all the supplies and shipping.   Please mail a check directly to the Plymouth House.   Once you do, please email me (rachelmacgillis@gmail.com) your shipping info and whether you want a small or large bracelet or choker.   We are making these by hand and have a few dozen done, but please be understanding, if the response is positive, it might take a few weeks (or even a couple months, depending) to ship all of these.   We are working parents with a house and kids to take care of.

The Plymouth House Scholarship Fund

446 Main Street

Plymouth, NH 03264

Here is what they look like:

love an addict fundraiser choker

love an addict stamped bracelet fundraiser

 

This was much longer than I intended so I really thank you for reading all the way through.   I’d love for you to share with anyone else who is struggling and I encourage you to reach out to me (rachelmacgillis@gmail.com) or Chris if we can be a resource for you.   Social share buttons are at the bottom of the page.   The last step of the 12 steps of addiction recovery emphasizes the importance of giving back the gift of sobriety to others as it was once given to you.  So here goes…

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  • Gretchen
    September 22, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    What a post Rachel, addicts walk in every form and addiction does not discriminate. I know!!I can’t begin to explain how nice it is to have you wrote about this topic. One year is a huge milestone in recovery. Congrats Chris. Rachel you are such a strong person. Bringing aware on this topic is truly wonderful Rachel, Thank you?

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      September 22, 2016 at 3:11 pm

      thank you so much for your support gretchen!!! it’s a hard story to share because there is a lot of stigma around this topic but we are just an ordinary family so hopefully people will realize that addiction doesn’t discriminate. thanks again for reading!!!

      • Richard
        September 22, 2016 at 5:46 pm

        Wow! My name is Richard and i am also a recovering addict who is blessed to have the love and support of an amazing woman named Kristen. To often people view addicts as undesirables or street people who arent worth helping. Today the majority of addicts are like Chris and myself who have families and come from good homes. We are just people who at some point lost our way. We end up in a cycle in which we become incapable of loving ourselves or believing in our ability to overcome this affliction. Even when all of Kristens friends and family told her to run she stuck by me, loved and believed in me when i couldnt do so myself. I am now in recovery and am on the road to an amazing life in which i have Kristen to thank for giving me the support and love that i required to get started. Rachel you are an amazing woman and i wish more addicts were blessed to have people like you and Kristen in their lives. Chris keep up the great work on this blessing we call recovery. Kristen i am forever grateful and love you always!

    • Laurie W
      December 24, 2016 at 2:43 am

      Drugs/alcohol are now the leading killer of middle aged people- beyond any diseases. So sad what it says about our culture. I don’t think a lot of people are aware of the statistics and how common this is.

      • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
        December 24, 2016 at 2:53 am

        so ordinary these days! so sad 🙁

  • Patti Bolduc
    September 22, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    God bless you and Chris, thank you for sharing your story. I hope it reaches those that don’t realize what an epidemic this is. So true that it can happen to anyone, and some start from dabbling with drugs. Some start with a legitimate reason for taking prescribed opiods. Unfortunately opiates can create addiction very quickly and when the prescriptions run out, it becomes very expensive hence the turn to heroin. Treatment should be more accessible and it’s long term for some. The entire family and friends also are affected and need treatment. NA and Nar Anon are so helpful, trust me I know from experience.

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      September 22, 2016 at 5:56 pm

      THANK YOU PATTI!!!!! in the medical field i know you and i see so many struggle with prescriptions. i actually vowed to never write narcotics again after this happened and i have had to explain myself to several patients. thanks for your support!!!

      • Karen
        September 26, 2016 at 10:22 pm

        Great story!

        • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
          September 27, 2016 at 1:36 am

          thank you 🙂

  • Jane moore
    September 22, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Thank u Rachel for ur courage faithfulness hope and mostly love for my son Christopher. Thank u for this amazing article u took the time to write. Hopefully someone will find hope and love in reading this. With God all things are possible !!!!thanking God for making a way to help my son thru Plymouth House. I luv u rachel

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      September 22, 2016 at 5:57 pm

      he’s a good little egg janey! and a good photographer. i could never have done this blog without him and it never would have worked a year ago. God is good!

