The story is all too familiar these days. They’ve been dating for months. The relationship is a committed one. Yet something seems amiss, so she checks his phone. There, her fears and suspicions are confirmed. He’s been cheating.
Before long, a pile of his belongings is out in the front yard. The locks have all been changed. The code to the alarm system has also been changed, along with debit card PIN, just to be on the safe side.
Though a fairly common occurrence these days, hearing of such an event should still stir emotions. Empathy mixed with sympathy fills my mind. Poor thing… she seemed so in love. How could he?
It was only a few years ago that I was the “he” in this story. I would hear of someone who had been caught cheating, and it would send chills down my spine. My drug abuse was not my only secret. Women had become part of my addiction as well. Soon, I would do my best to discreetly check my own phone. Gotta be sure my bases are covered. I mustn’t be found out.
Like so many of my past actions while using drugs, recalling my infidelity causes a terrible emotional as well as physical response. I want to cry, weep really; and my body becomes tense and puckered.
Writing of such things is among my least favorite tasks. Memories of having completely lost myself in active addiction. Yet, in recovery, I am told that I never have to lose myself again. There is no reason that I need to experience that kind of guilt and shame again.
Yesterday, I learned of a friend who is walking through the pain I described above. My heart breaks for her, knowing how deeply committed she was. Her pain is surely just as deep.
Yesterday, though, when I heard the story, something had changed in me. There was none of that fear such stories once invoked. No panicked reaching for my phone to cover my tracks. You see, I have no tracks to cover.
I knew about commitment before, but like I said, I had lost myself to my addiction. Losing myself also meant losing a huge part of who I was spiritually. My losses included that part of me which had once held commitment in such high esteem.
Practicing commitment is one of the surest ways I know of maintaining my serenity. Without drugs in my body, a promise made is now a promise kept. I never have to lose myself again. I never have to be that guy again.
I am a faithful, committed husband today because I choose to be. It is a choice made possible through recovery.
Have a remarkable day!