My Life

A story of Addiction and Recovery: Part Two

{Continued from Part One}
After years of struggling with my addiction to an addict.
After trying to control him and in the process losing control of myself.
After watching my life become something I never imagined it could.

I finally gave up.

I was sitting in my living room, packing up Christian’s baby swing and some overnight clothes to “leave” again for the thousandth time when I finally realized it.
I needed help.
And for the first time the help I knew I needed was not help for my ability to cure Drew, it was help for my ability to help myself.
I finally hated the pain I was in more than I hated the idea of letting go of it.

I had been adamantly against going to Al-Anon meetings before this point. For a barrage of reasons. I didn’t have time, caring for an addict is very time consuming. (Which is kind of like saying I can’t go on a diet because I’m too busy eating) I don’t have a problem, he has the problem. (Something I learned codependents are kind of famous for saying.) I didn’t need to sit around and hear about and talk about my problems, there is no way that is going to help me. (It’s not the only thing done there but regardless, these meetings are proven to help people far better than anything else.)
Once I finally surrendered my pride and my will to control everything, things began to change, slowly.

I decided to go to the Family Support Meeting through my church (LDS Addiction Recovery Services)  I went once a week and diligently worked on the 12 steps. At first I would drag Drew with me so he could go to his meeting across the hall but after a few weeks I started giving him the choice and ended up coming alone, but the amazing thing about that meeting is how not alone I felt. I had felt so deeply alone for so long. It felt so nice to be in a room of people who also loved people that hurt them, who understood why I stayed, who understood my pain and who didn’t try to tell me to leave.
They gave me support and told me to keep coming and to keep working the steps. I did.

I started focusing on bettering mine and Christian’s lives. I strengthened my relationship with god and continued to find strength and confidence in prayer and by working my program.
I learned more about addiction and with time, I felt less personal responsibility and pain from Drew’s decisions.  I learned that I was standing in the way of his recovery by enabling him and the only way he would get better is if he was able to feel his own consequences, without me as his bubble wrap.
It became clear to me that I needed to move on.  For Christian’s sake, for my sake and for Drew’s sake.

I said this was a story about addiction and recovery.
My recovery.
I wish I could tell you that Drew was able to recover as well.
His addiction continued to get worse and finally, heartbreakingly, took his life.

I almost didn’t write this story at all.
Because it’s not the ending I ever wanted and I like happy endings.
But sometimes…most times….happy endings are complicated.

Because of the help and recovery I received, I was able to create a life for me and Christian. Nick and his incredible family were able to come into our life and make it better than I ever could have imagined.
I’m so happy, Christian is happy, Nick is happy and wherever Drew is, I imagine that he’s happy, I really hope so.

One thing I know, in the end there was little left for me to do for him but the one kindness I had left.
To leave.
To allow his addiction to stop hurting two of the people he loved. To relieve from his conscience any kind of  pain he could have caused his son. To understand that he no longer had control of his ability to choose and to make that choice for him.
I truly believe wherever he is, he is grateful for that. He’s grateful that Christian has a wonderful father who adores him and who can always be there for him.
And so am I.
weary
{If someone you love is struggling with addiction of any kind, my heart breaks for what you are going though. I urge you to please consider attending a meeting. Search HERE for an Al-Anon meeting in your area. For LDS meetings Click HERE,  you don’t need to be a member of the LDS church to attend.}
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186 Comments

  • Reply
    Katie B.
    September 5, 2013 at 4:35 am

    Cara, Im so sorry for all of the pain you’ve felt!! But I think what you did was right. Very inspiring story! <3

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    September 5, 2013 at 4:35 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your story Cara!

  • Reply
    Marshmellow
    September 5, 2013 at 4:40 am

    You explain the process very well and some things I never saw this way, I wish there had been (or would be) something for kids of addicts who don’t have the option to leave, who are completely dependent. Right now I have the wish to find out what possibilities kids have to get help without having to be scared to get in trouble cause they told outsiders of what’s going on at their homes. Pretending is a thing you learn very early…

    Maybe there’s something I can do.

    I am happy, your kid got a chance of a happy childhood and of course I am happy for the life you get to live now!

    Greetings 🙂

    • Reply
      Alicia Anita Herron
      September 5, 2013 at 5:32 am

      I know that there is a position called a Guardian ad litem, where you can represent kids who cannot represent themselves in legal matters etc. This isn’t exactly what you were describing, but researching that may help you find what you were looking for. 🙂

    • Reply
      Ashley
      September 5, 2013 at 6:11 am

      I would suggest calling the al-anon/alateen hotline number for your area. Or you can call 888-4AL-ANON (888-425-2666) from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, Monday – Friday.
      There are people who are more than happy to take you to meetings or even just talk to you on the phone if you can’t make meetings. Good luck!

      • Reply
        Marshmellow
        September 5, 2013 at 9:28 am

        Hey, thanks for your thoughts! I should have added that I am from germany 🙂 Sorry! But this post (and also the first part) made me think of trying to engage in something to help these kids, trying to show them a way or try to give support, whatever… I know how hard it was for me growing up with an alcohol addicted single mom. Once I went to an organisation that helps children, but they wanted to talk to my mom and I was too scared and broke everything off…

  • Reply
    marleina
    September 5, 2013 at 4:46 am

    My heart aches as i read this. Both of my brothers deal with addiction. So glad you were able to find peace.

  • Reply
    Natalie Nickerson
    September 5, 2013 at 4:46 am

    Thank you Cara! I needed your story this morning. Please keep writing as you are prompted to do so because you are definitely helping others. Lots of love and many blessings. ~Nat

  • Reply
    Stephanie M.
    September 5, 2013 at 4:50 am

    You know what immediately struck me? When you said you wouldn’t go to an Al-anon meeting because he had the problem, not you. A couple very close to me struggled with addiction within their marriage. He reached out to his spouse for help and she said, “I can’t help you. You have the problem, not me.” You’re right, it seems to be a common thing to say. Those few simple words destroyed that man. He felt dejected, humiliated, looked down upon. He spent the next 10 years despising and resenting his wife for just those few words. I’m happy to say they worked through those things and are celebrating 33 years of marriage! But still, ten years lost …

    I’m glad you went to the meetings. All you can do is your part. And at some point you have to say enough is enough, because you cannot force their hand. You cannot change their heart. My prayers are with you and your son’s loss.

    XO,
    Steph

  • Reply
    merciblahblah
    September 5, 2013 at 4:52 am

    Wow – what a powerful story. We all deal with struggles, and when I went through my biggest struggle years ago (not addiction, but getting myself out of an abusive relationship), I felt just like you said – so ALONE – not to mention that I felt it was my fault for what was happening to me. It was a revelation when I realized that I was NOT alone on my island of pain, and even more so when I realized it was not my fault. Thank you for writing what you did. Well said.

  • Reply
    Alisa
    September 5, 2013 at 4:54 am

    I’m so sorry Cara, you are such a strong, inspirational woman, God Bless You!!

  • Reply
    Amy Awesome
    September 5, 2013 at 5:02 am

    You’re such an amazing woman to have come out of such a tragic situation with your optimism and kind heart intact.

  • Reply
    Jenny
    September 5, 2013 at 5:04 am

    Wow Cara, these posts are really inspiring and they prove you´re not only a great and beautiful woman, but also a really strong person. I had a similar situation with my long term ex boyfriend (he had also some kind of addiction) and I totally understand what you mean: trying to control that person to stop doing that but in the process, ending you being the one who gets really hurted. Sadly for me, the whole situation resulted in extremely stress and anxiety, which led me to panic attacks and agoraphobia (and this is the first time I´m writing about my problem on the Internet) Thank God I realised I had to move on, just like you did, for my own sake and for him, and I´m better now with the help of a psychologist, although I still have a long way to be fully recovered. But I´m so glad to see that you have created a beautiful family with Christian and Nick, and that now you all have a happy life. And that also gives me strength to keep fighting with my problem. Thanks a lot Cara for all the words you wrote 🙂

  • Reply
    Jami
    September 5, 2013 at 5:12 am

    Thank you so much for sharing. You will change lives for the better by being open. We all need to do this more often.