  • Gunjan
    September 22, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    Rachel, this is a beautiful post. I am so happy for your husband and family to have fought hard to be where you are today. I love how you had the courage to share your story and find a means to give back. Absolutely beautiful.

    Gunjan | http://www.songbirdechoes.com

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      September 22, 2016 at 5:53 pm

      thanks gunjan!! a year ago i never would have been able to do a blog and meet all you wonderful people. life has changed so much for the better. i hope to do the same for another family. i appreciate your kind words!! xo

  • Jess
    September 22, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    This is a great post. Thank you so much for sharing, I know it’s not easy to get so personal. What an amazing thing you and your husband are doing to give back . You are truly beautiful inside & out!

    Xo
    Jess
    http://www.fashionablyfitjess.com

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      September 22, 2016 at 7:04 pm

      thank you jess!! i really appreciate your comment and kind words!!

  • Richard
    September 22, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Wow this is extremely inspiring. My name is Richard and I am an addict myself who is is blessed to have the love and support of an amazing woman, Kristen. Addiction has such an old mystique about it that we are all poor undesirables that are not worth loving or trying to save. Nothing could be further from the truth. The majority of addicts today are just like Chris and myself who are good people who have lost our way. Addiction has a way of making us incapable of loving ourselves which then makes it near impossible to see that we are worth saving. I cant express how much of a huge roll Kristen has played in my own story by loving and believing in me when i couldnt believe in or love myself. Even when all of her friends and family were telling her to run she still had faith in me and believed in my ability to once again become the man that she had fallen in love with. Today I am clean and sober and I truly am grateful for her and her support because without it i dont know that i would have been able to love and believe in myself the way i do today. I wish more addicts could have the support that Chris and i are blessed to have. Your an amazing woman Rachel and thank you for this poweful message. Awesome job Chris and keep it up brother! Thank you so much Kristen for you being you.

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      September 22, 2016 at 7:24 pm

      i am so glad to hear with that support you made it through those days. addiction is very trying on the whole family and it’s definitely easy to give up on someone who is making so many bad choices over and over. it’s really such a large topic beyond my grasp but i am so happy my husband has found his way back to loving himself.

  • Richard
    September 22, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Wow! My name is Richard and i am also a recovering addict who has been blessed with an amazing woman who loved, supported and believed in me when i was incapable of doing so for myself. All too often addicts are viewed as undesirables from the streets who arent worth saving. Today the majority of addicts come from good families and have lives like Chris and myself. I cant express how grateful i am to have been blessed to have a woman like Kristen who loved and believed in me even when i was incapable of doing so for myself. Even when all of her friends and family told her to run from me she stuck by me through my hardest times because she believed that i would overcome the addiction and become the man that she originally fell in love with once again. I am eternally grateful to her for that and today i love abd velieve in myself again. My hope is that through more stories like this more people will gain an understanding of addicts and realize that we are worth loving and that we are just lost but through hard work, love and a bit of compassion from our loved ones we can overcome this affliction and end up even better on the other side. You are an amazing woman Rachel and Chris is a very lucky man to have you in his corner. Great job Chris and keep up the amazing work on your journey of recovery brother. To Kristen i love you sooo much and am forever grateful.

  • Jennie
    September 22, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    Rachel…your strength is beyond words…marriage is so hard. Your perserverance is admirable. I pray for your family and wish you nothing but the best ! Chris has so much to fight for..he realized this and is by your side where he belongs ! I love you !
    Jennie

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      September 22, 2016 at 7:05 pm

      yes! so glad to finally have him back by my side 🙂

  • Amber
    September 22, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    What a wonderful post Rachel! It really tugged at my heart strings! I love your transparency and I know this will be so encouraging to families in the same situation. What a strong women you are and it’s such a testimony of what sticking by someone’s side can do! You never gave up hope!! So glad it all worked out for you and your beautiful family!

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      September 22, 2016 at 7:22 pm

      honestly i am not sure how i stuck by his side. there were so many hard days that just crawled by. i’d love to say i am a fabulous person for sticking through but really i just could not give up on my children’s father (who now happens to be a great husband as well!). thank you for reading and commenting amber!!

  • Cathi
    September 22, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    Thank you for sharing. So happy that your husband remains sober, one year later. We are also one of the lucky families. Our daughter is four years sober, had custody of her children restored and works full time. I thank God everyday and I love an addict in recovery!

