We went to see A Star Is Born on date night.

I thought it was supposed to be a romantic love story.

But I didn’t know it would rock me to my core.

You see . . . 

There was a time in my life my husband was going to die.

I’m not being dramatic. I just don’t want to sugarcoat it.

He was going to die.

Somewhere around the time we got married, addiction grabbed hold of him and, for seven years, wouldn’t let go.

He was lost in the darkness of drugs and alcohol, stumbling and broken and ashamed and alone. 

The man I’d loved my whole life was trapped.

No matter what I tried, I couldn’t pull him out. Couldn’t bring him back into the light.

Yelling. Fighting. Arguing. Reasoning. Loving. Crying. Begging. Guilting. Being unreasonable. Blaming. Counting pills. Following him. Checking up. Making excuses. Ignoring it. Praying. Pretending. 

Maybe if I’m just more available? More loving? Maybe if we have sex more? Maybe if I just keep pushing us forward through life? Maybe if I just carry him? Maybe once we start a family?

But I was powerless.

He was going to die from this disease.

I waited for the day I’d find him unresponsive at home. Waited for the day I’d discover he killed himself. Waited for the day I’d get a phone call explaining he was in a car accident. 

I would’ve been devastated, of course, but not surprised. 

I was just waiting, really.

He was going to die.

RELATED: Have You Ever Loved an Addict?

That movie made all those memories come flooding back.

I sat most of the movie with my hand clasped over my mouth. Then we walked out in silence. It was the first time we ever walked out of a movie without holding hands and leaning into one another and saying things like, “Oh that was sooo good, wasn’t it?” or “Want to go get ice cream?”

I didn’t even cry until we were home. 

And as we lay quietly next to one another before bed in the dark I turned to him and whispered, “I thought you were going to die.” And he softly replied, “Me too.” 

We huddled there in our big bed holding hands and praying together as warm wet tears spilled onto my pillow . . . then made love like he had just returned from the darkness.

I fell asleep thinking about a night more than 10 years ago.

A night on call at the hospital when I hit my knees next to the bed and cried.

Bawled.

Loud and long and wailing until my voice was hoarse and my whole body hiccupped and shook like a 2-year-old having a temper tantrum.

Then I lifted my hands and prayed.

“I’m giving this to You. I’m giving this to You. I’m giving this to You.” 

Over and over and over and over.

I had prayed before, of course. I had handed it over to a Higher Power as Al-anon instructed me to do. But I had always taken it right back. Immediately.

This night was different. I was done.

Done.

I was broken. Our marriage was broken. He was broken.

He was going to die.

It was my breakdown moment. 

My surrender.

RELATED: The Smell of Lime To an Alcoholic’s Daughter

And then nothing happened, really.

It was six months or a year later before he went to rehab for a second time and we separated and I assumed it was over. Our marriage was over.

He was going to die. 

But then, somehow . . . 

Days turned into weeks turned into months turned into years.

And he is here. 

He is sober

He is whole. 

We are whole. 

He walked right back into the light.

It feels like forever ago. It feels like yesterday.

The morning after our movie date I sat at our big dining table serving oatmeal to the kids. My husband rounded the stairs into the kitchen and flashed me this giant smile. 

His smile.

And I had to catch my breath . . . he is here

Alive. 

The answer to my desperate breakdown moment prayer.

I could feel God pressing into me . . . 

I was listening, Mikala. I was right there with you, with both of you all along. THIS is the answer.

And suddenly this ordinary life we live is SO BEAUTIFUL. 

This house, these kids, this family, this amazing man bathed in the light is EVERYTHING I’ve ever wanted.

THIS is the answer . . . 

Maybe we need to let go to hang on.

Maybe we need to break down to be whole.

Maybe we need to surrender . . . 

And maybe, just maybe, THIS life added up over time is a true love story.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Originally published on the author’s blog

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Mikala Albertson

Mikala is a wife, family practice doctor turned mostly stay-at-home mom to five kids, and writer. She is the author of Ordinary On Purpose: Surrendering Perfect and Discovering Beauty Amid the Rubble available wherever books are sold. Mikala writes to give you permission to release your grip on all the should-dos and have-tos and comparisons and “I’m not measuring up”s and just be free to live your life. THIS life, however imperfect. In this body with these relationships in this house at this job with these parents and these circumstances. Your ONE precious, beautiful life! Join her on Facebook and Instagram.

Everyone Liked “A Star is Born”—Except Me

In: Living
Everyone Liked "A Star is Born"—Except Me www.herviewfromhome.com

*Spoiler Alert* Before you consider bashing me for hating on this critically acclaimed and predicted Oscar-nominated movie, hear me out. I know A Star is Born is a classic that has been redone four times now, most recently starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. I only knew it was a remake because when I asked my mom to go see it with me, she said she had seen the Barbara Streisand version and really enjoyed it. That was all the knowledge I had about the movie. I was really looking forward to this musical drama. The commercials already had me...

Keep Reading

A Peek Behind the Picket Fence of a “Perfect Family”

In: Motherhood
family, autism, motherhood, real life, www.herviewfromhome.com

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but what exactly are those words? What’s the worth of something that’s carefully curated, filtered, and posed? I’ll tell you. I’m a recovering pretend-post addict, after all. Our most recent family photos were met with many words of praise: “Your children are beautiful!” “You look so gorgeous!” and, predominately, the most gutting: “You have the perfect family.” No one could’ve known I was reading those comments with a pit in my throat, probably from the comfort of my bed, the one I refused to leave even for meals. It would be...

Keep Reading

Addiction Changes Everything But Love

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman and teen talking on bench

I am now adding a new title to my parenting role. I am the mother of a child with a disease. A disease that sits silent, a disease many won’t understand. I am the mother of a child with an addiction.   This disease does show warning signs, but many times as parents, we do not want to see them or want to believe them. Then, for many, it is too late. This disease is not like other diseases that allow for more acceptance. This disease, we hide from. No one knows what to say nor do we know how to...

Keep Reading