My Life

A story of addiction and recovery. Part one.

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a very long time.
I’m struggling to understand how to approach it.
My head is swimming with so much I want to say and so much I don’t want said.
Some memories I think are important to share, while other memories I hope will fade away in time, but cannot if written in the ink of the internet.

I want to share my journey through being married to an addict, my own codependency that developed and my recovery from that.
It will take more than one post so I hope you don’t mind if this subject takes a few spots over the next few weeks. (between the usual fun stuff, of course)

I think the best way to begin is with this letter I wrote nearly 3 years ago.

a letter about addiction

When I met you I honestly loved you the minute I saw you.
I thought you were the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.
I knew you had had rain clouds but i was convinced I had enough sunshine for both of us
You just needed to be loved. enough…by the right girl… Me.
So I loved you.
Boy, did I love you.
With all my heart.
Every ounce of it.
And when love didn’t seem to be enough, I begged you.
I really begged you. I cried and pleaded.
I reasoned with you and encouraged you. Berated you and supported you.
I played the warden, the mother, the victim, the friend, the cheerleader, the therapist, the lover, the detective, the savior and when all of that failed
I gave you space. I gave you time. I gave you chances. I gave you excuses.
I gave you everything I had.
When I ran out of things to give…
I begged. and pleaded and cried.
and then…
tried it all over again in different ways.
And everyday you broke my heart.
sometimes a little
sometimes a lot
sometimes it hurt so bad I had to curl up in ball and just try to sob hard enough that I couldn’t feel my chest.
but sometimes you made me smile so big I could hardly contain it
so I tried finding a cure.
I read books. asked professionals. went to meetings.
I covered for you, made up for you, vouched for you.
I figured out deadlines, made boundaries and threatened you.

I screamed at you and tried convincing you with harsh words.
I smiled at you and tried convincing you with kind words
I stood by you and tried convincing you with loyalty.
I left you and tried convincing you with loneliness.

You gave me promises of when you would change and how you would change.
school. the baby. god. meetings. time.
nothing worked.
I still didn’t give up

although, my heart did
broken.
every ounce of it.
and I couldn’t feel much anymore.
which was a relief.

but you were still beautiful and still your eyes were innocent and childlike
and even though you could so effortlessly hurt me so
I couldn’t bare to cause you an ounce of pain
so I stayed
one more time
I haven’t done enough
I haven’t done it right.
There is hope.
So I tried it all again.
Tried with more grace and more patience.
More education and less judgement.
I believed in miracles. I believed in love. I believed in you.
that you could change

maybe you can you just won’t
and maybe
saddest of all
you really can’t but would if you could
but the fact remains
you didn’t
and I might have kept trying forever.
but someone small came along
who is just as beautiful
someone who needs me more than you ever did or ever will
and I love his little perfect innocent face
with every ounce of my heart.
I can’t give him everything I have if you are already taking it.
I can’t be his mother if I am yours
and most of all
I can’t stay and watch you break his heart the way you have mine.
but I will always know
that I really tried everything
and I really loved you as much I possibly could.
I really, truly, honestly did.

 

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337 Comments

  • Reply
    Jill Thorne
    August 21, 2013 at 4:21 am

    Wow. Beautiful. Been there for sure, cant wait to her the next part! Thanks fr haring your heart as well asyour skills.

  • Reply
    Molly
    August 21, 2013 at 4:22 am

    Brought me to tears. Beautifully written. You’re so brave for posting.

  • Reply
    Lou
    August 21, 2013 at 4:22 am

    WOW. That was ridiculously moving and couldn’t be more raw. That is an amazing letter – and you are an incredibly brave and inspirational lady!

  • Reply
    sara
    August 21, 2013 at 4:23 am

    that was beautiful and brave!

  • Reply
    Emily
    August 21, 2013 at 4:25 am

    wow

  • Reply
    Jenny nichols
    August 21, 2013 at 4:27 am

    Cara- I love your blog so much. Your beauty advice has really given me so much confidence. In a time in my life when I was shaken to my core. My husband has struggled with addiction the past year. He went to rehab in nov, thank GoD!!and is doing so much better. But i live everyday in fear of a relapse- just never want to go through the hell we did before. But I can completely relate to every sentence of this. Love your baby and yourself enough to not accept being held in bondage by someone else’s bad choices. I will be praying for you, your child and your husband- and for healing for you all. Be strong and hang in there. You inspire so many

  • Reply
    Lucie
    August 21, 2013 at 4:28 am

    Wow. You are a truly inspiration, thank you for sharing and showing a way.

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    August 21, 2013 at 4:28 am

    I am sad to read this, but you are so strong to realize and be moving forward.

  • Reply
    Amber
    August 21, 2013 at 4:29 am

    That is one of the most well written letters I have ever read! I to have a husband who struggles with addiction (alcohol). Yesterday he was one year alcohol free (best year of my life) but every day is still a struggle and he takes it one day at a times. I’m glad that at the end of the day you can sleep with a clear mind and a light heart knowing that you did everything you could with everything that you are. May God continue to bless you and your beautiful family. Thank you for sharing!

    • Reply
      Heather
      August 21, 2013 at 4:35 am

      Wow…I’m bawling my eyes out. You put that into words so well!!! I Also share the same story with my son’s father. Its so painful to go through. You my friend are an amazing strong woman. I know this story o so well but look forward to hearing more.

    • Reply
      Di
      June 5, 2015 at 11:18 am

      I thought I was going to find makeup tips and found this!
      Nearly 40 years married to a highly functional alcoholic. Two rehabs. Now facing liver failure and a possible transplant. Am only just becoming aware of my deep denial (and his) and am still struggling with it. Your letter is powerful beyond anything I’ve read…Tears. Regrets. Fear. Not the Golden Years I was foolishly envisioning…

  • Reply
    Gemma
    August 21, 2013 at 4:34 am

    Wow. That was not at all what I expected to read when I clicked on your site this morning. It was absolutely beautiful, brought me to tears and the vast majority could have been written by me just a few years ago. My husband is about to celebrate 1 year of sobriety – real, true sobriety, not just abstinence (I’m sure you understand the difference) – and I have never been so proud. I also know it’s a decision he makes every single day. It means so much to be reminded that there are other people out there who have dealt with this, are dealing with this and are not only surviving but thriving. You are a beautiful example! Thank you so much for this post. Your beauty tips have made such a difference in my appearance (especially the brow post!) but this post has touched my soul. You are amazing.

  • Reply
    Seana
    August 21, 2013 at 4:35 am

    Beautiful.

  • Reply
    Pomereta
    August 21, 2013 at 4:37 am

    Those are very deep words…they have brought back so many feelings. What is it with us that we always believe we can fix/rescue them? Someone should tell us when we are younger: “look for the one that cares, loves and wants the best for you”. Tough lesson to learn. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Marsha
    August 21, 2013 at 4:38 am

    I am happy for your little one that you left for his sake. You could leave, children cannot. You have my full respect for that!

  • Reply
    Dawn Shelton Connelly
    August 21, 2013 at 4:39 am

    impactful and truthful. i see your hurt. and you arose from it. God bless you.

  • Reply
    shandalbaxter
    August 21, 2013 at 4:41 am

    Absolutely breathtakingly Beautiful. This could have come from My Heart Cara…Im sorry you had to feel that pain also. And your heart had to break. I didn’t leave as soon as you. Two little boys in and 17 years for me. Its been an ongoing process that I still struggle with each and every day. My heart still breaks just a little when I think of him..us..what could have been. Im not sure that ever goes away. Not when you Love like we do. Im six years out now, Wonderful Man in my life, and a beautiful little one year old girl..life couldn’t be more amazing..happy…peaceful…Sunshine really does Win. 😉 all my Love to you, thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    Robbin
    August 21, 2013 at 4:42 am

    Thank you so much for sharing. It shows how truly strong of a person you are!

  • Reply
    Kellie
    August 21, 2013 at 4:44 am

    I love your beautiful self, inside and out. Am I allowed to love you through the computer? I hope your story has a happy ending. I will be hear every day, as always, and I can’t wait to hear what happens next.

  • Reply
    Kylie
    August 21, 2013 at 4:45 am

    I’m blown away by the accuracy of how you describe your journey through addiction with your husband. It was emotional, raw, honest to the core and I went through every emotion and struggle you did- as most of those living with addicts do.
    Thank you for sharing- best of luck and I hopes he’s found help to guide him back on the right track.

  • Reply
    alecia
    August 21, 2013 at 4:47 am

    Wow, you are so strong and so brave for sharing this. I love your blog so much, mostely for posts like this one. Don’t get me wrong, everytime i see a new make-up or hair tutorial i try it out imeadiatly and love it! I have probably read every one of your posts and I buy a lot of the products you use and reccomend. I’m a fan for sure. It’s because of posts like this one that set you apart from the others. You are so sweet and have such a big heart! You are strong and beautiful inside and out. You are so inspiring! Thank you so much for posting!

  • Reply
    Kelly
    August 21, 2013 at 4:47 am

    This is my story that I am living right now. When I discovered your blog a year ago it has helped to bring self confidence and positivity to the darkest time of my life. After standing by my husband through years of use, consequences that have taken away everything that we had financially, and now a year of abstinence but no recovery, we recently decided to go our separate ways. I have a two year old and so every morning I wake up with anxiety over wether I am making a horrible mistake. Reading this upon waking this morning allowed me to cry in a way I haven’t since we split. Thank you for sharing your experience, strength and hope!

    • Reply
      lburrell2013
      August 21, 2013 at 9:41 am

      Wow, the way you worded that… abstinence but no recovery. That is my husband for 2 years now…. Sure the abstinence has made our lives easier, but there’s no foundation for it, lessons, insight, it seems.

    • Reply
      Paige
      August 28, 2013 at 3:32 pm

      You are not making a mistake. I waited twelve years to leave with my two children. The things that they saw, and the hurt that they went through was not worth it. You had to make the decision to remove you and your child from that very unhealthy environment. It’s scary and hard to make it on your own. But you can do it. And have a life without the anxiety, lies, heartbreak, and all the other negative stuff that the soul-sapping addiction brought into it. Hopefully, your husband can develop a good healthy relationship with your child, but keep his addiction out of it.

  • Reply
    Auntie
    August 21, 2013 at 4:52 am

    As a fellow co-dependent in permanent recovery I applaud your courage in sharing your story.but I caution you not to forget a single moment with your previous partner. Those moments need not be shared, but everything you’ve gone thru has taught you tobe strong, patient, realistic, and has made you who you are…an amazing, beautiful, articulate woman who has the courage to share herself with the world thru your website. Don’t discount any of the steps it took on your journey to becoming who you are today. We love and respect you. I’m confident by sharing your story, you will help someone else to see their own situtation more clearly and hopefully they’ll be able to make positive changes in their own life.
    Respectfully yours,
    MyGirlsAuntie

  • Reply
    Sarah (theGIRL)
    August 21, 2013 at 4:53 am

    This is powerful. I’m so glad you were able to do what is/was best for your son. So many women aren’t that strong.

  • Reply
    bethany
    August 21, 2013 at 4:55 am

    This is a beautiful letter. Thank you so, so much for sharing. My brother is an alcoholic and I struggle so much with the line between loving and enabling. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • Reply
    Gina
    August 21, 2013 at 4:59 am

    You are brave and so wonderful!!! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and wow touched my heart!

  • Reply
    Katie @ Wildwood Creek
    August 21, 2013 at 5:01 am

    Thank you for writing this painful yet beautifully written letter. You are helping many women with your wisdom and inspiration.

  • Reply
    Ashley
    August 21, 2013 at 5:04 am

    This is absolutely beautiful, and probably “hits home” with more people than you will ever realize. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Randi
    August 21, 2013 at 5:04 am

    Amazing letter. Touched my heart in more ways than you could know! I am a recovering enabler. I wish I could have written such an eloquent letter to my ex-husband who was an addict. But, I, like you, have a precious 3 1/2 year old little girl to get me through.

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    August 21, 2013 at 5:06 am

    Cara you just put into words what I was living for nearly 7 yrs. I’m so glad we both got out of that horrible (although at times seemingly wonderful) past and have men in our lives who love and respect us. We deserve it for sure! You’re a beautiful soul

  • Reply
    Sarah
    August 21, 2013 at 5:07 am

    Thank you for your vulnerability in sharing your heart. You have a beautiful calling.

  • Reply
    Ashley Sparks
    August 21, 2013 at 5:07 am

    I am balling my eyes out right now. I discovered my ex husband was addicted to pills three months after we were married. Two and a half years later and two seizures later I finally gave in. If he wouldn’t help himself, then i couldn’t help him. It still kills me everyday to think of how he is doing. This letter hit the nail right straight on the head for me. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Reply
    Linda
    August 21, 2013 at 5:08 am

    So appreciate you sharing and being so transparent of challenges you have faced! I faced a similar, but different situation with my ex-husband. He was bi-polar and mostly either “normal” or manic and he refused to take medication. He said the medication would “mess up his brain.” I had hoped his episodes would lessen as we grew older, but they actually became more frequent; so after 49 years and 1 month of being married, I filed for divorce. Cara, you’re an amazing young lady and I admire you for being you and helping so many others.

    • Reply
      Kayles
      August 27, 2013 at 2:25 pm

      Your now ex-husband is my mother. I’ve said so many times (to no one in particular) that having a relationship with an unmedicated bipolar is like having a relationship with an addict. And that is the reason I made the decision one year ago to let go.

  • Reply
    Sylvia
    August 21, 2013 at 5:11 am

    Wow… Such a beautiful letter… I’m sitting here with goosebumps all over… Thank you for sharing something so personal.

