Editorial: Loving a Crack Addict in Recovery

Michele Orsinger

The editorials that I’ve written lately have focused on my experience with mental illness… my perception and my daily life. What I haven’t focused on is the struggle my husband has to endure living with those issues. One thing I didn’t tell you is that my husband is a crack addict in recovery. He’s been sober since the day we met and that makes me so proud. My editorials haven’t covered addiction… and they should have. You see… not only is my husband an addict, he also suffers from depression. He’s the sober one… the one who kicked his habit without looking back. It amazes me how he tackles the urges without breaking. The urges don’t happen very often… mainly during extremely stressful times. Hearing him tell his story is eye-opening.

We met in October 2019 and something instantly drew us towards each other. From that very first day, we were inseparable… spending hours on end just talking. We shared things with each other that neither of us ever told a soul. I found comfort in our conversations… he found a person he could finally open up to about everything. Through all the laughter and the crying, we became stronger. I married my best friend on July 4, 2020. Life definitely isn’t perfect, but we push forward every day to make it memorable. When loving an addict, it’s important to take the good with the bad… to never judge… to try and understand. Here’s our story… how we found a purpose in life after both being defeated.

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I met a man who had nothing but two trash bags with clothes. I found a Batman blanket and the rest was just destiny. You see, I escaped a deadly domestic violence situation. My choices were minimal… the courts didn't help, no one helped. I was faced with the choice of moving across the country to be with my mom or stay where I had “job stability”... simple choice. I needed to stay where the income was… where my life always was. I met a crack addict when I needed someone. It’s crazy how life works out that way. With nowhere to go, I found shelter at the home of a co-worker… and I was drinking myself into oblivion. At the time, my liquor was a coping mechanism after suffering 15 puncture wounds and a brain injury. It was just life at the time.

What I didn’t know is that the crack addict I confided in would turn out to be my best friend. He became the man who kicked his habit from the day we met. Maybe it was because I was lonely… maybe it’s because he was - it doesn’t really matter now. What matters is the details. What matters is who we became to each other. To anyone who shoves an addict to the side… think about what you’re doing. Every day life is hard enough for a normally functioning person… can you imagine it through the eyes of a person who has nothing or no-one… can you try.

Once we started confiding in each other, everything changed. His “so-called” friends threw him under the bus… they were no longer his friends. You see, I may be a domestic violence survivor out of my own stupidity… but, I’m far from stupid. There was something in this man that I grasped… something I understood… death and depression. We were both in the same spot at one point. He buried his wife… I buried the man I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with. They say death brings people together - this goes deeper than that. It’s not something that can be understood unless you live it… survive it.

I fell in love with a crack addict…

When we met, he had 2 trash bags of clothes… I had 2 cars. I had a lifetime of things that I was willing to throw in the trash. That’s really what put us on the same page. All either of us wanted was normal… a life worth living. We’ve come a long way since then.

If anyone wants to judge an addict… judge my husband… then judge me. In the past three years, we built a business, we bought a house, we tackled more than anyone said we could. The most important thing we did was start a charity. It’s time for us to give back to the community that tried to raise us. It’s really the simple things, folks… it is.

Michele Orsinger

My husband turned 50 today… a milestone he never thought he would reach. It’s a milestone he never wanted to reach until we crossed paths. That’s what it is when you fall in love with a crack addict. They don’t care until they have a reason to care. My husband has that reason. He found the best friend that he’s always needed… that he’s always wanted. It’s crazy how life works out that way.

One thing I can tell you is simple… don’t judge what you’ve never lived. When you come across a moment that leaves you questioning yourself - question your own mind. Do what you think is right. If my choices would have been different, I wouldn’t be married to my best friend right now. I wouldn’t be celebrating his 50th birthday with him… I would have been on the other side of the country. It’s that spur of the moment decision… that moment I just knew. I fell in love with a crack addict and I’ll never regret it. My husband is my best half…

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My mission is to provide the world with inspirational, educational, and real life stories. Almost everything created is done so in an editorial way. It's important to me that readers can find articles to read while feeling like they're part of the story.

Mechanicsburg, PA

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