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      September 22, 2016 at 8:21 pm

      wow. 4 years. that is great success. it’s an amazing thing how they can change. when it happens it really is a miracle!

  • JeeYoung W
    September 22, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    You are so, so amazing my friend. Thank you for sharing such a personal and raw story. I hope that it reaches the masses and helps those in the same situation find the strength to seek help and to know that someone has been there and survived.

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      September 22, 2016 at 8:22 pm

      thanks jeeyoung!!! definitely a hard thing to put out there but a helpful part of the recovery.

  • Amy Loochtan
    September 22, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    Congrats to your husband and you’re an amazing wife. remember that!
    Coffee Beans and Bobby Pins

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      September 23, 2016 at 2:34 am

      thank you so much for the sweet words amy!!!

  • Shahla
    September 22, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    Wow Rachel, thank you for your beautiful words and honesty. I am so happy for you and Chris. What a blessing to offer someone a scholarship for help. You are absolutely correct, this is not an urban problem. This is very much a suburban epidemic (especially in affluent areas). Someone very close to me is a recovering addict. There is still such a stigma around this topic and your sharing this helps put us forward. Hugs!

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      September 23, 2016 at 2:34 am

      thank you so so much for reading and commenting shahla. it’s hard to talk about but i hope that starts to change.

  • Heather
    September 22, 2016 at 11:54 pm

    I am so proud of your strength, Rachel. THANK YOU for SHARING your story, for the benefit of anyone dealing with any struggle! Xo.

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      September 23, 2016 at 2:33 am

      thank you for your SUPPORT heather!! you know these things first hand. no family is above this. xooxoxox

  • Todd Anderson
    September 23, 2016 at 12:32 am

    Wow that’s a great story! I’ve heard a lot of it from Chris before but never from your perspective. I have also dealt with Chris dozing off and saw personality changes. I knew what was going on but didn’t know what to do. I’m glad you did. I have gone through and still battle some addiction and that story really makes me think. Chris is a great person/friend and I’m glad you got him back.

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      September 23, 2016 at 2:32 am

      thank you Todd. it definitely gave us a new lease on life and i thank God every day my kids will grow up proud of their father. not to mention he’s becoming an expert photographer. please let us know if we can help you in any way. we think so fondly of you!!

  • Raysa Garcia
    September 23, 2016 at 2:03 am

    WOWWWWWW. What a wonderful post!
    Thank you, thank you for sharing this wit us. You are truly amazing, beautiful and so inspiring.
    I’m beyond happy for you and your lil family. God bless you!
    Xx, Raysa

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      September 23, 2016 at 2:30 am

      thank you so much raysa! i really appreciate that!! xo

  • Jill
    September 23, 2016 at 2:16 am

    I’m an ICU RN nothing is worse than watching parents, spouses, or children of a patient who has overdosed. My heart goes out to everyone fighting the difficult battle. We aren’t judging just being supportive to those who need it! Thank you for your candid words about your families recovery. May only good days be ahead for you and Chris!

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      September 23, 2016 at 2:29 am

      thank you so much! i can’t tell you how many people reached out to me today knowing people who had overdosed on heroin 🙁 horrible. i thank God every day the was not what happened to me and my children.

  • Rach
    September 23, 2016 at 2:43 am

    Omg Rachel, I had no idea you were going through this. You are one strong woman and god bless you for fighting for your family & husband. I’m sure at times it was tough, but so glad you did. And it makes me happy to know that you have your husband back and your kids have their dad. You made such great points about loving addicts and it is a shame that recovery is costly (and of course insurance won’t cover). Thank you so much for bringing awareness! I am so glad we connected through this blogging community 🙂

    http://www.rdsobsessions.com

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      September 23, 2016 at 3:08 am

      thanks rach. we all have our own struggles. look at you – a badass babe battling cancer!!! so glad we connected and i thank you for reading 🙂 xo

  • Ashley
    September 23, 2016 at 3:27 am

    Rachel!! This is such an a amazing story and I am so proud of you for having the courage to make something so difficult, public so that it can helps others. God bless you and your husband and sons.