  • Reply
    Pam
    August 21, 2013 at 5:11 am

    Your letter strikes a chord, because it describes the story of every co-dependent. I, too, have suffered in similar ways. Thank God you got out and got help before you became too bitter and damaged to care anymore. You are in my thoughts and prayers!

  • Reply
    Ana
    August 21, 2013 at 5:12 am

    That was written so well, Cara. I could feel your pain and your hope throughout the whole letter. Thank goodness you were able to get out and start anew! I can’t wait for part two… Thank you for posting this!

  • Reply
    Nina
    August 21, 2013 at 5:14 am

    I’m in tears right now. I praise you for being so open and sharing such a personal issue. You are inspirational!

  • Reply
    Ashley
    August 21, 2013 at 5:16 am

    This is so beautifully written, so heart-wrenching, yet so very powerful. I applaud you for finding the courage to leave. Your son is so lucky to have you in his life.

  • Reply
    Kelly
    August 21, 2013 at 5:16 am

    I’m brand new to your blog…I ADORE IT, where has it been all my life. In the 5 days since I’ve found it, I already have learned a lot about the smokey eye 🙂 and what makeup to use. THANKS. But I wanted to say, thank you for sharing your life, and poem. It was so beautiful. I’m looking forward to reaading more.

    Blessings from Michigan
    Kelly

  • Reply
    Sunshine
    August 21, 2013 at 5:16 am

    That was a very brave post Cara. Thanks for sharing those personal thoughts with us. Keep Strong. =)

  • Reply
    Joanne
    August 21, 2013 at 5:21 am

    Beautifully written. Breaks my heart. Thank you for sharing. God bless you and your little sweetheart.

  • Reply
    michellels
    August 21, 2013 at 5:21 am

    That’s beautiful, Cara. Brave, insightful, and beautiful. Thank you for sharing. For being strong for your little guy. I’m looking forward to reading more.

    Your friend,
    ~M

  • Reply
    Alex
    August 21, 2013 at 5:21 am

    wow. again wow. its been said a LOT in these replies but really…wow. I’m crying and i feel so sad and yet so SO happy for you. i am not in an identical situation but i identify so much with what you did for him and how you worked so hard for him, and how you had to let him go for the sake of your son and yours too.
    thank you so much for sharing and i am so looking forward to reading more. you’re amazing.

  • Reply
    Jessie
    August 21, 2013 at 5:25 am

    Wow, this post made me cry at work. Cara, you are amazing. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    Chrisie Pugliese
    August 21, 2013 at 5:25 am

    Oh my darling! Brought back so many memories, made me cry!! You are a strong, beautiful, capable girl! The day will come when you realize, He’s the exception, not the rule! and someone else makes everything make sense! Sending warm, loving prayers to you Cara! xo

  • Reply
    Tuesdee
    August 21, 2013 at 5:25 am

    So many need this. Thank you for caring enough to be brave. My addict is my daughter, my strength is her daughter who is now my daughter. My baby had no choices, and was the smallest of addicts starting in the womb. There is so much pain there. After all our kids were grown this baby was placed in my husbands and my arms at birth and she’s been there ever since, that was 18 mos ago today.
    We “let go” of our addict and she soon found her way on her own. Sometimes letting go is the only way for everyone to move forward.
    I have my own addiction, your BLOG, lots of love to you & yours. T

  • Reply
    Jenna G
    August 21, 2013 at 5:26 am

    Cara, it takes a lot to share your most private moments with the world. I commend you. I forwarded this to 3 of my friends who are going through the same struggle. Your brave, and I believe because you are will to share your experience with other you will help other women.

  • Reply
    PennyPincherFashion (@PPFGirl)
    August 21, 2013 at 5:27 am

    I’ve had all too much experience with this and I think in you sharing your story, many will feel less alone dealing with a similar struggle. My best friend is a recovering addict – 3 months sober today – and I pray that she will be one of the few who makes it; who truly recovers and never goes back. Thank you for your honesty – you are so brave!

  • Reply
    Tiffany
    August 21, 2013 at 5:28 am

    Beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. Although I have never met you face to face, I feel close to you somehow now, because you have shared a very private thing. You are an awesome woman.

  • Reply
    Jenny
    August 21, 2013 at 5:35 am

    Beautifully written, Cara. you are very strong. Much the same thing happened to me, though I was married to a selfish cheater, not an addict. Interesting how becoming a mother changes you, changes everything. And thank heavens. It gave me the courage to leave. Looks like it did the same for you. Children are the greatest gift in the world, I feel.

    • Reply
      Ashley
      July 7, 2014 at 5:56 pm

      Jenny he WAS an addict. A sex addict. There’s a 12 Step for that.

  • Reply
    michele
    August 21, 2013 at 5:35 am

    I haven’t experienced life with an addict but I am a mother of a little boy. My heart was breaking as I read this letter. I feel for you. You are strong and brave and your little one will always strengthen you in ways you can’t imagine. You are such an inspiration. God bless you.

  • Reply
    Anneke Koster-Grant
    August 21, 2013 at 5:38 am

    Wow! How heart breakingly honest! Thank you! And you are an inspiration to all new mommies going through the same thing!

  • Reply
    Jill
    August 21, 2013 at 5:46 am

    Isn’t it ironic to read someone else’s story and wonder how did they know my life!!!

  • Reply
    Tammy Stailey
    August 21, 2013 at 5:46 am

    Oh my gosh, Cara! I saw you everyday and I had no idea. I’m so sorry. I wish I had paid more attention. Christian is such a lucky little boy to have you for his mommy.

  • Reply
    Jenn
    August 21, 2013 at 5:46 am

    Beautifully written. Amazing what our babies are capable of bringing out in us, bravery we never knew we had. Further proof that children are miracles!

  • Reply
    Jaimee
    August 21, 2013 at 5:46 am

    Such a True Story for so many!

  • Reply
    Lisa
    August 21, 2013 at 5:49 am

    Beautifully written! I love the rawness and what a strong, fantastic Momma you are!!

  • Reply
    Sam
    August 21, 2013 at 5:51 am

    This brought me to tears. You spoke the words exactly how I am feeling…My husband is a recovering addict and it hurts to see them in so much pain…you can only help so much before they have to start helping themselves or else it isn’t going to work. I’ve been with my husband for 10 years and though it is hard I can’t imagine giving up on him yet….Hopefully I never will never have to. Thank you for sharing this because I feel like I’m not alone in feeling what I do. <3

  • Reply
    Conny
    August 21, 2013 at 5:53 am

    This letter is so beautiful. You are an amazing women.
    I’m so glad to know, that your story has a happy end.
    You found the man your’re married with today and I wish your little family all the best.
    I was also a believer in love. And when i’m in a relationship, I gave everything for it. Just like you.
    But my husband left me and our puppy dog head over heels, two months ago.
    We’ve had no problems and loved each other truly (I thought).
    We had been friends before marriage for 10 years and I still can’t believe what’s happening with him.
    I was so happy in our relationship and he told me the same. But now all of that seems only like a lie to me.
    At the moment I can’t trust anyone and never want to be in a relationship EVER.
    But after rain still comes sunshine, you are the best role model for that.
    Cara, I love your blog and reading this post helps me so much. Can’t wait to read part two.
    XOXO, Conny from germany…

    • Reply
      Sara
      August 21, 2013 at 8:01 am

      I recently ended something that was ripping my heart out, it ended so harshly and abruptly like you described. But I felt this feeling of peace and light knowing I am alone, but I CHOOSE to be:) We can choose happiness, even when feel alone. Love on your puppy, it will get better.

      • Reply
        Conny
        August 21, 2013 at 8:19 am

        Thank you <3

  • Reply
    Kristy
    August 21, 2013 at 5:54 am

    Thank you for sharing something so personal yet unfortunately too relatable for so many. After so much heartache just like you, I also found my happily ever after. xo

  • Reply
    Melissa
    August 21, 2013 at 5:55 am

    Beautifully written. I know someone I can pass this on to, maybe to give her some clarity. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    C
    August 21, 2013 at 5:58 am

    Beautiful words. In time you will heal and in more time you will get yourself back from giving so much.

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    August 21, 2013 at 5:59 am

    Beautiful letter. I have felt and done all these things. It is so hard when you see their potential. I am LDS and my husband isn’t. I feel like you may have a similar scenario? We finally found balance a year and a half ago and will be celebrating our 10 year anniversary Friday. Anxious for the second part.

  • Reply
    Elise
    August 21, 2013 at 6:00 am

    You are one brave chick 🙂 My father and my son’s father are both addicts. The pain that comes alone with loving someone who is incapable of being who you need them to be is indescribable. I can relate to every word…

  • Reply
    Anna
    August 21, 2013 at 6:01 am

    Oh, Cara. If I could reach through this computer screen and hug you, I would. Your letter took me through your lows and your good times, your times of exasperation and times of sweet hopefulness. Thank God you had the wherewithal to understand you could never change that man no matter what you tried. That precious little boy you now have deserves your unconditional love which that huge heart of yours gives so freely. That kind of love is priceless. YOU are priceless. We all will leave this life with scars on our hearts, but getting through it all with a heart to give is what makes life worthwhile. Thank you for sharing your story with us–even though it’ll tug at those scars.

  • Reply
    jeri
    August 21, 2013 at 6:01 am

    courageous. There are people reading this right now who are finding the same courage and will begin empowering themselves as you have yourself. Peace be with you.

  • Reply
    Gwen
    August 21, 2013 at 6:03 am

    Cara, I have been there and until now I never felt like anyone really understood everything I tried and everything it took from me and what that kind of heartache truly feels like. You have expressed it in an entirety I never have been able to and I want to tell you thank you for making me feel so much less alone with these memories. God bless you and your Little Man!

  • Reply
    Deegan
    August 21, 2013 at 6:03 am

    That is so heart-breakingly beautiful. Stay strong Cara and may God Bless your family.

  • Reply
    Hannah
    August 21, 2013 at 6:06 am

    Cara, I am sitting here in tears at my desk in my little office. I am so glad you made the decision to share and I’m so glad you have found love and happiness again. Blessings to you!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    August 21, 2013 at 6:07 am

    I, and other women I know have been in similar situations. Thanks you for posting this, it’s good to know you’re not alone and don’t need to be ashamed.

  • Reply
    susan
    August 21, 2013 at 6:15 am

    Beautifully written and powerfully posted. I knew I liked you because you were willing to share your bare face but now I LOVE you that you shared your inner truth and bare soul.

  • Reply
    Susan
    August 21, 2013 at 6:16 am

    Stay strong, be proud of yourself, find Support Groups & friends who help; not hinder… And most of all LOVE YOURSELF. None of us are perfect, but you are a shining star who has helped so many of us to feel better about ourselvesm xoxo

  • Reply
    Stacie
    August 21, 2013 at 6:16 am

    So beautifully honest. Thank goodness your beautiful little boy came along to save you.

  • Reply
    kat
    August 21, 2013 at 6:18 am

    Your post really hit home for me. You are brave to speak up. My 23 year old son is an addict who is sober 2 months. I too have lived through the pain you described so well. As a parent I would give my life to save him and sadly even this would not work. I don’t share my heartache with anyone but my husband. I am trying to have the courage to talk about this epidemic. You have helped me see this with your story. Thank you.

  • Reply
    stacycurran
    August 21, 2013 at 6:19 am

    Oh Cara. I am a long time reader but haven’t commented before. But how could I not here? this is the most beautiful thing I have ever read. Thanks you so, so very much for sharing it.

    • Reply
      Twirly Skirt
      August 21, 2013 at 6:52 am

      Same here. My thoughts exactly. Cara, you are amazing!

  • Reply
    Nina
    August 21, 2013 at 6:19 am

    That took a lot of courage. I can’t imagine how much courage. I’ll pray and hope for nothing but the best for you. Stay strong for your baby like you always have.

  • Reply
    Darlene
    August 21, 2013 at 6:23 am

    I just wanted to say that your story bring back a lot of pain and memories. I have been through this but in my case with my son. For everyone out there dealing with addiciton please don’t lose your faith. I am not a big believer in rehad because the medical insurance companys control how long you can be in a program and my son was never able to stay more than two weeks. Any one that has dealt with this issue now that is just enough time to get detox and then you are back home again. For us when nothing seemed to be working we found and affordable program that was also long enough for him to final get the help he needed. He has now been sober for 17 months and is happy and enjoying life.
    Teen Challenge is a Christian based program. There is nothing like it out there. The people truely care and are there to help you get sober. I highly recommend it. They are based all over the world. Keep you faith and stay strong. I look forward to hearing the rest of yur story.

    • Reply
      Tania
      August 22, 2013 at 8:49 pm

      When I read this, I thought of Teen Challenge…they have a very high success rate for recovering addicts!

  • Reply
    theschmoopiechronicle
    August 21, 2013 at 6:24 am

    Can I first off tell you that this is by far the most well written “love letter” or even “letter” about co-dependency and addiction that I have encountered.
    Your writing is beautiful and it tells a story that each and every person who has been faced with addiction, recovery, co-dependency has felt.
    THANK YOU from the bottom of my co-dependent heart for sharing with the world(me) a little piece of your world and your heart.
    This truly just made my day.
    Keep writing.
    And feel free to follow my blog about addiction and recovery as well.
    MUCH LOVE!
    xoxo

  • Reply
    Delia
    August 21, 2013 at 6:29 am

    I lived this exactly. Leaving is the best give you can give yourself, the child and potentially the addict. I always thought if I left for goid he would hit bottom and stop. I left and that never happened. I prayed for strength and it came in loads! Xoxoxo

  • Reply
    Kim Porter
    August 21, 2013 at 6:31 am

    Beautiful and incredibly sad.

