One night in May 2017, I went to court to apply for a Temporary Detention Order (TDO) to get my husband involuntary hospitalized. He had developed psychosis from drinking and prescription drugs: saw and heard things that weren’t there; destroyed furniture; slept for days, quit his job and threatened to kill himself. He refused to seek help and slammed doors whenever I tried to talk to him. He had threatened to hurt himself all the time, and I just begged him not to, and cried… For 2 years, I had done nothing but begged him to seek help etc…I didn’t do anything, until he cut himself with a kitchen knife, and sent the pictures to me via text messages. I immediately took the kids to my sister, and then went to court. The drive was long so I remember shaking uncontrollably in the car. I wasn’t crying. I was shaking…because i thought they were either going to find him dead, or have to drag him out in handcuffs.
While I got to the court, I had to wait in this cold room to see the Magistrate. The room was empty except for a couple of chairs and 2 frames hung on the wall. One frame had the poem “Man In The Glass” in it. I read it and thought the message was powerful, however I remember feeling confused to why they would put it in a room “where the people who need to read it the most don’t go in the first place”. I didn’t know that the message was not just for the sick person or the man… but for me and others who have been affected by their loved one’s addiction. It was there to remind us, that we must be self-aware and help ourselves first. At that point, I was as sick as he was but didn’t think of me at all. I was just thinking about what was going to happen to him.
Sure enough, a couple of hours later, they dragged him out of the house in handcuffs and kept him away for 5 days. He was furious and refused to speak with me. As soon as he got out of the hospital, he moved out and we were separated. He drank, kept taking drugs, and was out of control… I was so devastated & depressed…but managed to turn my tears into actions. I kept getting the court involved whenever he broke the law. I ended up getting a restraining order against him, and full custody of the children. In the beginning, he was defiant, but I stopped answering his calls altogether, and filed for divorce. It wasn’t until he was served with the divorce paper that he stopped taking the drugs, and went back in the program.
Today, He has been sober for 18 months and we’re still married. We are in recovery, but doing better. It took me a long time to to realize that had I not gone to court that night, i would have still be sitting at home, crying for my husband to get help.
Even if i didn’t know it then, being in that room and reading this poem were the first step of my recovery.