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      September 23, 2016 at 2:41 pm

      thank you my friend!!!! xoxoxoxo

  • Gloria Jartos
    September 23, 2016 at 3:27 am

    Truly beautiful story that evokes feelings of deep emotion. I have been involved with drug addicts & it is heartbreaking to watch them destroy their lives & those of their loved ones.
    Your commitment & determination to keep your family together no matter the cost is beyond respect & admiration you so deserve! I applaud you for the strength & courage you maintained for the sake of the entire family! No drama or self pity- pure resolve and unwaveringly faith !! My sincerest admiration & love- aunt glo

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      September 23, 2016 at 1:12 pm

      thank you gloria!!! he’s a good egg who lost his way. nothing more important than family! love you!

  • Kaitlin
    September 23, 2016 at 3:28 am

    I can very much relate. Thank you for bringing awareness to this.

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      September 23, 2016 at 1:03 pm

      thank you kaitlin. please reach out if we can help you in any way!

  • Shan
    September 23, 2016 at 9:37 am

    What a beautiful post girly. You’re so brave and strong for standing by your man and sharing your story!!
    Sending you so much love
    Shan xxx

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      September 23, 2016 at 1:02 pm

      thank you my friend!! xoxo

  • Charlotte
    September 23, 2016 at 11:17 am

    Rachel, this is really hitting home for me, thank you for being so honest.

    I’m really curious on your thoughts of the TED Talk you referenced. I have so many thoughts on it my head is spinning. I just feel that it almost implies that if someone (husband, wife, child, brother, sister) you love is using then you’re not loving them enough. I truly believe addiction is a progressive disease, and a family disease and that love plays a big part in recovery but there is just so much more to it.

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      September 23, 2016 at 2:44 pm

      i think the goal of the talk to to just overall embrace that addicts are victims of their own circumstances and pushing them away and punishing someone who is so lacking in self love only potentiates the behavior they’re using to numb their negative emotions. certainly you cannot blame anyone for these situations. it is a struggle for everyone involved. and quite honestly it’s such a vast topic that i am just starting to really understand small pieces of.
      thank you for commenting 🙂

  • Brianna (Cyr) Milla
    September 23, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    Thank you for sharing this Rachel. That is so brave of you. I actually grew up in church with Chris and have great memories doing children’s ministry with him.
    This hits close to home as my husband was the son of a drug addict father. He was an addict for 30 years and even after countless times in rehab was never able to come out of his addiction and in 2010 he died from his addiction.

    It makes me so happy and so thankful that Chris was able to find the help he needed to fight this addiction and that your family has been saved! And I think it’s wonderful what you’re doing by sharing your story and trying to help others get out their addiction too. I pray that your story will touch many and save many more families.
    You all will be in my thoughts and prayers. God bless you and your family.

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      September 23, 2016 at 12:59 pm

      thank you so much brianna! God definitely blessed our family. when you’re struggling through these times faith is all that sometimes hold you together. thank you for your comment.

  • Jess bali
    September 23, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    Wow Rachel, you are a true inspiration. We are living in this time of upper class suburban addiction, I’m so sorry it has impacted your life so strongly. Both you and your husband are inspirations, good for you for sharing your extremely difficult story and helping others who are loosing their lives. Sending you and your beautiful family lots of love for continued success.

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      September 23, 2016 at 2:39 pm

      thank you jess!!! everything happens for a reason. my family is so lucky to be where we are now. hopefully we can help some people who haven’t made it to that point yet. thanks for reading 🙂 xo

  • Gary Ruchin
    September 23, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    Dear Rachel,

    I have known Chris since he was in high school, as my daughter was friendly with him. I have been dealing with the his family’s business for over 33 years. Though he seemed to hide it well, both my wife and I are so happy that you are all getting your life back together. Though I have never met you, we can tell you are one strong person. You have kept your family together and brought peace and love back into the your family. May you all be blessed with a strong family, a loving family and a gutsy family to have make your problems public. God bless and may you and Chris continue this strong and loving bond you have created. Warmest and kindest wishes,Gary and Susan Ruchin

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      September 23, 2016 at 9:11 pm

      thank you so much, gary! those kind words really mean so much to me. it was definitely a hard road but well worth it to be where we are today. God has blessed our family. our kids will never remember those hard times and chris has shown his strength to fight this and help give back to others.
      THANK YOU for commenting 🙂
      rachel