  • Reply
    Barbara
    August 21, 2013 at 6:32 am

    Oh Cara….you are also writing MY story, almost word for word, sooooo eloquently. I’m eager to read more about you and this part of your life! Now I get why you’re so cool – people in recovery always are! I never left my husband….I so loved being “we three” and it would’ve broken our son’s heart; when my husband was good he was amazing….until he used, then he was literally gone. Every pastor we went to, in two states, told me I couldn’t leave him, that God would cure him, so many reasons. They were wrong, but I obeyed. Addiction is utter and complete adultery, it consumes every part of your marriage, your relationship, your child(ren), your family. And while I know that God performs miracles every day, when it comes to addiction (alcoholism, same) and codependency, I believe God wants us to do the hard work………..which, of course, requires great faith in Him. I did the meetings, but I went to Al Anon purely to learn how to help HIM……I didn’t get the “me” part because, by that time, there was no me left. My life’s purpose then was to keep him clean, to help him stay clean, to make him happy. I was 300 lbs from cooking to nurture him and from stuffing my feelings down with food.

    Ultimately he left US, cold turkey, when our son was 10. We never saw him again. Now I HAD to face myself…..now I had to do the hard work, I was a single mother in a foreign state with no family at all. By God’s grace, I went to an Al Anon meeting and GOT it. Thank God, I got it…..it was about getting ME well. Now, at 25 years old, my son finally sought out recovery for himself. I am so very, very grateful. And I’m so different from who I was 15 years ago.

    God bless you and all of your readers who have “been there”…….recovery is a very daunting thing, it’s hard work. But it WORKS.

    Eager to read on in future posts…..Love you……..Thank you!!! xoxoxoxoxo

    • Reply
      Marisa
      August 23, 2013 at 8:19 am

      <3<3<3!!!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    August 21, 2013 at 6:33 am

    Wow. To be loved and loved like that. The guy missed out for the rest of his life. I hope he is fighting his addictions now. Glad you are in a better place with your spouse and son.

  • Reply
    valerie
    August 21, 2013 at 6:34 am

    deep, heart wrenching stuff. i can’t wait to hear the next part.

    being a mother myself, i understand that your child needs you ALL of you.

  • Reply
    JFC2001
    August 21, 2013 at 6:38 am

    What a beautiful testament to the love you have for your son. He will grow up knowing how precious he is to you, and that is an irreplaceable gift. Thanks for sharing your story, and I wish you and your family much joy as you watch Christian grow.

  • Reply
    Telle Day
    August 21, 2013 at 6:38 am

    <3 you have chosen well for yourself and your son! <3

  • Reply
    juliehcloset
    August 21, 2013 at 6:39 am

    Beautiful text! You really are a beautiful person, inside and out. *Hug*

  • Reply
    Layla
    August 21, 2013 at 6:40 am

    Beautiful! I know exactly where you are coming from on this. — and this: “I can’t give him everything I have if you are already taking it.” — truer words couldn’t have been spoken.
    Daily struggles, one step at a time. Much love to you!

  • Reply
    Brittany Debity Barker
    August 21, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Beautiful and utterly heartbreaking.

  • Reply
    MelissaDiane
    August 21, 2013 at 6:48 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I dated and was engaged to an alcoholic and drug addict for almost 3 years. Thankfully we never got married, but it felt like a divorce when it ended. I know those feelings well. The circles, the lies, the suspicion, wanting to believe and hope and ultimately having your heart dragged through the mud constantly. I’m glad you left for your son. You are strong! Stronger than so many women who stay. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  • Reply
    Emily
    August 21, 2013 at 6:48 am

    Beautiful. This brought tears to my eyes. My father and my brother dealt(still are)with addiction and alcoholism for many many years. My dad since I was a baby, my brother since I was a young girl, and I can tell you that to this day, no man has ever broke my heart or could ever break my heart the way they have. I still love them and I hope that one day they can love their selves. Cara, several months back, I stumbled across your blog and the first post was about how you and your current husband met. I cried reading that post just like I cried reading this one. When I read that post, I had recently found that my husband had been cheating on me. That post gave me hope that I could one day find happiness. I relate to you on many levels, as i also have a toddler, a love for beauty(inner and outer), and a big heart 🙂 I want to thank you for sharing your stories, your makeup advice, your hair advice and everything else in between. I took your beauty advice, bought the products you recommend and I now feel more beautiful than I ever have.You have helped me in so many ways since I left my husband. I have now found a greater self worth than I have ever known, I have you to thank for that. Please continue to share your beautiful soul because I know that you can help another girl the way you helped me.

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    August 21, 2013 at 6:49 am

    You are so brave, strong, and wonderful!! Thank you for writing something so emotionally raw! As a sister of an addict, cousin of an addict and daughter in law of an addict, I recognize every single one of those feelings.

  • Reply
    Sonia
    August 21, 2013 at 6:54 am

    You are such a strong woman! I am sober over 21 years, and from this side, it is the people in your shoes that we love the most, yet hurt the most. It is your faces that we try to get back to. You give us a reason to be. Your staying and your leaving were probably the best (and hardest) things things you ever did for yourself, your son, and your husband.
    Thank you so much for sharing all of yourself with us. You never know who you’ll reach. You’re truly an amazing woman.

  • Reply
    Amanda Price
    August 21, 2013 at 6:55 am

    That was so beautiful and you are so amazing for giving up on that love to be the mother you had to be. You should be so proud of yourself., not all women are strong enough to do that. Your blog is my favorite. I have come across many but this is the only one I check every day. I love your makeup tutorials but posts like these prove you are so much more than a pretty face.

    • Reply
      Katy Donaldson Taylor
      August 21, 2013 at 6:55 am

      This is beautiful!!! I admire you for trying your hardest and not giving up but admire you even more that you gave up when you had to!

  • Reply
    Cayde
    August 21, 2013 at 7:03 am

    CARA- you are dynamic and beautiful inside and out. I love your blog. May God Bless you and your little one. Only the strongest seek help and make changes when the stakes are high.

  • Reply
    ashliemwinter
    August 21, 2013 at 7:08 am

    Thank You for being so brave! You are the best Mom for making that choice for Christian. You deserve every blessing in your life!

  • Reply
    Hayley Grade
    August 21, 2013 at 7:13 am

    I am overwhelmed with emotion! You are so brave and inspiring for sharing details this personal. I am so familiar with the battle of loving an addict…and often times being addicted to the addict. This is an important story to share, your choice to give Christian the life he deserves is so powerful. I find it extremely lovely that you are willing to show your readers who YOU are! Can’t wait to read more!
    x,Hayley
    http://www.loveblissandcoffee.com

  • Reply
    Becca
    August 21, 2013 at 7:16 am

    Thank you for posting. This reminds me of how unified we all are with our experiences and our hurts and strength to overcome. It’s obvious this is difficult for you, and you’re so brave for sharing it with your readers. I imagine it will be cathartic in the end. Hugs to you!

  • Reply
    Glorya
    August 21, 2013 at 7:16 am

    Cara, I was in Recovery for 10 years for issues stemming from incest, family abuse, low self esteem, and a slew of other issues. The best piece of advice I can offer is not to focus on your husband, you need to focus on yourself, and your co-dependency. Go to Alanon – it’s a free program for people, like my Self, who is dealing with an active addict or grew up in a alcoholic household (my father was a raging drunk). I went to Alanon here in NYC for many, many years. and I learned so many ways of living and being that were invisible in my household. It’s a great way to learn about boundaries, feelings/emotions, relationships with your self and then others. If there is one thing you must know, You can not change your husband. You can only change your Self. By making your Self healthier, you are becoming a better person for your son and then perhaps your husband. When a person is in his/her addiction, there is nothing more important to that person but that substance by which to drown out the noise or deaden the pain. I heard your pain in this poem. To my way of thinking, if you are putting this poem on your Beauty Blog, then you are crying for help and are feeling out-of-control. Remember it starts with One Day at a Time. When one person in a relationship is struggling with an addiction, both partners need help because both partners are affected by the disease. Your way of being, behavior, thinking and re-action to his actions are pre-programmed which means you two are dancing a dance that you both know. If you want to stop the “Crazy Dance,” go to an Alanon meeting to start learning new skills and ways of being, thinking, acting and responding to your husband.

    I know it can be done – I did it for my Self. I am no different than any other woman who’s been touched by the disease. I have two university degrees, a career that spanned 20 years working in non-profit and until I started therapy, I hide my addictions, my wounds, my pains from the world under a smiling face. I didn’t let people close to the real me. Only I got tired of being in pain, of acting crazy, I was especially tired of crazy things happening to me. and I listened to a co-worker who told me that I was codependent and acting out. This was the best decision I made in my young life. It’s been a long long time since I needed or desired a drink or drug or person to hide from the pain.

    Please feel free to reach out to me if you need to for more information – this has the potential to be the best step you made in your life. Much love, Glorya

  • Reply
    Jeanne
    August 21, 2013 at 7:19 am

    Beautiful! Writing this stuff out will bring healing, time will bring healing. Some scars will remain only to remind you of how far you have come. I am recovering from an addiction (eating disorder) and my husband is as well. Your letter hit home! God bless!!!

  • Reply
    Whitney
    August 21, 2013 at 7:19 am

    Wow. Such a heartfelt letter. Thank you for sharing. It’s encouraging to see that someone so beautiful and happy once had dark times. You truly are an inspiration.

  • Reply
    Cait
    August 21, 2013 at 7:23 am

    I can partially relate to this, while I was never romantically involved with an addict both of my parents were alcoholics and drug addicts. My mother started out as you did and since she couldn’t change him and wanted to stay with him she also became an addict,. They eventually abandoned their 6 children ( I was the youngest ) and we all went into foster care. Eventually both my parents “recovered” from their addictions, although my mom died when I was 20 from issues involving her past drug use, but even after recovery they never really acknowledged the pain they caused, never took responsibility for it.
    Although I can’t say being raised in foster care was ideal, it came with it’s own challenges, it was a hell of a lot better than being raised by addicts. I guess what I’m trying to say is that one day your son is going to look back and be profoundly thankful that you left and that you gave him the childhood he deserved. He is going to see the strength and beauty of his mother and know of your courage and love.

  • Reply
    Alli
    August 21, 2013 at 7:26 am

    You are truly amazing. My husband struggled with alcohol dependency for many years. As much as I begged him to get help, it never made a difference. He was never willing to admit his problem, though many people in his family struggled with the same addiction. Thankfully, something changed inside of him when our son was born, and he decided he didn’t ever want our baby to see what he did growing up. It’s been over a year now and life is so much better. Thank you for sharing. You are so amazingly strong.

  • Reply
    Kasey
    August 21, 2013 at 7:27 am

    Cara, I am so very thankful for your openess through this blog. You show us how to be our best self. Not only by making us feel pretty, which is huge but by making us feel good about who we are. You are truly amazing. Thank you for sharing so many personal experiences with us all. You are an inspiration to many. Thank you for your sincerity. Wishing you all the best!

  • Reply
    Karen
    August 21, 2013 at 7:35 am

    What an amazing letter, say no more. Take care of yourself first and foremost because if you don’t do that you can NOT take care of anyone else. You are an amazing, talented, beautiful, thoughtful, loving woman. Embrace that and you will be just fine. I have a feeling about this. ;o)

    Written by:
    A wife of an addict
    A wife of an abuser
    A mom of a broken child from said abuse
    A survivor

  • Reply
    makingthymeforhealth
    August 21, 2013 at 7:37 am

    This made me cry. My father was an addict and my mother went through a similar experience as you did. I’m so sorry for the pain you felt but your strength for your child is amazing and he will forever be grateful for that.

  • Reply
    Penny Morris
    August 21, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Wow Cara, I am an addict, 2 years sober. I want you to finish your story. Then perhaps I could send you my story snail mail. One thing I found out because I was with an addict is,
    no matter how hard you try cannot compete, with, the alcohol, cocaine etc. I tried, I just thought I wasn’t pretty enough or thin enough. Heck I spent $700 bucks, to have my lips injected, the doctor completely ruined them. That was in 2006, I ended up breaking off the relationship because, I knew if I stayed I would die, his drug of choice was cocaine, which I never touched. I knew in my heart I would die. long story short this guy who incidently I left my husband of 28 years and 2 kids for died exactly 1 year later. I have grieved and felt guilty since then because I left him. We just could not be together. Sometimes I wonder if he was still alive, would we have gotten back together. If we had, I wouldn’t be alive. My husband is a wonderful forgiving soul and despite all I put him through, he accepted me back. I found you on Facebook and I loved your positive attitude regarding women and how we are pretty even with small lips. I am currently trying to rebuild my attitude toward myself, because I hate myself. Your attitude on life caught my eye and thought, wow, Cara has a great outlook maybe she can help me love me. 🙂 Penny

  • Reply
    Amy
    August 21, 2013 at 7:40 am

    amazing and raw…my brother was my project for years, until I gave up….thank you for sharing this, so many of us that aren’t addicted feel guilty, overwhelmed and resentful simultaneously…

  • Reply
    Meghan
    August 21, 2013 at 7:46 am

    You are an amazing writer, thank you for sharing something so personal and honest with us. This world needs more of it!

  • Reply
    jdeet
    August 21, 2013 at 7:46 am

    Cara… I am old. So I can say this as a fact. Through life we meet people, love people, & lose people. And from every single one that crosses our path we learn something. EVERYTHING happens for a reason. Even the bad things that happen… happen for a reason. Sometimes the reasons are tiny little things that we don’t see until years later. Sometimes the reasons are HUGE.. like the gift of a child 🙂 But whatever the reason big or small we walk away from bad things having grown IF we choose to. ALWAYS embrace EVERYTHING in life. Even the bad crap.. because in it we are being taught something that is important in our journey. You may not always see it right then but you will eventually. I have been that person you described in your letter… and I am glad I was. Because it made me who I am today..