  • Reply
    TINA
    September 5, 2013 at 5:17 am

    Your story really hit home with me. My awesome, amazing husband went through the same thing with his ex-wife and 2 yr old son. Your scripture at the end of your post was one of many that kept him strong and helped him to open his heart up again. Our son is now a 22 yr old incredible man. I know it sounds corny but it was not mistake that I came across your fabulous blog. God speaks to us in so many ways if we are willing to listen! <3

  • Reply
    Christine
    September 5, 2013 at 5:27 am

    Thank you. You are very strong and I imagine this will help someone who needed to hear they were not alone in this struggle.

  • Reply
    Kellie
    September 5, 2013 at 5:30 am

    I can’t imagine how hard it must have been to leave, but I’m so glad you did. Thanks for sharing your story!

  • Reply
    Eryn P.
    September 5, 2013 at 5:31 am

    You are so strong and beautiful! Thank you for sharing your story with us. xx

  • Reply
    katy
    September 5, 2013 at 5:31 am

    After a childhood with a parent with an addiction, I repeated the process with my first husband, also an addict. I realized then I would need to work out my own baggage before I cycled again. It was not an easy process to realize that although I want lifting the bottle, I was suffering with my own addictive issues. I was able to finds peace within myself after putting in the hard work of changing my patterns. I am watching now as my family struggles with an addiction to a persons mental illness, and am realizing that this too is an addiction. It’s a co-dependency that is tearing them all apart. Listening to your open and honest struggle reminds me that the power to remain outside their struggle is within me and that sometime stepping away is the only choice. Thank you for sharing you’re strength and for showing me mine again.

  • Reply
    Alicia Anita Herron
    September 5, 2013 at 5:38 am

    I already loved your blog Cara but now to know something so real about you, makes me love it even more. Co-dependency is a true mental issue. I have a friend who was a COSA for a long time and had to take care of herself to ensure he took care of his addictions. They have patched things up since and he’s in recovery, but it’s so important to understand that part the God wants to take in our lives. I’m so happy to see you have a relationship with God and it’s flourishing!
    Best makeup tip I’ve learned from you on this story, “If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams, and you will always look lovely.Roald Dahl”
    God is good all the time! <

    • Reply
      amanda
      September 5, 2013 at 9:30 am

      I LOVE that line (and I love that book)!! It is so true, too.

  • Reply
    Roxy Kairuz
    September 5, 2013 at 5:40 am

    Cara, your story touched me in so many ways. My heart goes out to you and I thank you for being so brave and sharing your story. Much love.

  • Reply
    Mary
    September 5, 2013 at 5:43 am

    Blessings and Grace to you Cara. Thank you for sharing a piece of your heart with us. As an adult child of an alcoholic I understand the power of working the program. prayer and forgiveness. may you continue to follow the road to happiness and joy seeking God’s plan for your life.

  • Reply
    Tiff
    September 5, 2013 at 5:46 am

    Thank you for sharing. Very touching!! You are a strong person!

  • Reply
    anonymous
    September 5, 2013 at 5:47 am

    You are a strong person for realizing you need help. I have a friend who is married to an alcoholic. I don’t know how to handle the situation. She always asks for my advice and I always give her my truthful opinion but she never follows through. I know its easier from the outside looking in, I just wish she could have realized earlier that they both have problems.

    • Reply
      Raechel
      September 8, 2013 at 11:28 am

      MY suggestion, offer to go with her to an al-non meeting. They have open meetings and you can be just for support. Sometimes people don’t know where to start or need help getting there. good luck.

  • Reply
    msmoneypennies
    September 5, 2013 at 5:53 am

    Thank you for sharing such a personal story – you’re inspiring and beautiful in SO many ways! God certainly can create beauty from ashes.

  • Reply
    Kassy Stuart
    September 5, 2013 at 6:02 am

    Lots of love your way! I look up to your strength so much!

  • Reply
    Aimee
    September 5, 2013 at 6:05 am

    God bless you Cara. You came out a stronger person in the end. Sometimes it seems those extremely tough situations show us what we are made of. Christian is your happy little angel in remembrance of your husband. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    Nana Watson
    September 5, 2013 at 6:06 am

    I lost my 24 year old daughter 6 months ago to her addiction. She left behind a 7 year old little man who has to deal with the aftermath of her choices. I am just now dealing with the consequences of my part in her addiction. Although she was the addict my enabling certainly contributed to her on going problems. I also was one of those that always said “she has the problem” only after much therapy and a lot of soul searching did I realize that I too had a problem. Only wish I had figured that out sooner

    • Reply
      kat
      September 5, 2013 at 12:36 pm

      Nana,
      I am so sad to hear that your daughter lost her battle with addiction. My 23 year old son is an addict. I go to family meetings and read all the books on addiction I can find. I completely understand when someone like Cara has to make a choice to leave her husband for her young son. As a mother of an addict I can not seem to make the choice to choose me over him. I have rules and boundaries that I have learned about but I can not escape the roller coaster of worry and pain that goes along with loving an addict. What would you have done differently if you don’t mind me asking?
      K

  • Reply
    LolaMay
    September 5, 2013 at 6:10 am

    This was an amazing story. I work with people trying to recover from addictions, and the part that has hit me the hardest is the family stuff.

  • Reply
    Carrie
    September 5, 2013 at 6:14 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your story…you are so brave!

  • Reply
    Melissa
    September 5, 2013 at 6:14 am

    Beautiful!

  • Reply
    Janna Webber
    September 5, 2013 at 6:19 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your story Cara. You have no clue how much this has helped so many people.

    My husband and I are both Christians, and were married almost 3 (wonderful) years ago. We have a sixteen month old son and we both love him dearly. My husband struggles with addiction as well. I didn’t realize it when we got married, I thought he would “grow out of it” as most wives do, but he was an alcoholic. I kept burying my feelings, and did THE EXACT SAME THINGS you did. A few weeks ago I was hurt, riddled with guilt for my son, and I felt betrayed after he had another backslide and, somehow, blamed me for it because I wasn’t “just letting him live his life”. My mom gave me a bible study called “The Power of a Praying Wife” by Stormi Omartien (You’ve probably heard of it through your meetings), and it absolutely CHANGED MY LIFE. I was ready to give up and leave to give him a wake up call. Even though divorce isn’t an option for us, I thought it might scare him into changing. I realized that I was the one that was keeping him from changing. Our marriage is better than ever, and I credit that study.

    You are strong and incredibly brave for opening your story covering such a controversial subject. Many people just don’t understand the internal struggle alcoholics have. They hurt the ones they love the most and, even though they have super-weird ways of showing it sometimes, it hurts them even worse. Thank you so much for not only your fabulous make-up tips, but for sharing with us your beautiful soul. God works in mysterious ways, and you never know how He is going to turn your pain into His perfect glory.

    “And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
    And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.”
    Romans 8:27-28

    God Bless you and your family,
    Janna Webber, Indiana

  • Reply
    Alyssa
    September 5, 2013 at 6:19 am

    So courageous of you to write this story. What an inspiration. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.

  • Reply
    Karen
    September 5, 2013 at 6:30 am

    Thank you, Cara, for being open about this. So many that struggle with addiction in their family are ashamed and keep it covered up. My son is a drug addict and has been clean for a year and a half now, after a wonderful treatment program called Fellowship Hall in NC. We all credit Narcotics Anonymous and NarAnon for making it possible for all of us to recover. Most aren’t aware that there are two organizations, AA and NA, and their respective family groups. Addicts will tell you that there are distinctive differences in the feel of the groups, so I would urge anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable in one group to try the other. It’s so important to feel like the others can relate to your experiences! With drug addiction at an all time high with younger people ( and heroin is the drug of choice for many!) it’s time to change the face of addiction from the junkie in the alley to the normal looking high school and college student. I know because we have one. I’m glad you got the help you needed for you and your son to “let go and let God”.

  • Reply
    Jordin
    September 5, 2013 at 6:35 am

    You are a beautifully strong woman! Thank you for sharing my mom went threw the same thing with my father and was brave enough to realize it was unhealthy for her and us three girls. So sorry for your lose but I’m so glad you have a strong family now!

  • Reply
    m
    September 5, 2013 at 6:36 am

    Thank you for posting this. It was perfect timing for a message I was praying to hear.