  • Robert Ciccaglione
    September 24, 2016 at 3:20 am

    We had no idea. So excited and hopeful for your family. How fabulous is Rachel. To jeopardize her own happiness, and by compassion, love and grace, you stood by your husband. Remarkable. My dear nephew you should be so proud. You beat the demon. Not many have the courage or strength. We wish you many years of happiness, and know you will always have our love and support. Uncle Rob, Aunt lisa

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      September 25, 2016 at 12:41 am

      Hi Uncle Robert.
      Agreed. That Rachel. So darn fabulous 😉
      Chris is pretty fabulous as well. Just lost his way but luckily he is back! And better than ever.
      Hope to see you soon.
      Xo,
      Rach

  • Corri
    September 28, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Rachel
    Your story is one that society needs to take more seriously. You and your family and friends are amazing for working on this and staying together. I literally had goose bumps when reading what you went through. You have already made a difference in so many peoples lives by sharing your story, thank you very much!!! Love u always, Corri

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      September 29, 2016 at 2:10 am

      thank you so much corri. it is definitely a VERY serious problem right now.

  • Catie
    October 1, 2016 at 3:39 am

    You’re one of the bravest people I know, Rachel. And yours and Chris’s transparency is incredibly inspiring. As you are most definitely experiencing, when things are brought into the open and allowed to have light shed on them the benefits are immeasurable and darkness has no hold on them. We love your husband like a brother and sure do love that wife of his too. To put it mildly, my dear, you are a rockstar, and we are so incredibly thankful for you.

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      October 2, 2016 at 12:20 am

      thanks catie!!!! eli was really chris’ only friend when he left. he stuck by him through a lot. we love you guys to bits. xo

  • After Facing Husband's Heroin Addiction, West Hartford Couple Start Jewelry Fundraiser For Rehab Center – Hartford Courant | SelfHelpEA
    October 7, 2016 at 2:56 am

    […] couple, both 34, are now celebrating Chris’ one year of sobriety by making necklaces and bracelets stamped with the words “Love an […]

  • Carrie
    October 9, 2016 at 3:00 am

    Rach
    I can’t even imagine how hard it was for you during all of this. Yet you kept it together & despite all you had been through you never gave up on Chris. I admire your strength & dedication to your marriage. You are an amazing Mom & wife and you exude the definition of unconditional! Chris is lucky to have you and I hope & pray that he recognizes his own strength. As tearful as I am after reading your story, I’m so happy you chose to share it. This is an epidemic & real life for many.I know this will give each & every one of them hope! I have the outmost faith in Chris to maintain his sobriety, how could loss having you by his side. I will keep you both as well as your beautiful babies in my prayers. I Love you Rach! Xo~

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      October 9, 2016 at 4:45 pm

      thanks CAR!
      life is good with sober chris by my side. and lucky for friends like you.
      xo,
      each

  • Geoff Z.
    October 11, 2016 at 12:07 am

    Hey Rachael,
    I saw the article today. What your husband said was almost exactly identical to what happened to me. Started with pills which turned into Heroin. At first it gave me lots of energy and enhanced everything, but that stops working and I was just spending all my money just to not feel sick.
    I’ve been lucky to be sober for about six years now, I wish you all the bess with your family and the charity.
    Geoff Z.

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      October 11, 2016 at 1:17 am

      thank you so much! it’s a tough road to walk but well worth the outcome. so happy to hear you found the bright side. feel MORE THAN FREE to reach out should you or someone you know need help in the future.
      rachel

  • janna doan
    October 11, 2016 at 1:48 am

    rachel–i’m finally finding the time to stop by to read this heartfelt post. i wish i could congratulate your husband on this huge recovery of taking back his life and being back in yours and importantly, your kids. i can’t imagine what you have gone through and tried to fight for. it must have been a struggle with some really dark days. you my dear are also so strong and chris is so lucky to have you. cheers to a wonderful story of recovery that brought tears to my eyes, and so much loss time to make up for. xoxo,

    janna | http://www.jannadoan.com

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      October 11, 2016 at 2:27 am

      thank you my sweet friend for the kind words!!! means a lot!! chris is doing wonderful, but i don’t like to brag 😉