  • Reply
    Maureen
    August 21, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Woah… I really admire the courage and guts it took to put yourself out there, all the way out there. I think most of us can relate to this in one way or another, and I thank you for putting your piece of the journey out there. Not many people have the strength to do that, and you are touching more lives than either of us will ever truly know. Thank you.

  • Reply
    mangiabella
    August 21, 2013 at 7:49 am

    thank you for shining your light sweet bella and the courage it took to share your story – it has and will impact people deeply. Everything has led you to this moment in life, the right here right now, for such a time as this…it was sheer Providence I stumbled across your blog last year – you are being used in mighty ways simply by sharing your gifts and talents with the world – you’re a force to be reckoned with sister … Have a wonderful week.

  • Reply
    Anna
    August 21, 2013 at 7:51 am

    I’ve been reading this blog because you do awesome make-up, but I am going to keep reading because you are an awesome person – you are so brave to share this!

  • Reply
    NurseB
    August 21, 2013 at 7:54 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your amazing letter. I can relate on so many levels. I am very proud of you for loving your child and yourself enough to get away.

  • Reply
    Kat
    August 21, 2013 at 7:57 am

    I so appreciate that you had the strength to write this post. My sister is going through what sounds like a similar situation, and I have a really hard time understanding where she is coming from. I just want her to leave, and from the outside, it’s difficult to understand why she doesn’t. But this gives me such a better perspective on why she’s holding on. I still wish she’d get out of the situation, but I know have a better understanding of why that’s just so difficult for her.

    Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

  • Reply
    Maria
    August 21, 2013 at 7:59 am

    I want to hug you right now!

  • Reply
    Jessie
    August 21, 2013 at 8:02 am

    Cara, Youre So Brave!! I Was In A Similar Situation And By A Miracle Of God My Husband Was Healed. He Still Has Alot To Learn (I Guess We all Do). You Are A Great Mom, Your Son Is Blessed To Have A Mom Like You. There Will Be Tough Days, But It Will Be So Worth It! Your Story Will Give Others Strength To Do What They Need To Do. Thank You For Sharing! (Idk Why My Phone Does All Caps LoL)

  • Reply
    MollyMae
    August 21, 2013 at 8:04 am

    You are a truly beautiful soul. I commend you for being strong enough to do what was best for you and your precious gift (what so many of us cannot find the strength to do) and congratulate you on leaving yourself open so the love and happiness you deserve and were meant to have could come into your life. Stay beautiful inside and out lovely lady.

  • Reply
    Katie
    August 21, 2013 at 8:05 am

    This is my story…although I’m still in it.
    I have to say THANK YOU to Cara and also to ALL the other women who have faced this and are there for those of us going through this situation. I am married to an alcoholic
    I started going to Al-anon in July. I pray for a day of serenity for myself and our 3 kids.
    Thank you for sharing this journey of your life with us.

  • Reply
    C
    August 21, 2013 at 8:08 am

    beautifully written. thank you for sharing. i’ve been there too, though with emotional abuse. it takes more strength than anyone can realize to walk away, especially when children are involved. you are a ray of light and here to share your story and change the lives of others. thank you. xoxo

  • Reply
    Hazel
    August 21, 2013 at 8:09 am

    Cara, so beautifully written. When I first found recovery I heard these at my first meeting ever and they gave me the hope to persevere. Hopefully they will give you courage and perspective as you share the rest of your story.

    If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and selfpity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

    Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us—sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

  • Reply
    cc
    August 21, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Girl, I LOVE YOU! This letter is beautiful. Just like you. Found your blogg several months ago and now I am a make-up addict! Thanks for sharing your wonderful tips and tricks. I wonder if you know how much you’ve changed the women’s world…
    xo

  • Reply
    kari chapman
    August 21, 2013 at 8:12 am

    wow. words straight from your heart. I am amazed at your strength, and pray to someday find that kind of strength myself, though my situation is slightly different than yours was. you are an absolute inspiration, and your words touched me like few ever have. much love to you! you make a difference for so many people!

  • Reply
    A Hopson
    August 21, 2013 at 8:15 am

    You truly are beautiful and your son is one lucky little man to have you for a mama!!!

  • Reply
    Jen
    August 21, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Beautiful letter and exactly what I was going through for about 8 years. I am happy to say he has been sober for four years now. He was so bad that he almost died in the hospital with the DT’s. After that episode he quit for a short while and went back to it(devasting). It’s so hard to see someone you love so much go through this. I knew my husband had the biggest heart in the world but the alcohol always took first place over me and the kids. It was heartbreaking, I just wanted to find that sweet soul of his and I did! He came to know God and our lives have never been the same! Please know that I am praying for your family.

  • Reply
    Emma
    August 21, 2013 at 8:23 am

    Thank you so so much Cara. You are so strong.

  • Reply
    liz @ btb
    August 21, 2013 at 8:24 am

    Cara, you are truly beautiful inside and out! What a lucky boy, Christian is, to have a mama like you!

  • Reply
    Nicole
    August 21, 2013 at 8:27 am

    I love this so much. You wrote everything I have felt or still feel. I married an addict thinking I could change him. I thought our children would change him. Things did change for a while and it was beautiful. But recently addiction slipped its way into our lives. It was heart breaking. I sat in the hospital many times not knowing if my husband would live or die. But there is always hope for someone who wants to change and he finally did. One month sober and attending meetings regularly. I believe without my faith in Jesus Christ things would have fallen apart, I would have fallen apart.

  • Reply
    hopefulandhungry
    August 21, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Beautiful, you are so strong!

  • Reply
    Christie
    August 21, 2013 at 8:30 am

    You are truly inspiring. Your voice speaks life into this generation…which is hard to find. Your platform is growing and your voice is healing people you may never know. Thank you.

  • Reply
    jenna
    August 21, 2013 at 8:32 am

    That was so well written! Such a brave thing to do, posting something like that on the internet. Its inspiring, thank you for sharing:)

  • Reply
    Dee
    August 21, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Thank you for sharing, Cara. I’ve been battling this battle of being married to an addict for the past 6 years and this summer was one of the most trying moments of this journey together.

  • Reply
    Meredith
    August 21, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Cara, thank you for writing that. It touched my heart & brought tears to my eyes. It’s something I’m going through now. Trying to accept the fact that you can’t change a person is tough when you love them so deeply. Your letter and your life now are truly inspiring and shows that life can be better & you can be happy… all the time.

    I can’t wait for part 2.

  • Reply
    Shurayah W
    August 21, 2013 at 8:51 am

    I married a broken promise. Each word of yours I read I could hear and see myself thinking at different times in my marriage. With each disappointment I felt God turned back into wonderful beauty. It’s not a beauty I can share with my spouse because his time is not finished coming back to those promises, but to hold onto this precious life myself is a much better lesson.

  • Reply
    leah
    August 21, 2013 at 8:51 am

    Cara Thank you so much for sharing! Being also previously married to an addict i felt every word you wrote! Thank you. You rock girl – don’t ever forget that!

  • Reply
    Danielle
    August 21, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Beautiful. God bless and many prayers sent your way as you move on in your journey.

  • Reply
    Lisa
    August 21, 2013 at 9:04 am

    So beautiful, so courageous and honest. I love hearing of others’ adversity because I find such strength in those stories. Thank you for giving me a piece of that today!

  • Reply
    hiddeninthewings
    August 21, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Dear Princess, You are amazing. You sound like a daughter of the King, Jesus. You are a strong woman whose walked a path of pain and amazingly you are still alive to talk about it lol. I understand how hard a hard path can be…I’ve been down that path with men before and thankfully God saved me from all of them. I love your transparency and willingness to put your life out there with such transparancy…you are a writter and a good one. I can hear the very spirit of God in your words…they shine forth with a great light. I want you to know something….I stumbled upon your beauty u tubes because I just wanted to do something that would make me beautiful…I was searching and learning but I did not know it yet…then I stumbled upon your u tubes and I thank God that He allowed me to stumble your way lol ok so as a 51 year old woman who prior to this season of my life has never ever pampered or bothered pretting myself up in anyway…life has been long and hard and always never enough money or time for myself except in this season God is using YOU to give me excitement about me and about the beauty that He has given to me…I thought it was a sin to be so concerned about out appearance but now God is unfolding to me that it’s my God given right to be beautiful and I just love how you are teaching me everyday to shine beautifully for Him…I love you for this and for all of the beauty you have and for all of the hard places you have had to walk through…I admire you. My ex husband left my son and I when my son was three and I’ve been a single woman since…the road has been long but boy am I ever so thankful for gentle breezes of love like the ones you haven given to me from the blog and now from your testiimony…is is beautiful as you are and it makes want to rejoice. Thank you for your courage to share your hard places with us…keep going, you are amazing!

    • Reply
      Mrs. J
      July 6, 2014 at 10:00 am

      Hiddeninthewings and Cara,

      You are both fantastic writers. You have written my life story, with the exception that I stayed until my two children graduated high school. It is amazing to know how many of us have gone through the same thing, because when you’re living that life you are so alone.

  • Reply
    Christina Douglas
    August 21, 2013 at 9:06 am

    God Bless you and your family. Your heart is so big, not only loving and helping those in your daily life but those of us you do not know! Addiction is a story unto itself and through your words you illustrated so beautifully the colors of the emotions those that love addicts feel. Your honesty is a gift. Thank you for paying it forward-that is the definition of a good heart-doing things without expecting an accolade in return.

  • Reply
    Katy
    August 21, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Kara thank you so much for posting. I started crying reading that, and am full on bawling after reading all of these comments. I was in an abusive relationship years ago and getting out was the hardest thing I have ever done. My self esteem has always been low and I have had to fight to get it back. As silly as it sounds your blog has helped with that. Who knew that HAC could help with self esteem (LOL), but what I mean is looking and feeling good is a small step in getting in back, and your blogs are fun and make me excited to feel “pretty” again. My heart breaks for all these stories in the comments. Sounds like you attract beautiful strong women here just like you. xoxo

    • Reply
      Devon
      August 21, 2013 at 9:16 am

      I feel you girl! HAC-ing makes me stand taller! Seems like we all found each other for a reason. 🙂

  • Reply
    Jessica
    August 21, 2013 at 9:09 am

    I lost my fiance 5 years ago to alcoholism. The timing of this post is amazing. Yesterday I ended my relationship with a man I love so much and we have been together for almost 2 years because I fear that I gave my heart to another alcoholic.

  • Reply
    Devon
    August 21, 2013 at 9:12 am

    THANK You!
    Cara- I discovered your blog right after my son was born (10 months ago) and you have given me my self confidence back. I have been in a similar relationship with my high school sweetheart for 6.5 years now. We’ve separated before but I was never strong enough to stand up for myself. Friends and family have heckled me for years about the relationship and I knew it was wrong but couldn’t put into words why I stayed. This post gave me my voice back! The last few lines you wrote touched me even more. I don’t know what happens when the doctor lays that screaming beautiful baby on your chest, but it made me want better. Not just for me, but for him. I’m still in the separation process and this post is what I needed to read. I’m not alone. I’m not stupid for trying to love someone no mater what. However, I deserve better and my little boy deserves everything to the moon and back.

    You are so strong. Thank you for everything from posts on sunless tanning to your inner most thoughts.

    We love you!

  • Reply
    Eliza
    August 21, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Cara, I’ve written before to tell you how much you inspire me, you’ve done it again.
    This letter is heart breaking and beautiful.
    It could honestly be a published poem.
    Your love is over whelming, thank you for sharing this. It brought many of us to tears.

  • Reply
    Sisi Alzate
    August 21, 2013 at 9:18 am

    That was breathtaking. Cara, you are such a brave beautiful woman and my inspiration. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Can’t wait to read part two. God bless you and your wonderful family.

  • Reply
    Mrs. Murphy's Law of Fitness
    August 21, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Thank you so much for sharing. I am truly amazed by your courage to share your story. What a beautiful soul you have.

  • Reply
    Priscilla
    August 21, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Absolutely beautiful & sad. Much props to you in staying strong.

  • Reply
    Deni Sev
    August 21, 2013 at 9:23 am

    This is beautiful everything you said i can relate to thank you for sharing this =)

  • Reply
    Laura
    August 21, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    brooke
    August 21, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Beautifully written! You have so much strength and courage

  • Reply
    Collette
    August 21, 2013 at 9:31 am

    You are so brave! Thank you for sharing this with us.

  • Reply
    Stacy
    August 21, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Thank you for posting this. I suffered in a marriage to a man who is an alcoholic. What you wrote is exactly how I felt with my ex-husband. My family and friends, of course, were there for me, but no one could truly understand how it felt to suffer through a marriage, separation, and subsequent divorce with an alcoholic. Your words confirm to me that I was not crazy. I know this is so cheezoid, but sometimes it feels like a lifetime ago, and other times it feels like yesterday despite the fact that I’ve moved on. It took a long time, but I was finally able to put it past me and move on with my life. This is very hard to do when you have a child together and when the addict remains stuck in the same place. I’m happy to say I’ve been in a relationship with a wonderful man, my future husband, for two years now.

    If I had to go through all I went through to get my son, then it was worth it. If my future husband is the man I had to go through what I went through to find, then it was worth it. Thank you, Cara!

  • Reply
    ag
    August 21, 2013 at 9:42 am

    I never comment on blogs…but I really wanted to after reading this. I think having the strength and courage to put your true self out there for the whole world to see, makes you 100x more beautiful than make up ever could. I absolutely love your blog. Thank you for always keeping it real.

  • Reply
    lburrell2013
    August 21, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Yep, add me to the “crying at work” group – clearly this is so relevant and relatable to so many of us… you are awesome to share this beautifully written letter.