  • Reply
    Andrea
    September 5, 2013 at 6:38 am

    Cara, your blog is inspirational for so many reasons. It is exactly because of who you are and what you’re all about that so many of us have made Maskcara part of our daily routines. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Alli
    September 5, 2013 at 6:38 am

    Oh, Cara. Wow. Having a baby boy myself, and being married to a recovering alcoholic, I am in awe of the strength you showed. It’s so hard to get to that point where you realize that no matter how bad you want them to get better, they have to want it too. Christian is so lucky to have you for a mother. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Reply
    April
    September 5, 2013 at 6:43 am

    That was beautifully written. So much love and optimism. Sometimes it’s hard to see God’s compassion during times of trial but compassion is not the Lord sparing you from trials; it is the Lord helping you through the trial to come out a better person than you were before. I’m thankful when people share experience that can help us all to grow closer to our Heavenly Father. Thank you.

  • Reply
    suzanne
    September 5, 2013 at 6:44 am

    Cara, I don’t live with an addict, but I feel so uplifted by your story. Thank you for sharing – just can’t begin to imagine the people you are touching in such a positive way. God Bless You!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    September 5, 2013 at 6:49 am

    Cara, Thank you so much for this. Your story is beautiful and I know how hard it is to share such a personal endeavor. Your helping other people by sharing your story. You’ve helped me. You are wonderful and you have a beautiful family.

    God Grant me the serenity to accept the things (people) i cannot change, the courage to change the things i can and the wisdom to know the difference.

    God bless,
    Sarah

  • Reply
    Crystal
    September 5, 2013 at 6:49 am

    Thank you for writing this, my eyes are now open to what my family protected me from as a child. My bio-mother is an addict. Our family (my grandmother and aunt) moved in to protect me when I was about 3. My aunt is a very angry and resentful towards my mother. Now that I am well aware of how to deal with the situation with compassion (I was a cop and so is my husband) we have started to build a relationship slowly. She understands that if she is using or drinking she will not be able to speak with her grandson but the opportunity for a relationship is there.

  • Reply
    Vicki
    September 5, 2013 at 6:50 am

    A friend of ours suffered from addiction. It destroyed his marriage and eventually his life causing him to take his own life. It is a sad, sad reality many fail to see or want to face. Kudos to you for finally trying to understand the situation and making the best life choice for yourself and your son. Nothing could be done to save our friend and I am sure nothing to save your child’s father. God Bless you!

  • Reply
    Deegan
    September 5, 2013 at 6:50 am

    Thank you for sharing your story, God Bless you.

  • Reply
    Hayley Grade
    September 5, 2013 at 6:54 am

    And I thought there was no way I could adore you any more than I do! Such an incredible story; so much pain and hurt but so much strength and hope. I’m so sorry for the losses you and your son have suffered, but I am so happy that you have found a fulfilling and happy life!
    x,Hayley
    http://www.loveblissandcoffee.com

  • Reply
    Em
    September 5, 2013 at 6:58 am

    You are so real, Cara. I feel like if I actually met you in person, I’d felt liek I have known you forever. Thank you for sharing, this hits very close to home.

  • Reply
    Erika
    September 5, 2013 at 7:12 am

    With GOD all things are possible!
    GOD bless

  • Reply
    Karlie Coons
    September 5, 2013 at 7:26 am

    I have been following you for a long time and adore all your posts they have helped me so much with my daily routine when getting ready, especially the eye brow posts so thank you:). But reading this gave me chills you are so brave for posting this story I no will help so many out there. I can’t wait for the next post!! P.s congrats on Allure you defiantly deserve it!!!!

  • Reply
    Joni
    September 5, 2013 at 7:46 am

    Thank you, you touched my heart.

  • Reply
    michelle
    September 5, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Cara,
    Thank you for sharing this most personal story with us. Sometimes the most beautiful things/people are even more so when they open up and show us their vulnerabilty and scars. You are even more beautiful sharing your story and I am sure helping others. YOur honesty and strength is inspiring.

  • Reply
    Katie
    September 5, 2013 at 7:57 am

    I was actually hoping on my drive to work today that you would continue with your life story.

    As I read your story my body just shakes to take in every word that you say.

    I am married to an alcoholic. Separated in November. My daughter 17 was ready to move out of the house because she couldn’t take it anymore. I had to choose to finish raising her or let her live somewhere else, where I as her mother wouldn’t be taking care of my child. You see time and time again we promised no more fighting in front of the kids.

    I go to Al-anon and I have gone to the Friends and Family. This is my life line at this time. It is so hard to refocus on yourself when I’ve spent years “trying to make him better”, “trying to make your family function”.

    I pray for my recovery and for all of you going through this. I am still stuck on Step 1, I can’t for some reason let go that i am powerless over people, places & things. I know my life is unmanageable.

    I have hope because of you that have gone before me to recover. You seem so happy and I want that, for myself and for my kids.
    Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    Brittany Debity Barker
    September 5, 2013 at 8:04 am

    Cara – Thank you so much for telling your story. I know how liberating it is to be able to tell your story out loud, but how heart wrenching it is to get to the point to want to let the words go. I am so happy that you and your son have found the family and support you deserve.

  • Reply
    Christina J.
    September 5, 2013 at 8:14 am

    Thank you for this Cara. I have three children, ages2,3, and 12. Their father was the love of my life. He struggled with addiction and I struggled with the fine line of loving him and enabling him. I stayed with him until it was too late.The state took my kids and then he killed himself in our bedroom a month later. He died when my youngest was two months old. I just recently learned to deal with the guilt and grief. I did get my kids back but they don’t have their father anymore. I have to remind myself daily that it wasnt my fault. Even though I should have left, it wasnt my fault. Thank you for the post…it helps to know there are others who have went through something similar and came out stronger.

  • Reply
    Melissa Miller
    September 5, 2013 at 8:14 am

    This was beautiful. Thank you for sharing you’re story. I’m am so grateful you found happiness and joy in your life….And thank you for spreading joy through your blog! Much love <3

  • Reply
    Ashley G
    September 5, 2013 at 8:14 am

    Thank you so much for sharing. I have never been specifically in this situation but I have loved someone for many years who did nothing but hurt me. Like you, it took God and lots of praying, for me to able to find the strength to walk away. God bless you and your family.

  • Reply
    Robyn
    September 5, 2013 at 8:20 am

    I seriously respect and admire you so much for sharing this story so that it can help others. You are an amazing woman! I’m so sorry you had to go through that heartache. Much love <3

  • Reply
    Jasmine
    September 5, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Cara,
    you are such a beautiful person inside and out. When I first stumbled upon your youtube channel I watched almost every video and was so excited to learn new tips and tricks from you. I realized after watching your videos that you were much more than a teacher, you were a real, genuine, kind and funny soul. When I found your blog I was even more surprised to see your honesty true belief that everyone is beautiful. It is so wonderful to read this story of addiction and recovery and even though it was not a truly happy ending you did a selfless and courageous thing for your sons well being. You are truly and inspiration to me. You pulled yourself up out of a dark time and did not give up. You are so strong-I know how hard the path to bettering yourself is. I am so greatful I found your blog, I feel that I have also found a wonderful friend.
    God bless from a fan and fellow bleeding heart,
    Jasmine

  • Reply
    Kimmi H
    September 5, 2013 at 8:22 am

    This is something I so badly needed to read today. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

  • Reply
    Jessaying
    September 5, 2013 at 8:26 am

    You’re an amazing woman, Cara, for having the strength to share your story, for having the courage to rise above and create a better life for you and your son, and also for unapologetically glorifying God in a society where He is becoming increasingly drowned out by “haters.” You’re truly a breath of fresh air, Cara. God bless.

  • Reply
    Brenda
    September 5, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Everyone has a story in life. Thank you for sharing yours, such a strong, inspiring, talented, beautiful woman! Sending so much love your way Cara.<3

  • Reply
    Danielle
    September 5, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Oh my goodness Cara. Thank you so much for sharing. I’ve recently became a huge fan of your blog and read it every day. Coincidentally, my husband took his own life this February, on my son’s 9th birthday. I can so relate to this and it does help so much to feel like you are not alone.

  • Reply
    Celeste
    September 5, 2013 at 8:42 am

    I’m so sorry 🙁 you are a great mom

  • Reply
    S
    September 5, 2013 at 8:57 am

    I have little doubt that you’ll have touched more lives than you might imagine by sharing your personal message. I tip my hat to you for having “walked the walk,” and now “talking the talk.” God bless you.