  • Roseline
    November 8, 2016 at 11:51 am

    I was struggling to make my son Murphy quit drugs addiction. He has been addicted to drugs for the past 17 years. He fights, and inflict injuries on people and he also breaks into people apartment and steals whenever he does not have money to buy the drugs. He has gone to jails countless times. He has been taking to rehabilitation centers, yet he did not change. infact he get worst.I saw a testimony of a woman on the internet blog of how Diviner Odi helped her daughter to quit drugs. I contacted Him, and i was told what to do, in less than 5 days, my son quit drugs, he was very responsible and he has gotten married. All thanks to Diviner Odi for his help. If anybody on this blogs needs his help you can contact him via his email address: latterdayassembly@gmail.com

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      November 9, 2016 at 12:44 am

      thank you for sharing!

  • laura
    November 27, 2016 at 6:44 am

    Thank goodness for your wonderful help and prayers Diviner Odi. My son Stephen is now well and have quit drugs and alcohol. I was making all efforts to make my son Stephen quit drugs. He was addicted to drugs for the past 13 years. He had made my life a living hell and that of his siblings. His late Dad developed a heart attack and died as a result of when Stephen was caught with cocaine and sentenced to 6 years in prison. He steals from me to buy drugs when he has no money. Sometimes, i do pity him when he sit down crying like a child when he does not have the money to buy the drugs. He has been taking to rehabilitation centers, yet he did not change.I came across a testimony of a man on a prayer blog of how Diviner Odi helped his daughter to quit drugs. I wrote Him, and i was told what to do, in 5 days, my son quit drugs and alcohol. thanks to Diviner Odi for his prayers. If anybody on this blogs needs his help you can contact him via his email address: latterdayassembly@gmail.com

    • rachelmacgillis@gmail.com
      December 2, 2016 at 7:49 pm

      thank you for sharing!

  • Giving Tuesday: ways to highlight charity and give back throughout the year
    March 28, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    […] public sidewalks).  My husband would not be here if it weren’t for the Plymouth House which helped him get sober in September 2015.  So I am taking what I could have hypothetically paid him (were he a charging […]

  • Tamera
    May 24, 2017 at 6:36 am

    Wow! I follow quite a few blogs and randomly ran across yours today. I found it so powerful and brave for you to share your story and struggles! I was truly moved by your honesty and the fact that life is not “perfect” for anyone, despite the pretty pictures we all post. I too, can relate to something similar and admire your strength. So happy your family is on the other side of this now and wish you blessings for a beautiful future!

    • Rachel
      May 25, 2017 at 2:36 am

      Thank you Tamera!!
      We spent several years in therapy in the thick of my husband’s addiction and I learned a lot about myself there as well. I need to make an effort to be more vulnerable. It’s such an endearing quality when people can bring it out.
      I appreciate your comment and well wishes.
      Rachel

  • Liketoknow.it.family Takeover Friday with Pinteresting Plans
    June 9, 2017 at 2:51 am

    […] opportunities – like raising a scholarship for the drug rehab facility that helped my husband get sober.   I can’t tell you how many dozens of people I met through just that one blog post where I […]

  • Amanda
    July 18, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    Just started following you on on Instagram a few weeks ago and came to your blog today to poke around into some of your other posts and came across this one. Wow. It’s rare to find a blogger who is willing to let a bunch of strangers see past the pretty fashion and beauty posts into such a personal, raw side of their life. As a mom of 2, I can’t imagine what it was like for you to go through that with such young children. While I don’t have any personal experience with drug addiction, I just appreciate your openness in the hope of helping others and the reminder that things aren’t always what they seem in pictures. All the best to your family!

    • Rachel
      July 19, 2017 at 7:43 pm

      thank you Amanda!!! such a miracle was worked in my life. I hope other addicts and families can see that it can be overcome! I appreciate you commenting. xoxo

  • Charity closet sale - Clothing for a Cause. Selling off items from the Pinteresting Plans Closet to raise scholarship money.
    August 15, 2017 at 12:54 am

    […] House scholarship fund.   If you’re unfamiliar with my family’s story that is where my husband got clean from a heroin addiction.  I am forever indebted to them for bringing my husband to his family.   Most addicts cannot […]