  • Reply
    nwlindsayLindsay
    August 21, 2013 at 9:44 am

    WOW! I had goosebumps the entire time reading this. You are amazing and this is written incredibly well and full of emotion at times and lacking at others, which is exactly how you must’ve felt. It’s impressive for you to share this, as many women have done and felt similar feelings but are too afraid to share. You’re a strong amazing woman and I LOVE reading your blog and taking your eyebrow advice. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve shared your blog with for various reasons and we are all in love with you and your spirit and your ability to teach and share.
    You rock!

  • Reply
    Debbie Skwirsk
    August 21, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Cara, praise God that you finally learned that no matter what, we can not save the addict. We only self-destruct. Alcohol took my mother at 46. My sister was a heroin addict for many years, but we will celebrate 13 years of sobriety next month. The journey to health is long and rocky for the co-dependent partner, Behaviors ingrained long ago are difficult to change and heal. But you have succeeded and will continue on your road of recovery. I was taken aback by the number of people here with similar situations. Addiction is always so much larger than I realize. I know that the bravery and courage you have shown by sharing your journey will surely lead others to find their road to recovery and what an amazing honor that is. A moving tribute to what you have done. God bless you and your family. Take care my friend, and God will give you the serenity.

  • Reply
    Lindsay
    August 21, 2013 at 9:45 am

    I rarely comment either! I HAD to on this one!

  • Reply
    Kelly Girl
    August 21, 2013 at 9:45 am

    This is my story, too. Could have written myself almost word for word. Thankful everyday that I have come out on the other side with a new love, much like you, that I would have missed had I not finally let go of the last. Thanks for sharing. You rock 🙂

  • Reply
    sierravbrock
    August 21, 2013 at 9:50 am

    These two words have been floating around in my head over the last several days: Write Bravely.
    And, so you did and what a great encouragement to me that someone is willing to pour their heart bare that others may see it. It is when that happens, that we truly listen. Thank you for writing so truthfully! Thank you. Thank you.

  • Reply
    Caryn
    August 21, 2013 at 9:50 am

    Oh my goodness Cara. This is really from the heart. I was an addict & it’s so powerful to see this written from the perspective of the person on the other end of it. Thank you for sharing something so intimate. X

  • Reply
    CherylBryantRushing (@CBryantRushing)
    August 21, 2013 at 9:54 am

    I support you Cara. I have been on both sides of addiction. I hope your posting helps you and others find their way.

  • Reply
    sarah
    August 21, 2013 at 10:05 am

    beautiful and heart breaking. thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    My Name is Jacy
    August 21, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Cara,

    I know I have emailed you about this before…. last year sometime… I am so sorry for the loss you have felt in your life. Nothing compares. I, too, have been there. I, too, have felt that indescribable pain.

    Your post comes at the most beautiful of times.

    I have found myself on the most amazing of mission! I am hosting a first EVER women’s conference for spouses of sexual addicts in Salt Lake City, Utah, on October 19th 2013. The project is called “The Togetherness Project” and is for EXACTLY this: for women who are suffering the pains and isolation and trauma of being married to someone with a (or in a relationship with/ or affected by a loved one’s) sexual addiction. The goal is to come together, out of the embarrassment and shame and find healing and hope, together. To rise above and overcome and find friends who understand, in the mean time.

    If any of your readers are interested, please check out our website. It is sure to be nothing short of an AMAZING day! We’ve got women from 8 different states already coming AND even someone from the U.K. is flying in to be apart of the special day 🙂

    http://www.togethernessproject.com

    You are changing lives, Cara. Thank you for posting this. I know Nick… he was my dear friend in high school….and I knew your addict and his family, too. I am so amazed at your beauty and strength… and admire you so much for speaking about this. It is REAL for so many of us, yet we suffer alone because we don’t think anyone can relate. The truth is, there is a whole community out there… of the most brave and courageous women…. we’ve just got to step into the light…. because when we do, we will realize that we are not alone…

    Love you. Thank you.

    Love,

    Jacy

    • Reply
      My Name is Jacy
      August 21, 2013 at 10:20 am

      p.s. I hope it’s okay that I posted this here? I don’t want to step on your toes… I just thought it may be of help to your readers who are struggling with this also.

  • Reply
    nikkigotro
    August 21, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Very brave and very beautiful. This moved me to tears.

  • Reply
    Danya
    August 21, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Cara, thanks so much for sharing. This took much bravery, I know. I hope and pray that by sharing your story, you find healing, love and support. xo ~ Danya

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    August 21, 2013 at 10:26 am

    Beautiful.

  • Reply
    Vanessa
    August 21, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Wow. Does this resonate with Me! Breaking “the secret” of the one you love (be it parent, spouse, Lover or child) is one of the biggest, -and most humbling, hard steps. Your brain becomes ingrained to “protect” them, your image, your family. Keep the strength and faith in yourself. Despite challenges, practice gratitude for what you do have…little and big… It helps to keep you positive and puts life in perspective. Go to meetings when things get rough or you have a bad day – support of those that understand your situation always helps and there’s always love and good energy in those rooms to help you.

  • Reply
    Rhonda
    August 21, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Dear Cara, its a sign you wrote this today. Today would have been my 20th anniversary. I say WOULD because my husband lost his life 9 years ago. He was addicted to pain pills and alcohol. this letter you wrote, well it could have been my own. I was the co-dependent who tried for 17 years to fix him. He gave me the most wonderful son a mother could ever ask for. I just wanted to tell you…. Your not alone.

    Rhonda

  • Reply
    Lindsey Loo
    August 21, 2013 at 10:46 am

    I have been down that road as well. Your words were my words. Its so great that you are so open and honest and you arent trying to be this perfect internet thing. Thats why I am always drawn back to reading your blog regularly!

  • Reply
    Shannon J.
    August 21, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Thank you for posting that! I couldn’t have ever written it any better even though I feel like I did write it! You are not alone and your journey is shared. We have and will become better people for the experience. Love you & love your blog! God bless!

  • Reply
    Megan M.
    August 21, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Really beautiful, Cara. Thank you for sharing. You are so brave!

  • Reply
    Nika
    August 21, 2013 at 11:01 am

    I am trying so hard to hold back the tears! I have been married to my addict husband for 5 years and everything you wrote is too close to home. My husband is home, we still live in different homes, from a 1 1/2 prison sentence from drug related charges etc. I have to say my biggest regret during witnessing my husband destruction was neglecting our daughter to fall into my own obsession of going out and finding him, cracking the computers passwords etc. All the while lying to everyone hiding out from the world. Once my husband went from a binge user to a everyday user with his criminal activity to support his cause I started telling everyone and getting comfort from friends and family or at least that’s what I told myself in reality I was not strong enough to leave him but if I told people it would give me the accountability I needed to stay clear from him. But his drug and illegal doings finally caught up with him and caught a prison sentence. But in saying this, cause unlike you I am no writer, it makes my husband look like a monster. I always called him Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. One hand he’s amazing has an MBA, is extremely handy and has his contractors license, so extremely funny and witty, Will take his shirt off his back for anyone, loves our kids Me and takes such good care of us does everything for us. Then there’s Mr Hyde the man that can disappear for days on end with no care to his family doing drugs stealing things and doing whatever he felt like. he has been to several rehabs several LDS recovery meetings NA recovery meetings etc and with him returning back to the old ways. going to prison has really helped him I hope and I am taking things very slowly but after reading your letter it really reminded me what hell I have been through and to not let my guard down you’re very brave thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    celeste
    August 21, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Cara, you have no idea how inspiring and sentimental that message was for me. Both of my parents are recovering alcoholics but became sober a few years before getting married and having kids. Though I didnt see them going through it I saw a lot of people at their rock bottom when they decided to sober up themselves, as my dad would take them into our home and let them stay for weeks at a time until they could get on their feet, until my mom told him it needed to stop because they were trying to raise a family and she didn’t want us to see all of the sad things that come with the life of an addict. Here I am 21 years later seeing and hearing all of this knowing the program inside and out. I met the man of my dreams at the place where I work. We instantly became best friends and everything was amazing, I knew he had a very dark past, being he was about 6 months sober from his addiction to opiates. I also knew I could handle it as long as he stayed sober. We moved in together 2 months after we started dating and I slowly saw the love of my life drift away into this different scary man I no longer knew. He was secretive, distant, sometimes mean, and knew exactly how to manipulate me. I did the same things you did. I begged, I cried, I prayed, I asked people for help, I offered to go to meetings with him, and then I was mean, almost just bitter and I didn’t want to be that girl but I knew I had to. Especially after all the promises to clean up faded away over and over again. Finally I ran out of things to say or do. I had accepted that my heart was broken. It all happened in one night when I cried and I threw it all on the table and I think he broke his own heart from actually hearing what was going on. He decided to move back in with his parents and I wasn’t going to stop him this time. I finally realized that I can’t do it for him or keep trying to help him. After all the meetings and different people I met I never remembered. He has to want to do it for himself. Nobody can do it but him period. The only thing I can do is be supportive and love him. Here we are 2 and a half weeks later after 6 months of fighting (myself and his addiction). The worst part won’t be over for awhile but we love each other and nothing can change that. All he can do and I can do is take it day by day.
    You have no idea how close you hit to home, thank you for sharing the beginning of your story with us I cant wait to read more. I cried the minute I realized I was reading my story as well. I don’t mean that in a creepy way either haha
    Stay strong!

  • Reply
    Claudia
    August 21, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Cara, it takes a lot for someone to share such intimate feelings and experiences with the rest of the world. You are not only beautiful – inside and out – but truly remarkable. I am happy to see that you had the courage and determination to do what is best for you and your little one. I just wanted to say that I admire you for all that!

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    August 21, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Cara,

    You have no idea how perfect your timing of this is. As I am right now 8 months pregnant with a husband who is an addict. You have put into words things I can’t or am too afraid to. I have been searching for someone who would understand because there is nothing like feeling completely alone when life seems hopeless. I know you are super busy but I just wanted to say thanks.

  • Reply
    Tiffany
    August 21, 2013 at 11:27 am

    beautifully written…been there…done that!

  • Reply
    Sanja Ireland
    August 21, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Yes, you are not alone.. I know every word of yours what it means and how it feels… I’ll be looking forward to your posting.. <3

  • Reply
    Jillian
    August 21, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Cara, you are such an amazing writer and person. Thank you so much for sharing everything you share on this blog. I never thought I’d find so much wisdom and humor from a makeup blog… Not to mention makeup tips that have made me feel 10x prettier ever since I found out about Maskcara a few weeks ago. You really have a way about you… Thank you for having this blog and please know that I admire and respect you profoundly. Your blog has added something to my life. I never thought I’d say that about a blog… but that’s how it is. You somehow come through the screen. You must have a hella lot of soul I guess 🙂 Your son is so lucky to have such an incredible woman as his mom and one who had enough courage and responsibility to make that scary but necessary decision. Once again, thank you for having this blog. <3 <3 <3
    Jillian

  • Reply
    ohlymeadvocacy
    August 21, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Everything you have said I have felt too. I was married to an addict for years and tried everything desperately to fix things, fix him. But like you I knew that I couldn’t after putting everything I had into trying. I had loved this man since we were 13 years old. It was the classic story. It was love at first site. My heart was broken to bits. I didn’t have a baby to leave for, but I eventually learned that I had to leave for myself. He pushed me away with abuse, I think so that it would be me to leave and not him. My heart is still a little broken, maybe it always will be. But we move forward. And good things fill our hearts again. And the hurt isn’t so searing. Thank you for sharing your story! We are not a island. We are not alone! Thank you Cara!

  • Reply
    Paulette
    August 21, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    How will you ever find the time to read all the love, encouragement and compassion contained in these comments? I’ve been there…twice. I finally realized that I couldn’t change those wonderful people with the terrible problems. I could only get help for myself, and it has been worth the recovery journey. Now there is a healthy, tremendously loving relationship. Found this wonderful person after I met someone even more wonderful…JESUS. you are in my prayers, sweet woman.

  • Reply
    Leila
    August 21, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    I could’ve written that – it’s my story exactly. I left when my son was 1 – he is now nearly 8. His father got a lot worse and ended up in jail… meanwhile, I met an amazing police man and remarried 🙂 I’m glad you too found your prince charming Cara x you deserve it (as does Christian)

  • Reply
    ami
    August 21, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Wow. Touching and beautiful. You truly have a gift with words. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    Rachel
    August 21, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    My husband is 40 days sober…and I’m 40 days deep in Al-anon…and I’m fairly certain you just took that right out of my head and made it beautiful. Thank you…Thank you. It’s so helpful to know that others have taken the same path.

  • Reply
    Gretchen Joy
    August 21, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Beautifully written. So proud of you for making better decisions for those that would or could be potentially hurt more than you! Christian is lucky to have you. <3

    Also, you and Mandi (Vintage Revivals) really are kindred spirits!

    I think it is so easy, as women, to be co-dependent. We have so much in us that is designed to want to give and fix and heal and nurture and make better. We believe so strongly in those we love. We give more than we most often receive. I completely identify with this, as I'm sure most women do! I have been on a relationship hiatus because I knew I needed to fix whatever was broken in me that made me need to be needed like I am. I enjoy and thrive off feeling useful–but in all relationships this has led to me being used. I always believe so strongly, and see so much potential in everyone… but I am slowly learning that just because everyone could be a better version of themselves, doesn't necessarily mean they want to be, or that they ever will be. I am learning to put my needs first, which has been hard, especially coming from a large family of 9 kids where some baby somewhere always needed me… and as a big sister, I am still needed. It is a struggle for me to see something or think of something nice to do for someone– and force myself not to do it every time. It is not normal to give on the level that I always want to give. It is such a struggle to bounce between the thoughts of wanting to give someone the world but also loving them enough to know that they need to be self-sufficient to a point.