  • Reply
    Krista Julienne
    September 5, 2013 at 8:57 am

    I really admire your fortitude. xo

  • Reply
    Brooke Anne Stacey
    September 5, 2013 at 9:02 am

    I already love your blog (love might be an understatement) I read it every morning before I get my day going! I love all the beauty tips and the before-after makeovers. But this life story makes me love your blog on a whole different level. It’s a before and after beauty makeover on a whole different level. You took a completely horrible situation and made a beautiful life out of it for you and your son… You shjavascript:HighlanderComments.cancelExternalWindow();ould feel like mom of the year, you deserve the happiness you have found. To be so open-hearted & minded, devoted and to try so hard for your family, little guy and yourself is something that most women wish they could do. So many are afraid to speak out, ask for help, or just plain out leave. Your very inspirational. I’m a criminal justice major in college & am going for a masters in counseling so I love reading stories of triumphant & stories of strong people… I guess this is because those people and their children are the people I want to help when I’m done with my education. Anyway, good for you, you did get your happy ending, even if it is different than what you first thought it would be! Keep writing, and inspiring. There is obviously a lot of ladies that love what you do and what you have overcome!

    p.s. part of my endless love for this blog is because I won the shirt contest (first thing i’ve ever won online) too! 🙂

  • Reply
    Victoria Benson
    September 5, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Holy mackeral, thank you for sharing this. I have never had to go through anything similar and yet I am attempting to hold back my tears after reading this. I am so happy that you have had a personal recovery from your addiction to an addict. It is very inspiring that you were able to let go of your pride and seek out help.

  • Reply
    Mailen
    September 5, 2013 at 9:20 am

    We are all taught to do our best to stick around, to offer love unconditionally, to walk on the other person’s shoes, etc. While I think this is important, I regret that we are not often taught also to recognize when others have become closed off from us, and we stay….and we love…. and we offer help to no avail. and then we hurt and wonder why it is so if we are doing the best for that other person.
    It takes courage to share with others what you went through! In the end “Change happens when the pain of staying the same is finally greater than the pain of change.” Anyone who goes through such a difficult time needs to take personal responsibility for the role they play in the situation, just like you did.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    September 5, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Thanks for the courage to share this. I admire how you worked your way through the mess to carve out a beautiful life for yourself and your son. It’s so tragic your husband couldn’t find his way into that life, but I’m happy for you that you’ve found love and peace. You’re an amazing example of a person’s ability to pick up the shattered pieces of a dream and form a new and better one.

  • Reply
    elizabeth
    September 5, 2013 at 9:21 am

    xoxo

  • Reply
    Erika B.
    September 5, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Cara… you’re story will help so many get the help they need to deal with addiction in their lives. I am married to an alcoholic. I am thank full every single day of my life that he is and has been sober for 6 years. Before that, it was a struggle, and I was close to giving up. I went to Al-non meetings and found support. Ultimately, it was him who had to hit the bottom to decide to start over again… and thankfully he did.. but only after nearly losing me, our home, everything we had together. He made his first step, went to AA and said the hardest thing an addict can say “I’m an alcoholic.” I was where you were so many times… ready to pack my bags and go… I just knew he had more in then this rotten disease. You did what was best for you and your baby. You were brave and strong and I admire you for that. Thank you for sharing something so deeply personal. You are helping more people than you can imagine.

  • Reply
    Chandra Myers
    September 5, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Thank you for sharing your testimony. I will continue to keep you in prayer and look forward to hearing all the good things the Lord bleses you with!!
    Many Blessings,
    Chandra

  • Reply
    Mai
    September 5, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Thank for sharing Cara. You are so real. Our life results from the choices we make, clearly you made a good choice although it wasn’t easy. Happy for you that you are living the life that you want for yourself and Christian. I follow your blog for the great makeup tips but mostly because I love to hear about your experiences in life and the hardships you have overcome. Hope to have my makeup done by you if I’m ever in the area 🙂

  • Reply
    Melissa
    September 5, 2013 at 9:33 am

    Cara,
    Thank you so much for sharing such an incredibly intimate and profoundly brave story. While I have not experienced this type of situation first hand, it is so inspiring to see how your bravery for your family and your compassion have touched and inspired so many others. I love your blog because you focus on inner beauty just as much as outer beauty. God is so wonderful and will never let us down, even when it seems that we are at our darkest. Thanks for being you Cara. You are such a bright light and I look forward to seeing the exciting future ahead for you.

    Best wishes!
    Melissa

  • Reply
    Christi Marxen
    September 5, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Bless you for having the courage to share your story. Your strength is one of the many things that make you so beautiful. I’m proud of you for your tenacity, your love of your son and the hope you have given to others by sharing this heartbreaking part of your life. Hugs to you Cara.

  • Reply
    Jessica
    September 5, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Cara you are just awesome! Thank you for sharing such a personal story. God only gives us what we can handle and you’ve proved that you are a very strong woman!

  • Reply
    Meghan
    September 5, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful, heart wrenching tale. I am so glad to see that you have had the strength to move on and make a better life for you and for your son.

    Every day, remember who you are.

  • Reply
    J
    September 5, 2013 at 9:49 am

    This is heartbreaking and beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Corinne Mosdell
    September 5, 2013 at 9:53 am

    The greatest gift I learned in my own sobriety and mostly others (like drew) is that letting go is the only way to peace for the codependent. Enabling will only end as you know and truly loving an addict means you can turn the other way and let them make their own path. Addiction is so scary, so powerful, and pulls in all sure ruins of life in so many ways with so many faces. I love you dearly Cara and have always known you made the right choice… The only choice… Which was loving you and Christian enough…. You did it!! I love you and am grateful each day for our friendship!!!

  • Reply
    Amanda
    September 5, 2013 at 9:54 am

    I can’t begin to imagine how hard it was to write this. Thank you for sharing your personal story. It does have a happy ending for you & Christian. Bless you! XO

  • Reply
    casipants1
    September 5, 2013 at 9:57 am

    I am so happy to hear that you were able to move forward. You’re blog is such an inspiration and is uplifting for others. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  • Reply
    anonymous
    September 5, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Beautifully written. I too went through a similar experience where the ending was not a happy one. Each day that goes by, acceptance slowly lifts the weight from my heart. Thank you for sharing. God Bless.

  • Reply
    Jeanne
    September 5, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Thank you for sharing. God Bless!

  • Reply
    Ali
    September 5, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Thank you for sharing your story! Hits home for me as I had a similar marriage and situation. I on the other hand, did not have a baby to care for, I can’t imagine that! You’ve made a great life for yourself coming from such a low place. So proud of you girl!

  • Reply
    glitterwriter
    September 5, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Cara,

    Thanks for posting your inspirational story. I was married to an addict. It took me 9 years to realize that I couldn’t help him, and he wasn’t going to stop hurting me and my sons.
    It’s scary to make the first step to leave, but in a larger perspective, it’s better to be scared for a short period, than to be scared FOREVER by not making healthy choices.
    Also, I’m happily remarried to the kindest man in the world. If I didn’t take that leap of faith, who knows what would have happened to all of us.
    Thanks again for sharing such a personal part of your life.
    MJ 🙂

  • Reply
    Karen
    September 5, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Cara,you are a amazing person and I get strength from you! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Traci
    September 5, 2013 at 10:42 am

    What a beautifully written post. I am glad you had the courage to leave.
    Traci

  • Reply
    Melissa
    September 5, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Cara your story hits home for me as I have been down a similar road. I didn’t stay long. I knew that I was raising my daughter and I could not raise a man at the same time. I left after a month of hell. He would hit his bottom and he recovered, went to meetings, and repaired all the relationships he had broken. Most importantly he found out why he wanted so badly to escape, no one can do this for an addict except an addict. I moved on with my life and in time he built trust mostly as a father to our daughter but also doing everything he could do to be trusted again, it would take 2 years for me to see the changes fully. He has been clean for 6 years, has had everything thrown at him to test his conviction and he remains resilient. We married and we have a second child. The one thing I knew about an addict was they hate themselves in some level, so by staying they end up hating or resenting you as well. I cannot help someone who doesn’t want help. I learned more about myself as well, I knew no matter what, I need to love myself a little more than him if I were ever going to have him in my life. I say this because it’s important to know that if he should go back that I will again leave with my kids. To say he is a different person is an understatement and he admits that leaving was the only right thing I could do. It his work to be whole.
    I am sorry for your loss, I am happy you have found love, real love not addicted love!
    Thanks for sharing your story, you undoubtly helped others!

