Last spring I ordered drug tests from Amazon.
Chris was acting funny, and I couldn’t figure out why. I’d ask him if he was doing drugs, and he would adamantly deny any drug use. It insulted him. It hurt his feelings I would even ask.
So I kept quiet, watched him with a suspicious eye, and carried on. Things would go back to normal–for weeks or a month–and then something would happen again to make me wonder what was wrong with him.
Why didn’t he remember our conversations at all?
Why do I always feel like I might catch him doing something wrong?
Why am I so suspicious?
Why is he randomly slurring his words?
I began to track the times I felt something was off. Making a note on my calendar when he would claim no memory of a conversation or event. When he would talk funny or say words wrong.
Last summer was on-and-off bad and then nothing. There was no pattern. No reason.
“Are you doing drugs?” I’d ask him.
“No,” he’d say with confidence.
“Are you drunk?”
Back and forth, back and forth.
Sometimes I’d go a month or two, forgetting my concerns because nothing weird or bad was happening. Other times, it felt like he was constantly acting funny.
Last August (a year ago), I refused to let him drive us to our nephew’s birthday party because he was acting erratic and making me feel unsafe. He was furious at me for not letting him drive.
How dare I insult him like that. Nothing was wrong with him.
When we got to the birthday party, he sat in the car and sobbed. I was doing this to him. I was hurting him, insulting him, treating him like a baby.
I told him I was worried about him, and I wanted him to go see a doctor. Something had to be wrong–why couldn’t he see it?
This pattern–of Chris’ words and actions causing me concern and then things going back to normal and quiet–has been happening for a long time. I’ve written about it before, excusing his random memory lapses and weird quirks as permanent effects of hard drug use for years. Living with a recovering addict is hard because so many things aren’t normal anyway. But with Chris everything always had a reason, an explanation, a cause.
In March, he came home from church. It was Saturday night, he’d been at church since 1:00 PM and was tired. When he walked in the door, I immediately felt something was wrong. His eyes were unfocused and he was slurring his words.
“Are you on drugs?”
“What is wrong with you?”
“Something is wrong. You’re not acting right. I’m going to bed. But the next time this happens, I’m taking you to get a drug test. And if that comes back clean, I’m going to have them do a breathalyzer. And if that comes back negative, I’m taking you to the hospital to figure out what’s wrong because you’re not acting right and something is going on.”
All he said was “okay” and then we went to bed.
Things were quiet for a few months. I went off my anxiety meds, feeling less crazy, less suspicious. We didn’t fight as much, Chris was more present, less angry.
Then May 3rd happened.