    I love your blog and completely respect your vulnerability in this post. You are amazing, and I am so appreciative of the way you encourage all women to feel as beautiful as they truly are. <3

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    August 21, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    i am wiping my eyes as read your letter. How beautiful, how tragic. Why must we go through to get our breakthrough? I hope you have support to help you through this. Prayers and a big hug to you and your most precious boy.

  • Reply
    Wendy DeBarathy Bankhead
    August 21, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Cara, you are so brave for sharing this beautiful and heart wrenching letter. May happiness always be yours.

  • Reply
    Jessica
    August 21, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Wow…that was powerful. Couldn’t catch my breath there at the end.

  • Reply
    Kate
    August 21, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    I’ve struggled to find the right words that accurately convey the past 8 years and you have done it – everything I’ve wanted to say or shout, everything I’ve felt and every bit of truth I’ve known. Unfortunately, it was never going to be enough so I very recently packed up my two small boys and we’ve made a start on rebuilding. You are an amazing woman, and your strength and honesty is beautiful. Thank you for taking the words that have been swirling around in my head and writing them down so perfectly. Your son will know how much he is loved and he will have an amazing life with his brave and wonderful mummy by his side xx

  • Reply
    Lidia
    August 21, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    To clarify, I believe this is what happened to her with her ex husband, over three years ago. Check above (she says the letter was written three years ago and that she will share her recover from it) and she’s mentioned several times she was in an unhealthy marriage previously and had to finally get the courage to end it when her son was still a little baby.

    Cara, this is such heartfelt post that beautifully written. So many of us can relate on some level. Thank you so much for sharing and for all the inspiration through the blog. I’m so happy that you ended that relationship and found a wonderful guy that treats you and loves you the way you deserve

  • Reply
    Susie Moreno
    August 21, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    WOW! This hits so close to home. I went through a very bad relationship with an addict and I had co-depency issues as well. This brought tears to my eyes. Can’t wait to hear the rest of the story. Thank God you came out and found a great man and your little guy is so lucky to have a mother like you!

  • Reply
    Monica
    August 21, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Wow Cara! This was so amazing for you to share. Thank you so much for doing that, sharing with thousands of strangers. Tears were flowing while reading this. Yo go girl!

  • Reply
    Savannah
    August 21, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    I promise I’m not shamelessly promoting my blog during your vulnerable post but I went through the same thing and I’ve found that I love to hear how others can relate and know that I’m not alone. You are not alone.

    http://savvy-pants.com/blog/2013/04/08/knowing-the-signs-of-drug-abuse

  • Reply
    Allyson
    August 21, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Cara-
    This letter shows just how beautiful you are inside and out! Not to mention how STRONG… My mom struggled/struggles with addiction.
    xoxo
    Ally

  • Reply
    Beatriz
    August 21, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this post Cara…i know that you always give us more than “just make up”, you always give us a lesson of life which i really appreciate. I´m looking forward hearing from you soon, thanks for been so truly person, i wish you the best, you
    it!

  • Reply
    holdingtomorrow
    August 21, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    Thank you for being honest, and real, and vulnerable. I think it’s beautiful that you are sharing.

  • Reply
    Lisa Hays
    August 21, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    I just found your blog through Living in Grace and Beauty. I was looking for eyebrow tutorials. But I read your letter and was really touched. As a nurse (NICU) I’m “aware” of codependency but until I read your words, never truly understood it. NOW I do. Very helpful to me personally. Maybe something I needed to read – being directed to this blog on this day. Best of luck and I look forward to following your blog.

  • Reply
    Kelly Lindsay
    August 21, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    I recently started following your blog for your beauty tips and tricks…when I read this, you made my heart ache for all that you have been through. You are brave and I want to thank you for sharing that with me. It touches me in a way that I wasn’t expecting, and although I can’t relate on the same level, I can relate to your child, as I had parents who struggled with alcoholism. Thank you Cara!

  • Reply
    Cynthia
    August 21, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    That was beautiful!

  • Reply
    Jodie Tighe
    August 21, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Hello, Cara,
    I was very touched by your brave and moving post. You keep right on being the strong and lovely person that you are. Do you have any idea how many women you help through your blog? I am so glad that you write it.

    Cara, you probably have lots of books on co-dependency, and you may be fed up with reading and analyzing and are now more focused on taking care of yourself, and that’s understandable; you need to focus on yourself. If, however, you ever feel like reading one more book, here’s one apparently just about narcissism, to judge from its title, The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists, but it talks a lot about co-dependency as sort of the obverse or flip side of narcissism, and about the dynamics of co-dependents with narcissists. I’m not, not, not saying your husband’s a narcissist! But addicts can display some narcissistic traits during active addiction, and the book might help you understand some things better.

    All the best wishes in the world to you,
    Jodie

  • Reply
    Prepared Housewives
    August 21, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Thank you for being real, and helping women truly be beautiful inside and out. You put to words what so many women feel. I just want to give you a big hug!

  • Reply
    AES
    August 21, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    As someone who just went through the same, this was beautiful. Thank you for sharing it. It helps to know that other people go through the same things.

  • Reply
    Melanie
    August 21, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    You have given, you haven’t received. Period. Move forward. Your a nice lady and deserve nice!

  • Reply
    Beata
    August 21, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Beautifully written. Brought me to tears. You are an incredible woman.

  • Reply
    Joanie
    August 21, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Cara, I completely agree with previous commenters… that should be a published poem. Incredibly raw, moving, and well-written. I was captivated.

    You always talk about appreciating beauty – inside AND outside – and your post today made me think of a quote I just saw on Pinterest:

    “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

    You are a beautiful person for all you have gone through.

  • Reply
    Michelle Wagner
    August 21, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    You have no idea how much your blog today meant to me and hit home. Just this past month I ended a three year relationship in which I had no idea I was with an addict until a year ago. He has been in recovery since April but so much trust and hurt has taken place~ It took me ending everything to see how codependent I had become. I live here in Vegas, and its not at all what I ever imagined would be going on in my life ever!!! I see it around me, (work) but not in my home! I am struggling everyday, every minute if I made the right decision by making him leave so I can heal. I have two young children as well. I have to keep reminding myself that maybe I cant be strong for me right now but I did the right thing for them. You helped me today see I can and will heal. Thank you, Michelle

  • Reply
    Gray
    August 21, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Wow, this was like reading about myself 5 years ago when my ex left me and my son (who was 1). Turned out to be the best thing he could’ve done for all of us. We’ve come through it and I’m remarried to a wonderful man who adopted my son and my memories are almost grafted with images of him. It’s like my ex never existed…and then I remember he did…it’s very strange.

    Good luck with your recovery! God has done wonderful things in my life because I let go and trusted him to lead me. Your love will be appreciated one day and your son will certainly know how amazing you are.

  • Reply
    cupcakes and cardigans
    August 21, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Amazing, inspiring, and it really helps put problems into perspective. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    Kimberly
    August 21, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    What a beautiful, open letter. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    Ciji
    August 21, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Cara, I am so glad I came across this. I can’t believe how you just wrote the same words I could have. My story came with 4 little beautiful things. I left too. My ex passed away in January, it was caused by his addiction. I can’t wait to hear the rest of your story! Thank you for being brave enough to share this. You were truly able to put what I felt into words and I’m grateful for that! Love ya friend!

  • Reply
    Shandi
    August 21, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    This was a very beautiful letter, I feel very privileged to have read it. I wish I could have written something that well when I made the decision to leave the father of my child. You are so brave and I look forward to hearing the rest of the story, it is very inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    Em
    August 21, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    Cara, I love your blog and your posts, and I check in with you everyday. But I’ve never commented. Until now. It must have been hard for you to put this out here for the public to read, but it is a beautiful letter and it brought me to tears. I can only imagine your pain, but I’m glad you’ve traveled through it to become a stronger person.

  • Reply
    Tamarra
    August 21, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    I was holding back the tears while I read this at work today. So brave of you to open up & share something so personal. We’ve all (I would guess) known someone who battles with addiction. In my case, it’s my mother. Something that kept her from being a “mom” when I was younger. And now, it’s something that’s keeping her from being the best “nana” she can be. I believe I’m a better, stronger person because of what we went through in our youth. You’re a stronger, better person because of your struggles.

    Love your blog & instagram. Check in every day.

    Keep up the amazing work!

  • Reply
    Maria
    August 21, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Cara,

    That was beautiful. My husband struggled with an addiction to pornography for year. Therapy, group sessions, meetings, the works. I can proudly say he is one year “sober” and I’ve never felt so happy. You are amazing and so strong. I love you for being so brave.

  • Reply
    Melissa
    August 21, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Cara,

    What a beautifully honest and raw letter. Thank you for using your skills, experiences, and blessings to inspired other women such as myself. Personally, while you most certainly have helped me become beautiful on the outside with all of the fun make up and hair stuff, you inspire me and so many others to grow and become more beautiful on the inside. Thanks again for sharing.

  • Reply
    Debbie Harrell
    August 21, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Cara, I am so very sorry for your struggles, I admire you, you’re such an inspiration. I will keep you in my prayers. May God bless you.

  • Reply
    heather
    August 21, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    that was beautiful. you are so personal on here, which makes your blog the only one I follow. this letter to yourself shows us how human you are, how you loved someone who couldn’t love you back, and how you were affected by that. it shows you are breakable- like we all are. thank you for this letter. I am married to a recovering addict, so I understand a lot of your pain. he was able to change himself- but it wasn’t for me, it was for our kids. i’m proud of you for recognizing you weren’t safe in that environment. looks like a lot of other people are proud of you too.

  • Reply
    JGx3
    August 21, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    I have been through the same thing very recently. Your post is inspiring.

  • Reply
    Toni Harris
    August 21, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    Cara, I follow your blog because I love makeup and I think you’re amazing. My worlds collided today as I am an addictions therapist, and this was so well written and poignant. Would you mind if I shared it with my patients to give them a loved ones’ perspective?

  • Reply
    Sheryl
    August 21, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    My husband of 13 years died in November. He died after months of being ill due to a bleeding ulcer brought on by a lifetime of alcoholism. He was a very good, intelligent kind man who drank himself to death. Some people just cannot save themselves, no matter how much we love and want to help them. Please take care of yourself and your son and make a beautiful life for the two of you. And thank you Cara, for putting into words what many of us haven’t been able to.

  • Reply
    Stacy
    August 21, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Thank you. I don’t have a child, but other than that you wrote all of the words that run through my head all of the time. I’m glad I checked here tonight because I was having a particularly low night and I needed to feel someone understands. I am recently divorced (this past march), and I miss him every single day even though I do believe it was for the best. And the codependent in me still wonders if there could be one last chance. Thank you for sharing today.

  • Reply
    Corey
    August 21, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    You. Are. Beautiful. Inside and out. Thank you so much for sharing your heart with your readers! It means more than you know:).

  • Reply
    Naomi
    August 21, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    So honest, so articulate, so beautifully said.

  • Reply
    Yvette
    August 21, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    The third line of your letter sucked me in. Can’t wait to hear more…

  • Reply
    jennifer
    August 21, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    wow. beautifully said.

  • Reply
    Lauren H
    August 21, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    You surprise me every day with how strong and inspirational you are! Thank you for sharing your story with us!

  • Reply
    Eileen
    August 21, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    Oh how I can relate to all those feelings

  • Reply
    Shannon
    August 21, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    I am speechless- what an amazing and heartfelt letter….

  • Reply
    Bobette
    August 21, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    Kara, I have lived this also. You said it so well. thanks!

  • Reply
    Melanie
    August 21, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    Wow. Incredibly written, you are a beautiful soul! Thanks for being so bold! May God continue to strengthen and heal your heart … hugs!

  • Reply
    Tatrs
    August 21, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    My dad is also an addict and it really means alot to me that you would share your story. I would love to hear the rest, thank you!

  • Reply
    L
    August 21, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    Wow! This is really beautiful. I just know that it will help many other women that you shared this.

  • Reply
    Anna T
    August 21, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I hope it will help others who are on both sides of the relationship.

  • Reply
    katherine
    August 21, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    My heart breaks reading this, but I also know that it is this experience in your life that has made you such a strong, beautiful woman. Thank you for being so brave and sharing this with all of us. It speaks volumes about you as a person that you are able to juxtapose your own vulnerability and strength

  • Reply
    Ivy
    August 21, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    I felt every word you wrote, and boy did you write it beautifully. I have not been through this myself, but because of the way you described it, my heart hurt along with yours. I hope you realize now the full spectrum of your worth and I hope this story is one with a happy ending. Love your work Cara. You are amazing.

  • Reply
    Jamie Styger
    August 21, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    Cara, that was lovely, and other than the baby, I could have written it myself. I stayed, and stayed and stayed, until I couldn’t stay any longer. Eight years with my first REAL love and my best friend, who happened to be an addict. It was a roller coaster I never care to get on again. God bless you and the baby, I pray for your healing. it takes a long time, but it can be done.

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    August 22, 2013 at 5:42 am

    Well, I wonder if you’re surprised by the huge response to this post because I’m not at all… I wanted to email you when I read it but I’m guessing you’ve received dozens of them by this morning.

    You may just think that you shared something that loved ones if addicts could relate to but it very much found me where I am and could easily be a letter I’d written to my husband who has been emotionally and at times, physically abusive over our entire 12 year marriage.

    I just wanted to say that you never know what sharing these things means and for me it means maybe even more? I’m not ignorant enough to say that addiction is a clear cut thing, but there’s no blood test that proves abusiveness, no credit card charges for all of the bottles of interrogating and belittling he bought. People take addiction seriously, but emotional abuse? “What exactly does that even mean?”, people say. There’s no AA for it. And partners of abusers feel so.very.alone.