  • Reply
    Tuesdee
    September 5, 2013 at 10:48 am

    Just to set the stage, I’m in a hotel in Northern Utah just popped out of the shower I grab my lap top, while in the bathroom drying my hair, to check out your latest post for a few make up tips for the day. Now I’m sitting on the bathroom floor bawling. These tears are as much for me and mine as they are for you and yours. It’s funny that word recovery, because this doesn’t ever go away, our minds and bodies will always remember events such as these, yet we find a happy place and we go forward taking this with us and sharing, healing, and caring for others along the way. Thanks so much for sharing, caring and helping me to heal. When I smile today I’ll be thinking of you.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    September 5, 2013 at 11:22 am

    I too have been saved after going to the LDS 12-Step group for family and friends. My husband also found healing. Thanks for sharing your story – I have enjoyed your blog for make-up tips and such, but today I felt the power of Spirit whisper to my spirit that God lives, He loves us, and He can heal us. I’m so grateful that you found healing!

  • Reply
    mk
    September 5, 2013 at 11:40 am

    thank you so much for sharing your story. so encouraging to see how God has created beauty from ashes

  • Reply
    Hayes
    September 5, 2013 at 11:46 am

    I’ve followed your blog for a while now and have never commented until now but could not pass up the opportunity to tell you how touching and heartbreaking your story is. What an amazingly strong, courageous and beautiful person you are, inside and out and an inspiration to those around you. I’m confident that God has big plans for you. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Reply
    Ali D
    September 5, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Hey Cara! Thank you for sharing your story. I know even writing about it can be therapeutic. I’m thankful that we have a savior who cares and love us more than we can ever know or imagine.

  • Reply
    Amanda
    September 5, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    I’m so sorry for the many pains you have experienced! But please know that by sharing your story you have helped at least one person! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Andrea
    September 5, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    What a wonderful testimony!! Praise the LORD for healing and wonderful changes.

  • Reply
    brooke
    September 5, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Touching story and so courageously shared! You did an amazing thing for your family.

  • Reply
    Bobbi C.
    September 5, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing your story, Cara. I, too, loved, lived with and eventually left my alcoholic ex when I realized he wasn’t EVER going to stop (and still hasn’t, close to 15 years later), while I got sicker and sicker the longer I stayed. It came to the point where it was me or him, and I had to choose me if I wanted a shot at any kind of real life.

    It was one of THE hardest, but best, things I’ve ever done, and while it took me a long time to heal, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m sorry for yours and Christian’s loss, but you did the right thing for the both of you.

  • Reply
    Cca
    September 5, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    God bless you and your family.

  • Reply
    Em
    September 5, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Your story is so powerful and emotional. Thank you for sharing; I know it must have been hard.

  • Reply
    Elle
    September 5, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Cara, you’re awesome. So brave and inspiring. Thank you for sharing your story! It hits close to home as my mom and dad went through this, and she eventually became a single mother with 3 girls after a whopping 8 years with the man! All is well with us now, and I am SO happy that it is for you, too.

  • Reply
    Jen
    September 5, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing. What a wonderful, honest, generous soul you are. I hope you continue to live the life of love and happiness you have worked so hard to secure for yourself and your beautiful boy:). My partner of 6.5 years has obsessive compulsive personality disorder so he is basically addicted to cleaning and having a rigid daily routine. I too have enabled him over the years and it is now at a point where we don’t have anyone over, I’m not allowed to cook and hardly do anything around the house as I “make too much mess and am incapable of doing anything properly”. When I spill anything accidentally he flies into a rage and sometimes pushes me around. I have been trying to muster the strength to leave him and your post was just what I needed. You are so right that we need to stop telling ourselves that it is solely our partner’s problem. We have become just as addicted to the highs and lows of the relationship. I would highly recommend “men who hate women and the women who love them” and also “women who love too much” as books that have helped me gain clarity and understanding of how I got to be here. Thanks again Cara for giving me the strength to finally decide to leave:) I know it will be tough for a while but i can already feel some relief and imagine a happier life ahead xox

  • Reply
    hollyhumbert
    September 5, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Cara – your post is one that I think will comfort many. I love your blog, I love your heart and I love that you are willing to share parts of your life that aren’t your favorite. God Bless you!

  • Reply
    Danielle
    September 5, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    So happy to hear you are a woman of God!!

  • Reply
    Courtney
    September 5, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    I love you.

  • Reply
    Claire
    September 5, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    You are truly amazing

  • Reply
    Natalie Munson
    September 5, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I had a similar experience. I wasn’t married, but I was dating, and very much in love with someone, who too was an addict and took his life 3 days after I decided to end things for good. Its so hard not to blame yourself for their actions. I am so happy that you are happy. You are truly an inspiration!
    Love, Natalie

  • Reply
    Mindy
    September 5, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Cara you are such a brave, amazing women. It may have been a hard life story to share, but you have so many blog followers, I know your story will help at least one person become brave as well!! Thank you for sharing your story. And what a great mom to know your son needed a better life!

  • Reply
    Charlie Gibson
    September 5, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Thank You so much for sharing! Much love!

  • Reply
    Nancy Block
    September 5, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Thanks for sharing. Your honesty will hopefully help others.

  • Reply
    Kristi
    September 5, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    Thank you so much for writng your story and sharing it with so many other people. I needed to read this today. It helps to reinforce the recent decision I made to get out of a similar situation….just two days ago. Gods timing is always perfect.
    I’m so happy you have found real happiness for you, your son & Nick. God Bless You!

  • Reply
    P
    September 5, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Cara –
    I have been following your blog since forever. Yours is the only one I’ve ever followed, but I’ve never even left a comment. (I did however vote for you everyday during the Allure contest like it was my job). After reading this post, I feel like I just have to tell you.. What you do makes a difference. You have the ability to reach so many people through your blog, and you are using it in the most beautiful way. Praying for so much warmth and happiness for you and your family.

  • Reply
    Pamela Parker
    September 5, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    Cara, I’m so very happy that you had the strength & courage to do the best for you & Christian. Addicts are addicts – that is their whole life unless they have gotten and accepted help for their problems. There are people who will life long lives and die without knowing about addicts and how they affect everything and everyone in their lives. Those people are very fortunate, but you (we) are even more fortunate because we can help people going through those endless days and nights with addicts. And NOTHING is a happy ending like in a movie or television! As Jack Nicholson said in The Departed “This ain’t no reality show”!

  • Reply
    Katie
    September 5, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Thank you for writing this. Especially about the enabling part…

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    September 5, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Cara- I just found your website yesterday, and am hooked. Not only because it has AMAZING tips and really helpful information/videos.. but, because you struck a relational chord with me. It so refreshing to see someone so beautiful on the inside too!! Sharing your life’s journey has been touching and I just want to thank you for your courage to listen to the promptings to post your stories… I always feel that those “prompts” are whispers from a God who needs to reach someone through you!! I’m sure that’s exactly what He’s done… because of your willingness to be vulnerable! Kudos to you… Praying for a continued bright future for you and your family! Looking forward to following your posts!!

  • Reply
    CLaire Roselyn B. PElen
    September 5, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    where’s the like button in this? 🙂

  • Reply
    Jill Betzler
    September 5, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience in a beautiful way…it let’s others know they are NOT ALONE…very well done!…so glad you & your Son found your happy beginning again!

  • Reply
    Tina :)
    September 5, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Your strength and grace is beyond inspiring! Most of all I am struck by what an amazing mother you are. You saved your son so many scars by walking away. I can’t imagine how hard that was for you- but you have my respect! God is great and it seams you were led to mr right 🙂
    You should write a book! Your story is inspiring & you have the ability to connect to many with your words!!

