The title alone can come across as quite a shock but sadly it’s true. I knew he had a problem when I met him but I did not know extent of his addiction and neither did he.
Before I started dating Chris, we used to call him the 1-eyed pirate, because he always used to drink a little too much and start looking at everyone with only one eye. Then it was funny, now looking back, I can see the disease in its very early stages.
However, despite everything I fell in love with the person I saw behind the drinking. It’s that person that i have always fought for. Some might say I was naive, as I only 15 when we started dating. I say – true love comes in many forms and sizes.
Over the 8 years that we have been together, there have been many highs and many lows. There have been times where the disease controlled our lives and then there was sobriety of the best kind. Every time I have continued to stand by Chris no matter what had happened. I have lost many things over the years due to this disease but I have never lost my love for him.
“The worst thing is watching someone drown and not being able to convince them that they can save themselves by just standing up.”
Don’t get me wrong, there have been times where I have absolutely hated him and the sight of him repulsed me… but that is aimed at the addict and not at the Chris I know. Christopher Lee is definitely not an open book character – he doesn’t reveal his true self to many people and that is often why he is misjudged and taken for a bad guy. However, the real Chris actually has a heart of gold and ironically a very soft nature.
As soon as everything in life was going good, something would happen and Chris would relapse under the stress, and its all downhill from there. I am not condoning his behavior and although I firmly believe that the disease of addiction is very powerful and many people don’t make it out alive, I also believe that everyone has a choice. Sadly, many addicts don’t know how to make that choice. Some are just programmed to make all the wrong decisions.
Yes, Chris has done bad things; really awful, heartbreaking, irreversible things but he is very sick. Addiction is an illness and it’s deadly. It destroys the addict from the inside out but it also destroys families. I know this first-hand because 1) Both my parents are addicts – my Mother is a drug addict and my Father is an alcoholic (we can touch on those stories another time). 2) My family was being ripped apart at the seams because of the disease and our son was feeling right in the middle of it. I vowed to him the day he was born that I would never do to him what my parents did to me. Here we are with his Dad suffering the exact same disease. It’s at that moment when you ask yourself, “Is Love enough?”
I feel love is proven in many different acts and Chris has shown me his love over the years in plenty of ways. When I was in Matric, they only reason my brothers and I had food on the table was because Chris gave his salary to my household, this was when my Mother’s addiction was at one of its many peaks and everything was slowly falling apart. He provided for us when we weren’t his responsibility. There have been many more times but this is always the first one that comes to mind.
He has always supported my every decision, no matter what it was. He has loved me even when I was unlovable and never ever expected me to change in any way. Not many women get that. Some may say it has come at a price….. possibly, but I knew exactly who Chris was when I married him. My vows clearly stated, “I accept your strengths and weaknesses.”
But in the deep pits of his disease, he was constantly stuck between needing to use, to avoid getting sick from the withdrawals, and the guilt of using; not wanting to face himself in the mirror because of how embarrassed he was of his own reflection. There were times that Chris couldn’t even look at me because of how ashamed he felt. And all I used to do was lash out at him, cruel words flew out of mouth before I could even register them. Truth is, I’m also sick. I have experienced too many addicts tainting my life and disappointing me time and time again. I do not handle things the correct way (emotion before rational thinking) and I regret it. In a way I’m on my own road to recovery…
Chris hit quite a rough rock bottom and I’m proud to say since then he has been in rehab. He has made a complete attitude change and it shows. It’s difficult not to fall back in love with him completely. He is my Chris, the Chris I have stood by for so long. I watch him with Connor, our son, on our Sunday visits, and I see the man I married. He is the doting and hands-on Father that he has been since day one!
I see how happy our son is to be spending time with his sober Dad, who he misses dearly and loves deeply.
We do not know were this is going to end up or how it’s going to play out. Logically, I have seen and heard it all before, and I’m not naive enough to completely believe that this time is different, but I have put my Faith in the Lord, as He knows the plans for my life…