    Reading your letter gives my feelings a voice and validates my pain because what you went through is real, understandable… Valid. And yet I could relate to every single word… Which means that maybe, just maybe, what I’ve gone through and the way I feel about it is valid too.

    Thank you… That’s all. Just thanks.

  • Reply
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    August 22, 2013 at 6:05 am

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  • Reply
    Kris
    August 22, 2013 at 6:52 am

    Really beautiful, thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    Suzan
    August 22, 2013 at 7:26 am

    Keep up the writing! Thank you for sharing. I think it will help a lot of people!

  • Reply
    Susan
    August 22, 2013 at 7:40 am

    Wow…incredibly powerful words. Thanks for sharing, this post was very moving. I wish you the absolute best 🙂

  • Reply
    brandy m
    August 22, 2013 at 7:43 am

    Beautiful. Moved to tears. Thank you for sharing this very vulnerable side of yourself. I have loved your blog since I found it, but now I have a new appreciation. God bless you.

  • Reply
    Amanda
    August 22, 2013 at 8:41 am

    I almost don’t know what to say, I found your blog about 2 months ago and I love it. I read this post yesterday and can’t stop thinking about it. You inspire me everyday in so many ways. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Reply
    Angella Kroll
    August 22, 2013 at 9:47 am

    I am left speechless and teary, how beautiful. I went through almost the exact same situation, it’s amazing how strong those little ones can make you. I too have now found a man who IS the father that my son needed. I am so grateful to you for posting this and sharing your story with us!

  • Reply
    Maria V
    August 22, 2013 at 9:48 am

    As sad as it is – you can’t save them. You either leave or you suffer with them. And there is no right or wrong. There are people and there are choices they make. My brother and my dad both were addicts. We tried everything too. Wish I could write a poem about that. But… I guess it’s too late now anyways. Both are dead – dad was 40 and brother was 26.

  • Reply
    Abbey K
    August 22, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this. Your letter rang so very true. I was married to an alcoholic, who, after divorcing him, stopped drinking, but still hasn’t changed. Every single word that you wrote rang true.

  • Reply
    Jenna
    August 22, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Thanks so much for sharing Cara. I appreciate your wonderful generosity.

  • Reply
    Caroline
    August 22, 2013 at 10:20 am

    That was heart breaking-ly beautiful. You are not alone when dealing with someone with an addiction. I watched my father die due to his need for drugs and it hurt every moment. I had to learn to protect my heart from the hurt and walk away from him because his needs were always placed above everyone else. Just know as much as they say they are,will, and can change, once an addict always an addict ( I hate that phrase but I learned it from his former Doctor, so it must be true). That took a lot of courage to pour your heart out! You are strong and will get through this! I will be praying for you and your family!

  • Reply
    jenafer
    August 22, 2013 at 10:57 am

    So sad but your words are so Beautiful. You are truly an amazing woman and you deserve all the happiness that you have finally received with your wonderful husband and beautiful little boy.

  • Reply
    Debbie Pinchot
    August 22, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Wow. The strength you have is incredible. You did the best thing you could have done for your son. I look forward to you’re next entry.

  • Reply
    Mindy
    August 22, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Wow. What a heartwrenching story. I’m glad you have a happy ending.

    I’m also surprised by the number of people who have had the same experience. I only know of one struggling addict myself (my husband’s mother, to alcohol) but had no idea the incidence is apparently so large!

  • Reply
    allisoneria
    August 22, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Wow Cara. I hope you know that you have given words to thousands of other people who couldn’t form them. This is such a beautiful honest portrayal of life with an addict. I

  • Reply
    Idahomie
    August 22, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Wow! So inspiring!! You are beautiful and a beautiful writer!

  • Reply
    Amanda Ward
    August 22, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Cara, I’m typing this through tears. I could change the names and give this to my husband. Every word rings true. Thank you for stepping out and baring your soul. I am saddened that you held that pain but also relieved to not be alone. I look forward to hearing the rest of your story. Thank you…

  • Reply
    Jessica
    August 22, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    My dad has struggled with addiction/mental illness for the last 12 years. It was definitely tough being a child in that home. Good for you for recognizing you couldn’t be the best mother you could be while taking care of him. I don’t know where the rest of the story goes and I love my dad so much but sometimes I wish my mom would’ve realized that.

  • Reply
    Steph
    August 22, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Very moving, thank you

  • Reply
    Cathy
    August 22, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Glorya, she already left this man. He is her son’s father, not her husband.

  • Reply
    Rose
    August 22, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    That was beautiful.

  • Reply
    Abby
    August 22, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    This post is so touching and so painful to read at the same time. Thank you for sharing….my how things change! I bet you never imagined you would get through it at the time- but look at you now!!!

  • Reply
    natalie
    August 22, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Beautiful, Cara. And I’m sorry. Sorry for you, sorry for Christian, and sorry for him.

  • Reply
    Bee
    August 22, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    First day visiting your blog via a recommendation from another blog posting. You had me at maskcara…..but that’s superficial stuff we put on the outside. The true beauty (what’s inside) was shown by your posting today!! Peace, grace and “superman” strength have been lifted up for you and your family!! You have a new follower! Thanks.

  • Reply
    Tina :)
    August 22, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Bless you and your family!!!!

  • Reply
    Emily
    August 22, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    That was such a beautifully written and moving letter. It took a major amount of courage to post that and I commend you for it. As someone who has worked with recovering addicts, I have seen the amount of hurt everyone around them experiences and my heart goes out to you. I can say that every former addict who became clean said that they became clean after they hit rock bottom and as much as they loved their family and friends, there was nothing anyone could do or say to speed the process. I think it’s so fitting that you posted this on a beauty blog because I think it’s important to share the not-so-pretty sides of ourselves along with our beautiful sides. There is strength in knowing that everyone struggles and no one has a perfect life. You have a small army of well made-up ladies behind you, don’t forget it 🙂

  • Reply
    Chely
    August 22, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Whenever I do my eyebrows I think of you. I’m glad I stumbled onto your blog. It’s amazing how people can hide so much pain behind a smile. Thank you for sharing this part of your life. ❤

  • Reply
    Julie
    August 22, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    I read your words and discover many of your thoughts are my own thoughts, just not written out so well. My hubby of 8 years is an addict himself and keeps trying and trying, and i keep praying and praying that one of these days it’s going to stop and we will be free. I look forward to reading your next part to this story and hope you have found your release. Thank you for sharing your story, I certainly appreciate it! Blessings to you!

  • Reply
    Amy
    August 22, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    I read this and couldn’t believe how much my life mirrored yours. I, too, am married to an addict. I, too, gave chance after chance. I, too, became co-dependent. Finally, I hit bottom, and told him to move out – which turned out to be his bottom. I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know I am worth more than that life. As are you. Your words are beautiful – I hope your life is also.

  • Reply
    erica
    August 22, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    It is heartbreaking when you cannot help someone you love. My hope is that you are able to find peace by sharing your journey. Your son has a great mom. : )

  • Reply
    lisa
    August 22, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    WOW that was not what I expected to read today… but I am so moved, heartbroken actually. The words are so powerfully, bravely written. I feel you…. I hope things turn out how you envision them to ultimately. I guess we will have to wait to hear the rest, when you are ready. thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    kerry
    August 22, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    My heart feels for you- To acknowledge this is so difficult, I know. I struggle with a partner who isn’t an addict to a substance but who controls every aspect of my life…. I have been not strong enough yet to move on, I feel that I am showing my daughters the wrong message.. it is heartbreaking.

    Much strength passing your way. Best wishes

  • Reply
    KA
    August 22, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Thank you for posting this.. I have been through the same thing. I thought if I were beautiful enough it would change, he would love me. How could he not… Something would wake him up.. I finally decided to free myself like you. Thank you for letting me know I’m not alone in making this mistake.

  • Reply
    nomadicbird
    August 22, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    thank you for sharing this. Beautiful and touching. I know exactly what its like to try to love someone so much and to find out the best and most wise way of helping/loving someone w/ addiction(s). Thank u again. <3 to all.

  • Reply
    kari
    August 22, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    Cara!
    You brave individual! I can only imagine the struggle you went through in your mind with whether or not to post this. And we (your fans) are so glad you did. See all these beautiful heartfelt comments? More people go through this than you’d expect, right? You’re helping so many people with this. So many of your devoted readers coming through and saying “me too”? Wow.
    As the adult child of an alcoholic/drug addict I can definitely relate. I keep this part of my life a complete and utter secret. No one who is a part of our family knows about this. The only thing my friends know is that I have a very dysfunctional family, that I often joke about but the jokes are only used to cover up the pain that I am still dealing with (unfortunately, due to financial reasons, I still live at home). Hopefully I can one day take this burden off my chest and tell my friends, just like you have done with us.
    Thank you, thank you a million times for posting this. I pray that you keep strong, and keep being the spectacular, lovely person that you are.

  • Reply
    Kristy
    August 22, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    I needed to read this today to help validate what I already knew about my life. I thought after marrying one alcoholic I’d never ever marry another….but I did. And reading your words, which were my words in my first & now second relationship has convicted me. Thank you for that. I want to breath the fresh air, feel the warm sunshine and be healthy again. Being with him is not healthy. Thank you for spelling it out, when I was unable to find the words. Change is coming, and it starts with tomorrow. Thank you. <3

  • Reply
    em
    August 22, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    I wrote this letter too, in June. You wouldn’t believe how similar it reads. I am sitting here in tears. We’ll get through, right?

  • Reply
    Kat
    August 23, 2013 at 12:16 am

    Cara – you are an incredibly strong and admirable woman. You deserve all the happiness that comes your way. x

  • Reply
    Joeylynn
    August 23, 2013 at 1:41 am

    Cara – I know it has been said in every post but being in your shoes and going through the same thing, I don’t think you can hear those words enough, YOU ARE AMAZING, BEAUTIFUL AND STRONG WOMAN AND MOTHER. You did all you could and then some, you made the right choice for all involved and when you think you can’t do anymore you dig deeper and find more strength and courage. Never doubt your choices, even the ones that you think were wrong because without all the choices you made, you would not be in the beautiful place you are now.

  • Reply
    Jade Brannan
    August 23, 2013 at 3:10 am

    Thank you. I have been struggling with the same situation for years & today of all days needed this. <3

  • Reply
    Lisa
    August 23, 2013 at 3:20 am

    Thank you for sharing such a beautiful and painful story. It was truly moving and brought tears to my eyes thinking about the pain you must have felt

  • Reply
    Kelly Sullivan Ruta
    August 23, 2013 at 3:30 am

    Cara. You are so brave. Please own that fact. I come from a
    Long line of alcoholics and have dated as many plus drug addicts.
    For the past 17 years I have been a therapist specializing in addiction and happily married for 12 years.
    It’s a difficult journey… Healing from loving an addict. You must do it though. For you and your son.
    Dig deep. Breathe deeply. The hardest part is behind you. Now you have to heal the part
    That allowed it to begin with. That part of you that believes you aren’t enough.
    Sending love your way… Kelly

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Shannon
    August 23, 2013 at 5:58 am

    Cara,

    My heart goes out to you, I know only to well what drugs and addiction are. Seven years ago I lost my brother to a drug overdose and I have never been the same, many years of dealing with drug addiction and remembering so much of it all from when I was just a young girl. So hard and then to see my brother-in-law fight a drug addcition was so scary, so scared that I might lose him too, but he over came it, maybe I was a little pushy with him and made him fight and maybe I fought a little harder for him too, but I knew I had too. My brother left behind a beautiful 2 month old daughter for us to remember him by and to love with all of our heart. You are stronger than you ever think, because you did stay and fight for as long as you could, but somethings are out of our hands, you did what you needed to do for you and your son and that is what matters most. God bless you!

  • Reply
    Rhonda
    August 23, 2013 at 8:06 am

    Dear Cara,
    Your letter was everything I have wanted to say to my husband of 12 years but couldn’t find the words to say. He has been struggling with addictions to alcohol and drugs for as long as I have known him. And I wish I could say that I hate him but I just don’t. I love him. We are currently separated. I have had no contact with him for 7 weeks. I don’t even know where he is. I pray everyday for him to recover but I am loosing hope. In the mean time we just keep on keeping on. And some days that is a struggle. The tears just wont stop. I am looking forward to your following posts.

  • Reply
    Dew
    August 23, 2013 at 8:09 am

    Dear Cara,

    Apart from being the mind and the heart behind one of my favorite blogs, you have just left me speechless. You’ve just shared such an amount of feelings (most of them SO hard) that the only thing I can do is admiring you even more. Remember: you’re beautiful, strong, brave, and determined. You were someone important enough to fight for, but you reacted when you realized your little boy was actually nothing without you. You saved yourself and your kid —that’s why you deserve every single minute of happiness life has blessed you with.

    Also, I have to thank you because, with your story, I have also opened my eyes to realize I have to get rid of toxic people and behaviors: no one is coming to save me, I must do it myself. My story doesn’t even come close to yours, but reading you has helped more than you could imagine.

    Thanks again. Be happy, always.

    Lots of love from Spain.

  • Reply
    Ciera
    August 23, 2013 at 10:58 am

    That was so beautiful and raw. Thank you for sharing your story and being brave enough to know what’s best for you and your son. You’re such an inspiration!

  • Reply
    Brittany
    August 23, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Cara. This is perfect. This was my life in my first marriage. I feel like I could have written this. Only you wrote it way better than I ever could have! Thank goodness for our amazing husbands who were man enough and love us so much to take on a wife AND a sweet child, and love them like their own 🙂 from one divorcee to another… I can’t tell you how happy I am for you that you survived the hell and found happiness! You are going to touch and inspire so many people by being so vulnerable and sharing your story. Can’t wait to hear the rest.