  • Reply
    kari
    September 5, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Oh, Cara.
    I’m pretty sure I speak on behalf of all your fans when I say we are so grateful that you shared this with us. Like I said in part 1, so many people struggle with this issue, and it was amazing to see everyone come forward and say they have this same problem. People keep it hush hush, but with you having such a dominating presence on the internet, I thank you for coming forward and discussing this. You are an influential person, and by you encouraging others to go to Al Anon meetings, hopefully more people will take that first step and attend. I’m so sorry for your loss, and am so glad to see you and Christian doing great. Nick is an awesome guy!
    Thanks again for bringing awareness to this issue, and take care!

  • Reply
    Lisa
    September 5, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    Cara, I appreciate your sharing. I really think God had a hand in helping you share your powerful story. This has touched me more than you will ever know. I love an addict. It is my son, and I pray everyday for strength for him and myself. I am finally in self help for myself. His addiction has taken over my life, and I need that to change. I am a work in progress, but again thank you! Your post is encouraging to all of us that love someone with an addiction.

  • Reply
    Tina
    September 5, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Thank you. I lived with a drug addict for 22 years. I’ve been free for 14 months. I don’t talk about it much. People just don’t understand. I was surprised by the emotional response I had while reading your writing. So again, Thank You.

  • Reply
    Jennifer Beecher
    September 5, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    Cara – I’ve only been following your blog for a week or so now. Many of the simple things I have read or watched really have changed my perception of beauty and the beauty that I am. Watching your beautiful face transform in your videos is always so captivating. Today you showed us the beauty of a glowing and luminous soul which is a true gift. Thank you so very much for sharing this true beauty.

  • Reply
    Rachel Helms
    September 5, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    Poignant and heart wrenching. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Reply
    Katie
    September 6, 2013 at 1:23 am

    Cara, if you ever decide to give up the make-up blog (which you should NEVER)..I think your second calling in life would/could be a motivational speaker, counselor, therapist!! You have a heart of gold! And you have such a way with words. You come across so nice, understanding, and always looking at each topic from every side. Which many people don’t do. Love your little family. Hope you have another one real soon! And yes, Drew is happy, wherever he is!!

    Katie, Australia

  • Reply
    Anna Schatzman
    September 6, 2013 at 1:24 am

    Cara,

    You have been one of the biggest influences in my personal pursuit for happiness and beauty inside and out. I absolutely love your blogs, tutorial videos, and your heart for helping women look and feel more beautiful. I am in the cosmetic world also and your blog has been my go to place to learn and share! If we were neighbors I feel sure we would be best buds! I feel that our common ground is a gift and I am so excited to learn from you all I can about being makeup obsessed, having a heart for others, and now add to our common ground a hard life lesson in loving an addict. When I read part 1 of your blog I was so moved and want you to know that even though I dont know you personally I wanted to tell you how brave you are to share your story. Sharing your healing process will change lives and that I am praying for you to continue healing and sharing. You are such a huge influence in the beauty community and an incredibly positive one. When I read part 2 of your blog post I had barely scrolled through to the end when I saw the picture of the Word of our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ and I was immediately moved to tears. I have come through a very similar healing process to yours and this Scripture carried me through my hardest days. When I felt I couldn’t bear anything else I would still myself and listen to these words, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened…and you will find rest for your souls.” I hope that you continue to share that true beauty can come out of some of the darkest places in our lives.

    Blessings,

    Anna Schatzman

  • Reply
    Natalia
    September 6, 2013 at 3:47 am

    Cara, you’re such an amazing person. Thanks so much for sharing this story, heartbreaking and inspiring at once. I’m so happy that you have a fulfilling life now and still don’t want to forget the past that teached you a lot.

  • Reply
    Lando
    September 6, 2013 at 7:26 am

    Wonderfully written Cara! Your right about happily ever afters, they are few. I was an addict at age 13-24, I thought I was the only one I was hurting. When I sobered up us when I realized my family and loved ones suffered more than I did. Google Appalachian Dawn, it’s a Documentary about my little town and the fight against drugs. My testimony is in it.

  • Reply
    lana
    September 6, 2013 at 8:19 am

    Thank you so much for sharing Cara…. I am so sorry for all the pain you have gone through and grateful that you now have beauty for ashes! My prayer is that God will continue to reveal Himself to you through his son Jesus Christ, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. May you continue to know Him and embrace Him fully as your Saviour, not only for this life but for the one to come. He is MIGHTY to save!
    Thanks again for sharing… I LOVE your blog and all your fabulous makeup tricks… I should send you a before and after of my makeup looks pre- and post- Cara! Pretty fabulous transformation lol!

  • Reply
    Tammy
    September 6, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Oh Cara, my heart breaks for you and Drew. Thank you for sharing such intimate pieces of you.
    With love~ Tammy

  • Reply
    Erika
    September 6, 2013 at 8:54 am

    what a tear jerker! How lucky you guys are now! It shows what a great mother you are to be so selfless.

  • Reply
    Kaelyn
    September 6, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Wow! I really admire your strength, and I’ve been paying attention to this story since part 1! I’m glad that you made the right decision for you and your son, and I’m sure that he is happy wherever he is and is even happier that your son has a good father figure in his life now!

  • Reply
    Gina
    September 6, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Beautiful Bible verse – thanks for being courageous and sharing your faith !!

  • Reply
    Jaidean
    September 6, 2013 at 10:54 am

    You are such a beautiful person inside and out. You’ve probably touched more lives than you realize. There needs to be more people like you, and I could be wrong, but I think you’ve helped people grow into great people. That way they can be the best that they can be 🙂 Thank you for your integrity and open ness.

  • Reply
    Sandra
    September 6, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    What a journey you’ve traveled, Cara. Thank you for sharing your story and hopefully those who are currently struggling with similar issues will gain strength through your experience and, of course, God.

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    September 6, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Bless you Cara!
    Your a strong woman, thanks for passing your strength through sharing your story!

  • Reply
    Catt
    September 6, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    Wow Cara, this story was honestly both heartbreaking & inspiring.You are such a strong loving person & I admire that. I am so happy our Heavenly Father has blessed you with the beautiful life you deserve & I truly hope Drew is in a happier place, watching over your family.

  • Reply
    Lena
    September 7, 2013 at 8:19 am

    I am glad everything is working out for you. Another of my very favorite blogger is trying to quit. Head down to http://www.sundrymourning.com if you’re not already there, she is a hoot, just like you!

  • Reply
    Brittany
    September 8, 2013 at 12:20 am

    Hi Cara, this is such a sad story… It’s a lot like what just happened to my sister! Her husband just lost his life on August 30, 2013 from a heroin overdose…:'( they have 4 beautiful babies together!!:( it’s been such a sad, terrible, awful week!! But I’m glad to here that you have found peace and happiness!! I hope my sister can do the same… I love your blog!! My uncle Brandon Flowers used to date your sister.. My sisters are Rachel ludlow and Emily Newman.. She’s who just lost her husband…:( my name is Brittany Beddoes! Anyways I feel like I know you. And from your blog you are like a friend to me!! 😉 xo thanks for all of the inspiration that you give to me weekly!! I live in UT too… It’s a small world.

  • Reply
    Maribeth
    September 8, 2013 at 5:45 am

    Oh Cara, my heart breaks that you had to go through this. Thank you for sharing and opening up your heart to us. How courageous and brave you are! You are such a beautiful person inside as well as out, and am so happy that your life is full of joy now! Rock on, chica!

  • Reply
    Rachel Larson
    September 8, 2013 at 9:32 am

    I love amazing women like you who get out of situations like this for the good of yourself and especially your child. My mom did this very same thing for my 5 siblings and I. I will forever be grateful for what she had the courage to do and the kind of life she was able to give my brothers and sisters and myself. I know your son will feel the EXACT same way when he becomes an adult.

  • Reply
    Beatriz
    September 8, 2013 at 9:44 am

    your post made me cry…i´m really sorry that you had to go through something so dramatic…i´m happy for you now that you are happy and i wish you the best for the rest of your life, you diserve a good life!!

