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Johnson County Stories

Patricia of Johnson


When my husband and I got married in 1994, we hardly ever heard the word addiction, let alone knew anything about it. After four years of marriage, my husband tried alcohol for the first time. Results=addiction. We had no idea just how addicted he would get. We fought that addiction without knowledge of what we were dealing with and of course as we found out, it was a battle we could not win. After going to the doctor’s office for numerous medical issues, pain pills were prescribed. He was told the first medication was non-narcotic and non-addictive. We now know anything can be addictive so that was a lie. My husband frequently “doctor shopped” if he wasn’t getting what he needed or wanted.

Our lives began a downward spiral for 17 years. I loved him so I refused to leave him. Arguments, financial problems, depression (sometimes for both of us), walking on eggshells and a poor quality of life left a picture far from what we started with. Our son saw mood swings, sleepiness and absenteeism as normal.

In 2016 after realizing I could no longer help my husband, I decided I could not and would not continue that life or subject my son to his behavior. After all of those years of trying to beat addiction on our own, my husband took his own life by a self-inflicted gunshot wound. I was devastated. Addiction stole so many good years from us and eventually completely took him.