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Summer Hough
    August 23, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    That gave me the chills all over when I was reading it. What a strong beautiful and intelligent woman you are! I look to you/your blog for more than just beauty inspiration. You ARE the inspiration.

  • Reply
    Lynn
    August 23, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Wow Cara, you have such a way with words and you have such a kind and forgiving heart. It’s pretty amazing how many of our soul sistuhs here have had to deal with what you have dealt with as enablers. I am one also. I think we can all agree, it makes you strong! Love you all…

  • Reply
    Happy reads for this weekend | White Space
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  • Reply
    Linda
    August 23, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Hi Cara

    I just recently came out of a very hurtful relationship which I am now starting to see was codependent. I really admire your courage for sharing this post. I started visiting your blog because it gives a simple approach (yay after using all the products under the sun & still not being happy) but I got a bonus – it makes me smile 🙂

  • Reply
    Katelyn
    August 23, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Cara, what you wrote is absolutely beautiful and heart wrenching at the same time. Although not the same exact situation, I was in a hurtful and toxic relationship years ago and you captured alot of the feelings I felt in such an eloquent way.

    Thank you for being so brave and sharing this part of your life with your readers. You are truly a beautiful person, inside and out.

    And thank you for helping all of us feel a little bit prettier, a little bit more confident, a little bit more able to put our best foot forward everyday. I have felt so much more confident when I go out now because I can use your makeup tutorials and videos to help me. I used to DREAD doing my makeup because it’s just not natural to me, and I would get frustrated. Now I look forward to trying different looks, and you make it so much easier for a makeup dummy like me break out of her makeup rut.

    You are awesome! 🙂 Thanks for all your work on this blog. Keep it coming!

  • Reply
    Tieraloha
    August 23, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    Beautiful and brave. Thanks for sharing. Sadly, I can relate all too much to what you’ve experienced.

  • Reply
    ev
    August 24, 2013 at 12:00 am

    Hi, Cara…I’m new to make-up, new to blogs. And new to your blog. This is the first time I was ever moved to comment on a post, or the internet, for that matter! You are very strong for sharing and very brave to allow yourself to be vulnerable.Your letter is eloquently and beautifully written. I was brought to tears and could feel your pain and anguish through your words and can say that I can relate. I too, was in a codependent relationship with my ex-husband. It was dysfunctional and toxic. I was so lost trying to be what I thought he needed…but finally realized I had to remove myself from the situation because I had to get back to me. Thank you for sharing!

    On a lighter note, I’ve tried a couple of your make-up tutorials and had much success! So thank you for that too! You’re awesome!

  • Reply
    jen rose
    August 24, 2013 at 12:02 am

    So beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Just so, so, moving.

  • Reply
    Annie
    August 24, 2013 at 1:06 am

    After 8 years and two kids my husband lost his battle with alcohol and prescription addiction six months ago. He left our home to use and never came home. You are strong and you are not alone

  • Reply
    Aly
    August 24, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Cara, I’m so sorry. I know how hard this time was for you. For all of us for so long, but for you, especially. I love this letter as it brought tears to my eyes remembering how truly beautiful Drew was, inside and out. His addiction clouded the good in him and made him a different person. I wish he could have overcome this trial and could still be here with his family, for you and Christian the way I know he wanted to but I don’t think anything could have saved him no matter how bad he wanted to change and it breaks my heart to think about it. I think the world of you, your love, your determination, talent, intelligence and heart. You were the best thing that ever happened to Drew and I think he was lucky to have you, even for a short time. Your words are beautiful and true. Thank you for sharing. I miss him…

  • Reply
    Amanda
    August 25, 2013 at 6:53 am

    Hey Cara,
    I am a kindred spirit…
    I grew up with an abusive family and my Mum just died recently.
    I am Proud of your ongoing Resilience and Passion to help and love others.
    Thanks for reminding me to keep trying and keep being myself…
    I would love to be a Mummy…though still too emotionally scarred from my youth.

    Love you babe,
    Amanda xoxo
    P.S When are you gonna publish a Makeup Book?? I’ll support you here in Australia 😉 xoxoxo

  • Reply
    Liz
    August 25, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Cara, I went through exactly the same thing . I had to divorce my husband of 25 years. He lost himself to addiction and as a family of 4 we lost everything we had. Our home, our cars , our loving family life. It got to the point where I had to save my kids or we would all go down with him. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I loved him very much. I couldn’t save him. So I left him. Now 7 years later, my life has been rebuilt. Ill never be the same woman I was. I still have lots of baggage. But , my life is good now. My kids are healthy , emotionally. I’m remarried to the most wonderful man ever. It feels so good to be in love again. Life marches on . We live. We learn. We grow stronger. We cherish what we have here and now. Stay strong. Always look ahead, and move forward. Even when you feel like you can’t possibly take one more step

  • Reply
    Iza
    August 26, 2013 at 5:51 am

    beautiful words… you are an amazing woman and great inspiration! thanks for sharing, food for thought… especially for people who are very close with addicts like myself and many people dear to me

  • Reply
    Rachel
    August 27, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    I am speechless. This is me, except for the baby, because I recently decided to stop fertility treatments due to my husband’s addiction. I still don’t know what to do or where to go from here, but I know I have to start taking care of ME. Someone has to.

  • Reply
    Virginia
    August 28, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    This brought tears to my eyes. I have been in almost the same situation (college, no kids). In fact, I even wrote a letter much like yours, although I still haven’t had the courage to share it. I know what it feels like to love someone so much – and to have it feel like you’re not sure if they love you back, or if they’re even capable of doing so. And then, you resign yourself to the fact that whether they loved you doesn’t really matter, because all you can control and all you can be sure of is what you did and how you felt. The reason that this letter really hit home with me is because I have been stuck in the recovery phase for two years, two years that feel like a lifetime. Even though this person is long, long gone from my life, he still crosses my mind nearly every day – not in a romantic way, either, just in the way that he’s just… stuck there. And I, similarly, often feel stuck in the muck and the mire of what was; I’ve rebuilt all of the aspects of my life that were broken, except for the one that involves falling in love again. Being vulnerable, being honest, trusting another person, these all seem like utterly foreign concepts to me. The reason that your story resonates so much with me is that after reading this post, I then read your love story post. It makes me so happy to know that someone who has been in a codependent relationship that shattered them has recovered, and was able to fall in love again. I still don’t know if I believe that it is possible for me, but it’s just more comforting than you could ever imagine to know that someone else was able to do so. I am so, so happy for the fact that these kind of stories do have happy endings. Thank you for your honesty, for your sincerity, and for your vulnerability. I know how hard that last part is.

  • Reply
    Tara
    September 5, 2013 at 6:13 am

    I just want to say you have just said everything I feel. I can’t help but to cry because someone else knows exactly how I feel and what I am going through. Thank you.

  • Reply
    Claire
    September 5, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Cara,
    I found this post accidentally. I was hoping to find the link to makeup tutorials from Pinterest, but I am so glad I found this instead. I was married to an addict for just over 2 years. In those two years, he became addicted to high doses of oxycodone. He also drank, smoked, lied and did things behind my back, and cheated on me. I stayed with him for 2 years, thinking that I could fix him. That if I loved him enough that would be enough to save him. But the cheating was the last straw. I stood up for myself and realized that I wanted more than that. That I didn’t want to bring children into the world with an addict as a father. So I left.

    I struggled for a long time with feeling like I had failed, or given up on my marriage, but I am slowly realizing that I did everything I could. I couldn’t save him when he didn’t want to be saved and I couldn’t change him when he didn’t want to change.

    I have struggle for a long time with how to tell people what I went through, and what it was like, and this describes it so perfectly. Thank you.

  • Reply
    Simone
    September 6, 2013 at 1:02 am

    Cara, your text is so touching and i feel with you. stay this strong women you allready are! much love <3

  • Reply
    Hollie R.
    September 6, 2013 at 11:19 am

    your beautiful letter brought me to tears.

  • Reply
    Erin
    September 8, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Wow… Just wow. I also love someone who is struggling with addiction. I can totally relate to what you said. Your letter was so beautiful and achingly honest. It made me cry and seeing someone like you with such an amazing life who was where I am now gives me hope that I can be strong enough to let him go. Thanks for sharing this Cara

  • Reply
    Tee
    September 9, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    I am where you were. Six years…… Craziness and desperation. He is the love of my life and each day I think I die a little more!

  • Reply
    Tee
    September 9, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I am crying so hard. This hit me right in the heart and right at a time when I feel there is no hope. God Bless you.

  • Reply
    Camie Wilson Jenkins
    September 17, 2013 at 8:49 am

    I have had that person in my life before and, like you, did everything possible to fix it. I had to leave even when some of my family told me that no one would marry me again if I had a child. I left also so he wouldn’t break our son like he did me. BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN!

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    October 21, 2013 at 4:51 am

    I have lived this too. You are so brave. You did the right thing. The Love for our Children can heal those wounds.

  • Reply
    sammy tee
    October 22, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Cara-

    I feel your pain. I was in love with a addict as well and to this day i wonder how he is doing and where he is. His addiction overpowered my judgement. He was my project that i was consumed with because I did love him and I wanted to see him get well. I realized that he made thos decisons not because he didn’t love me too, but because there was no other choice to him. The problem was me. i was almost enabling by staying and the pain was now to the point of desperation. I let go of him after two and a half heart wrenching yeasrs and met the man I am now having a child with. Who is also a addict yet 2 years sober, works the AA program and attends meetings every day. We now own 6 halfway and sober living houses as well as opening an IOP center so the sick and suffering addicts can recover in a sober community. It is truly amazing to see the power of addiction and how real the disease is. The only known cure is the steps. Your story spoke directly into my heart as im sure it has many. Keep staying strong and keep making these amazing videos!!

  • Reply
    mandeemus
    October 27, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Cara,

    Thank you for posting this. I have not been able to express the way I feel. The things that have happened. The things I’ve tried to do. Your letter sounds exactly like my story. Nothing more and nothing less would need to be added or taken away. Those words are the words I was never able to find. I am currently married (separated) to an addict. I am fortunate to have very supportive family, friends, and pastors. But this is more pain than I ever thought possible. We haven’t even been married a year and a half. I’m scared, but this brought me so much comfort. Thank you for you. And thank you for this post!

  • Reply
    amichelles
    October 31, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    I’ve never in my life read anything that I found so relatable until this, I can honestly say that it moved me. It felt like my own words and thoughts, right down to the little boy, and while enjoy every beautiful thing you do, I think this was the most beautiful. Thank you!

  • Reply
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    NN
    May 3, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Reading this brought tears to my eyes and a huge lump in my throat.

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    Bethany
    September 4, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    I went through it too, and I had to learn the hard way that you can’t love someone into becoming a healthy person. Three children and 11 years later, I left because I couldn’t be his mother and my children’s. So I got divorced and ended up in a codependent relationship with a sociopath. I learned that just because I would give everything didn’t mean he would; in fact, he was dating 3 women, engaged to another girl, and engaged to me (while pregnant). Long story short, it didn’t work out. 😛 The common denominator was ME. I had to change. I had to learn to respect myself, to love myself, and to set boundaries to protect myself and my children so we will never be hurt by an idiot in tin foil again! Good luck to you, and thanks for sharing your journey.

  • Reply
    Liz York
    October 27, 2014 at 6:32 am

    I feel like you have taken the words straight from my heart, so sorry you went through this, but at the same time nice to know i wasn’t the only one who couldn’t give up so easily. needless to say, this brought full on waterworks. thank you for sharing

  • Reply
    Sara
    November 26, 2014 at 10:53 am

    That. Is absolutely amazing. I just felt my soul saying those same words. I’m so happy for your happiness <3

  • Reply
    slateralexa
    March 26, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    Wow, reading this and part two in tears because this is so relatable to me. I struggled with this too, and the letter touched so close to home. I have a three year old daughter and spent four years with her father battling with his addiction. just wow. So amazing!

  • Reply
    Jessie
    March 31, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    This is the first time to your blog (the hair twirl is what got me:))…and this poem brought me to tears. I just had a little boy ( 6 weeks tomorrow) and I can relate to that protectiveness and love you have for your son. I’m really excited to be part of your journey.

  • Reply
    Andrea ledda
    June 30, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    reading your letter really up so many emotions.. I’ve been there. Married to my husband for 10 yrs.. We went from having a beautiful marriage, beautiful life, beautiful house , vacations… To bankruptcy …
    After 4 years of struggling with his cocaine and alcohol addiction, i finally lost complete hope and decided it was time to move on for my kids sake.., I knew I couldn’t save him.. But I had to save my babies from the chaotic life they were living… It took for me to walk away, for him to decide to stop lying and get the help he needed.. He’s now been clean for 1 yr and I can honestly say that I’m more inlove with him than Ever before!!!

  • Reply
    Maskcara | Friday Favorites
    September 4, 2015 at 3:57 am

    […] a blubbery mess watching all 12 stories. Most people I know have had addiction touch their lives (my story) in one way or another and it seems so hopeless at times. I felt a renewed surge of hope after […]

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    betsy70
    September 4, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    Sending you love, light and prayers, Cara.

  • Reply
    Miranda
    February 27, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    I literally just stumbled across your blog while sitting here at work, utterly exhausted and ready to go home. I decided to kind of scroll through and check things out. Immediately the addiction title struck me. As I clicked on it, I thought maybe you were a recovering addict and would provide some insight on your journey…. but I was a bit petrified by your words. So real, so strong, so profound. Selfishly, I’m so glad that you posted this and I found my way to it. My fiancé is a recovering addict and it’s so hard for me to talk about and find people that can relate. Thank you for sharing.

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    Meggy
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