  • Reply
    Raechel
    September 8, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Thank you for posting your story. I am in a very similar story myself, but I am not dating one, I am raised by one. I cover him and blame myself that I am not good enough to turn him around. But I am getting stronger. I wish I could be the one to move on and get over it, but I am not the person who can do that. I only wish you posted a picture because I am so frustrated when you try to talk to someone about it and they are like “He doesn’t look like an addict, are you sure?”. You are a beautiful strong woman and all of the good of Drew will shine through from Christian. The heart and mind can be so confusing sometimes and nothing makes sense. I am so glad you got out, but I am so sorry he passed away. I know that there is nothing more that you wanted to see than for you to move on and find a great guy and for him to realize what he missed out on and cleaned up, and started his own family. Sometimes things just aren’t meant to work out the way you plan. Again, thank you for sharing your story.

  • Reply
    Margaret
    September 8, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Thank you for your transparency. Thirteen years ago I removed myself and my two children from the chaos of life with their alcoholic dad. Working two jobs and returning to college for a new career helped me make a good life for my children and myself. I am grateful. The sad part is my son is living a life of addiction. I know my sickness of enabling him is unhealthy for both of us…I know I have to let go; but, I’m struggling. Somehow I must find the strength to let him seek his own healing while I return to Al-Anon and go on with my life. Thanks, again, for sharing your story.

  • Reply
    Melissa
    September 8, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. I lost a cousin this year to heroin addiction and it is so important for people to be aware of these diseases and the help that is out there for them. He was a wonderful person who lost a hard fight. He is happy now – but we would all give a lot to have another day with him.

  • Reply
    Jasmine
    September 8, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    such an inspirational story, thanks for sharing,cara. it shows that behind this computer screen, you’re not some phony makeup guru, you’re a real person, with real experiences. And that is what makes this whole experience worth listening to.

  • Reply
    laura
    September 9, 2013 at 8:23 am

    You just never know what someone is going through. Someone can appear to have it all but behind the beautiful face, pretty clothes, stunning smile, lies a pain that no one can see. I have been there. It hurts. I’m glad you shared your story. This is why we must ALL treat each other with kindness , love and understanding. You NEVER know what goes beyond closed doors. You just never know!

  • Reply
    Janna
    September 9, 2013 at 9:54 am

    You are such an inspiration and a testament to the fact that The Lord can make us strong, and He will help us endure. Thank you for opening up the deepest parts of yourself in order to help others. You are a blessing to many.

  • Reply
    Brooke @ All Things Thrifty
    September 9, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Cara, My brother is an addict. I hope that someday we can say he is in “recovery” but I know that our story may end the same way yours did. Our family is surrounded by pain and I love him more than ever. I know I can’t change him although I wish I could. You are beautiful inside and out. Thank you for sharing your story. It brought me to tears. I feel like we are BFFs by default since Mandi and I talk about your awesomeness often. xoxo, Brooke

  • Reply
    Ashley Dempsey
    September 9, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    God bless ♥

  • Reply
    Avree
    September 10, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    What a beautiful post. I’m so sorry for the pain you’ve gone through but I’m so happy you have Christian and Nick. You’re awesome!

  • Reply
    laurahavemercier
    September 10, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    I’m so happy you shared this story. My dad was an alcoholic and died a few years ago. I know how difficult it can be to talk about it, but once you do, you realize that you are not alone and that there are so many other people willing to listen to your story.

  • Reply
    Sukanya
    September 10, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this story Cara. I’m in love with an addict and have now made the decision to go to Al-Anon meetings. We were together for almost a decade, engaged and living together. He has now pushed me away and his close circle of friends. He continues to drink constantly and it’s heart breaking to watch your best friend spiral downwards. I know he may need to hit bottom before he is able to recover. It’s just very painful to watch. Thank you for posting this. I’ve felt very alone and now I know I’m not.

  • Reply
    Glorya
    September 11, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Hola Cara,

    I am your NY’er fan. I want to write this in the correct way so you understand my feelings. I’ve been in recovery for close to 15 years. I recovered from family violence/sexual assault, as well as the punishment I put upon my self. I was an “enabler,” very co-dependent upon other people to make me feel happy, useful, worthy will, loved and lovable. I took so much abuse due to my disease. Once I realized my core wound, sexual abuse, I worked hard and diligent to heal in order to have a happier, much better life than both of my parents.

    When I first started reading the first part of your story of Addiction and Recovery, I didn’t and couldn’t finish reading it. Your story brought uncomfortable memories close to the surface around all the yearning, hope and support I provided for addicts who in the end only wanted their drug of choice: be it people, alcohol, drugs, money, etc. I’ve put myself into positions of being used and discarded.

    When I started reading your story, I felt like I could whip out poetry I have written in order to make sense of those times and situations. I went through painful, confusing, chaotic times that are far behind me. Oddly enough, or because of, once I gained enough Recovery to think of having a child, at 40 years, I was in two major car accidents that left me unable to work. My injuries were to my spine, I suffered from herniated discs and damaged nerves. For eight years, I basically want to the emergency room back home. In-between I dated two people who had no patience for my injuries and inability to socialize.

    In reading your second part, I am glad that I took the time to read it. I am glad that you emerged from your struggle stronger, smarter, with your child, supported by Al-Anon, ready to share your message. It gives me hope even after all this time.

    This year has been the best I’ve had since 2005. Being in so much pain for so long, I lost the sense of being an attractive woman. It was hard to feel good suffering from chronic pain at high levels while taking all kinds of pain killers, using a walker and then cane, also carrying around 25 or 30 extra pounds which were the result of so much pain medication and not exercising.

    Two years ago, newly single, my body told me of the food I no longer craved. I got rid of the bread, rice, sweets, etc. Slowly, I lost the weight going back to a size 6. I refocused on my spiritual health, that resulted in more healing and a happier me. And I bought my Self a laptop with some of the money I received. This way while I was in bed, I could be on the internet.

    Then I discovered your blog and started paying attention to your tips and How-To videos. You have been a step in my recovery and healing process, in helping me feel attractive again. I thank and applaud your courage.

    Besos & Abrazos,

    La Glorya de Nueva York

  • Reply
    Jessica
    September 11, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    What an amazing story of recovery, with a very happy ending. In tears again over here.

  • Reply
    Dai
    September 12, 2013 at 12:13 am

    Your story tugged at my heart. Thank you for sharing. You’re a beautiful person.

  • Reply
    Heather Shearer
    September 14, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    You are a beautiful slice of love.

  • Reply
    Joanna
    September 18, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    You are incredibly brave for sharing this story with the world and for protecting yourself and your little guy. As a new, momma myself, I can’t imagine how hard that was. Your little man is so lucky to have you as his mommy! I sincerely wish nothing but happiness for you and your family.

  • Reply
    Veronica
    September 30, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Cara,

    I have been reading your blog for all of two days now (after googling “highlight and contour” to learn how for my upcoming wedding) and I’ve been struck by the genuine kindness that seems to permeate your posts. It’s the kind of kindness that is hard to come by without some kind of pain behind it, know what I mean?

    I went through a very similar situation. Six years ago, I wrote that same letter to my serious boyfriend. Four years ago, his addiction took his life. I thought I had died when I wrote that letter, and I thought I’d died again with him when he passed. I’m now ten days away from marrying the most wonderful, kind, compassionate, and understanding man I’ve ever met, and it’s a testament to what can happen when you choose life – choose to keep putting one foot ahead of the other, and to live with integrity and joy, realizing that you’re not alone.

    Thank you for sharing and I wish you the very best!

  • Reply
    Meghan
    October 2, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Cara,
    Ty for sharing. I am going through this right now with my fiancé. We have a beautiful 1 1/2 year old daughter. He is literally fighting for his life daily. He went away in January and came out of treatment early and of course I allowed him to come home. He stayed sober up until 3 weeks ago and he started shooting heroine which he had never done before but we all know that this is a progressive disease. I had to kick him out of the house and he is currently living with a member of a 12 step program who was gracious enough to give him a place to stay. I of course picked up the pieces and have paid a few of his bills and bought him groceries twice. He says he has almost a week. I try not to see him and follow the suggestions of my Alanon sponsor which is so hard. I have refused to give him money or help him anymore. I told him if he picks up again he will never see myself or our daughter again. He is such a good father and she adores him. He is my love , my other half, my best friend and my heart. I have never loved anyone the way I love Dave and I hate this disease. I can’t handle maybe having to bury him. A friend in the program really opened my eyes to the reality of what could and might happen and then I found your story and I lost it bc every word and thought and feeling is me. I’m trying to hold on but I’m breaking. I just want him to get better. Thanks for listening.
    Meghan

  • Reply
    Sarah
    October 13, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    I have been addicted to your blog for forever–I had no idea you were LDS…I am too. I love your blog and the positive outlook you have. It is so inspiring and uplifting…you are so amazing!!
    xo
    Sarah

  • Reply
    RieRie
    October 19, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    I checked out your blog for the first time today (thank your Allure). I was immediately in love with your amazing makeup, but then I read this line, “I learned that I was standing in the way of his recovery by enabling him and the only way he would get better is if he was able to feel his own consequences, without me as his bubble wrap.” I’ve never heard a better way to understand enabling and I’m a psychologist! I’m sorry you had to go through all that and glad you made it through. You are amazing.

  • Reply
    Hilary
    November 15, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    This post gave me goosebumps. And it also just brought me some seriously heavy, brick-wall-smashing realizations about the person I LOVE with all my heart (who is an addict)…Thank you for helping others realize they aren’t alone. <3

  • Reply
    Ellie22
    January 10, 2014 at 12:58 am

    This made me really cry.
    I am the equivalent of your Christian & it is so awakening to see what my mother went through.
    Thank you for this, you write so poignantly and concisely and I really appreciate the depth you have written this in, I know that the feelings that can arise are painful.
    So a massive thank you from me.x

  • Reply
    Vivian
    January 20, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    Hi Cara. Firstly I want to say how muc I love your blog. You’re the first person who teaches me about HAC and I’m much older than you! I also have two kids – one 3 years and one 6 mths. So I loooooove how you showed in one of your videos using under 5 mins to do HAC. Lastly after that I read about flawlessness and then, Bam, this alanon post. I’m also one of the grateful members of alanon – been in the programme for almost 7 years now – still learning, you know what I mean ;)? You’re doing great and I’m so glad I found you today!

  • Reply
    Shay
    January 31, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Hi Cara,
    Just want you to know you are not alone in this. My older brother has been a heroine addict since I was 11 years old. I am now 21 and he continues to struggle with addiction. I’m happy to be able to say that he has been in recovery since July, and pray that things stay this way. After numerous times in rehab and countless relapses, the only thing you can do is have faith and hope that the person you care about decides to start caring about themselves. Sometimes things don’t work out ideally, but everything happens for a reason. Take your experiences, learn from them, and grow.

  • Reply
    gabrielle jones (@gabriel76811582)
    February 8, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    Hi,Cara;
    Thank you for telling this story…I am so glad you made the choice to leave for both you your son. My parents were both alcoholics,and the damage their behavior did to my sisters and me is incalculable. It has reverberated through all our adult relationships . What finally made me get counselling was the fear that I might not be the best mother to my little kids,but what I found out was that I was actually an excellent mother, and the one I took all my anger out on was myself. My husband had his own issues which added to our problems. However, both of us were committed to our marriage and family, so we both went to counselling,and we worked it out.
    I am very happy for you and your little boy that he has a daddy who can love him and be there for him. He will never have the pain as an adult of wondering who he might have been if he had not been so damaged.because he won’t be damaged,thanks to your courageous decision.God bless all of you!

  • Reply
    Jessica from Portland
    March 11, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for not being ashamed of this. I stepped into my first CODA meeting nearly 20 months ago and it changed my life dramatically. It was and continues to be the hardest, but most rewarding work in my 27 years on this planet. You are such an admirable woman and for you to be able to admit it to your fans and the world is extraordinary. The program works if you work it! Keep it up and keep kicking butt!

  • Reply
    Mrs. J
    July 6, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Cara…thank you for sharing your story. You are an amazing woman!! I am so happy I found your blog.

  • Reply
    Diane
    July 6, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Cara , I also have struggled with addiction myself in the past. And sadly , and most recently I have watched my daughter and her new husband and their little boy go through the same. I am aware that each situation is different, and that each person will only be open to help or “recovery” in their own time. Like you had said in your letter, there is so much to say, and still, so much I really don’t want to say. I would love so much to speak to you and get your take on my situation. I know that it would just be only that.

  • Reply
    Lauren Coombs (@GingerRuth94)
    August 7, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    Hi Cara,
    I just wanted to tell you that you are an amazingly strong woman. I’ve dealt with addiction and my family know how you feel/felt. I also wanted to say hi to a fellow member of the LDS church.Happy endings sometimes are hard to get by, but in the end they’re totally worth it.

  • Reply
    Jackie
    September 8, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Cara, I too struggled with a husband who had an addiction. Sadly, it consumed him. I always knew deep down inside something wasn’t right and thought perhaps he would have a drink before coming home, nothing more. He swore up and down he wasn’t drinking and that he didn’t have a problem. It felt there was nothing more I could do and that I had to believe and trust him as my husband. As I started suspecting more I believe he began to realize I was finding out and left me before I was able to confront him. It took only one week until he decided to take his own life. My sister told me about your story, I read it the night he died, before even finding out he was going to take his own life, because I knew deep down inside this was how it was going to end. I cried myself to sleep that night and was awaken with the notification of his email to me saying good bye. That was the hardest night of my life, but reading your story helped me realize that I have to keep moving forward, if not for me then for our children who need me. We have three children 3, 5, and 12 and I am a widow at the age of 30. It has been almost four weeks since he has passed away. It has been the hardest four weeks of my life, but I know it will get better, I just have to keep moving. Thank you for sharing your story. Hopefully I’ll be able to completely share mine one day. God bless you and your family. I admire you.

  • Reply
    Caite
    February 20, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    Well, looks like I’m years late to this blog but I love your blog. I haven’t read it in awhile but wanted to get some hair tips and stumbled upon this and didn’t expect to be crying in my office reading this. I am both an addict and a codependent who happens to be dating another addict 🙂 we’re both in recovery now. My heart goes out to you & Drew. Nothing is more painful than watching someone go through the ups & downs of addiction. I am sorry for what happened to him- but when that happens to people I know, I take it as blessing because they aren’t hurting from drugs or alcohol anymore. Anyway I just wanted to say thank you for putting this blog out into the universe and getting gut wrenchingly honest. Life is crazy- and for awhile I wasn’t going anywhere good but 4 years ago something greater than myself helped me get my life back on track. And today I am able to trust both good & bad things- it ALL happens for a reason. Reading this blog post today was EXACTLY what I needed. If I didn’t love you before (which I did cause your blogs are great and your videos *awkward/deer in headlights or not* are amazing) I certainly love you now 🙂 God Bless You! Xoxo thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Jennifer Fick
    March 5, 2015 at 8:17 am

    Just found your blog through One Little Momma. After clicking on a few tabs, I stumbled on this story. Wow. How powerful. Your perspective is so interesting and honest. I’ve never had this struggle, but my mom struggled with my dad’s alcoholism. Your words, I’m sure, will be helpful to many. The thoughts, feelings, and process you describe apply to struggles of any kind we face in this world.

    My heart goes out to you, Drew, and your son. What a blessing you have found a new partner and family to love and love you back. Wishing you much success in your blog and family! God’s blessings to you and your family!!

  • Reply
    Pam Ellen Hudson
    March 11, 2015 at 12:16 am

    I love your makeup blog — love it! I’ve been reading it for years and for some reason just decided to read about you. I had the same experience, my long-term partner was an addict, and it too took his life during Christmas of this year. I had the EXACT same experience as you did. I can’t believe it. I’m thrilled that someone has come into your life, thank you for posting. I’m going to have to read this again and again.

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    March 29, 2015 at 10:48 am

    Dang, I am that problem to my family. I found you today when I learned of your HAC palette perusing makeup blogs drinking wine for breakfast b/c I felt sick from drinking too much yesterday. I do OK some time but then there are these days. I feel inspired and know I can be better, just have to break this cycle. I don’t want to hurt anybody, I want to be pretty, healthy and take care of my family.

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    tracibender
    December 17, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    I also lost my husband to suicide, we share three kids together. The journey of a survivor is not one i would wish on anyone. However God is Amazing and does great things, just like he did with you. Thank you for sharing

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    Honestly don’t read your blog daily but stumbled upon this post and spoke to me. Currently in AA and working my steps. Your story moved me in a time I feel very alone. Glad to know you found peace and good man to love you and your son!

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