Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Twenty years ago today Craig and I were married. This was after a long distance romance which started in Holland and lasted the next 4 years throughout college until June 6, 1992. Having spent most of our relationship apart, we were even more anxious than most couples to spend the rest of eternity together. But you should probably know that twenty years ago I was a drug addict.
My drug of choice? Dopamine. And it's just as addictive as cocaine. You see, dopamine is a very powerful chemical in our brains. It can make you think delusional things like we're the only two people to ever be so in love. We're soul mates. We'll still feel the same way about each other in 50 years when we're old, wrinkly, fat and wearing diapers. It also makes us think, this marriage thing is gonna be so easy because ______________(fill any name you wish in the blank here) and I are so in love, we're soul mates and we'll feel the exact same way when we're still gettin' it on twice a day in the nursing home wearing diapers. But, that's all a big crap load of lies. Lies I tell you!
Because those dreamy dopamine delusions only last up to 4 years max. Less if you're Kim Kardasian or Brittany Spears.) After the oxytocin, the mellower-not-tonight-honey-let's-just-cuddle-drug takes over. If you're still together of course.
Because those dreamy dopamine delusions only last up to 4 years. (Less if you're Kim Kardasian or Brittany Spears.) After that oxytocin, the mellower-not-tonight-honey-let's-just-cuddle-drug takes over. If you're still together of course.
Not only does biology work against you, then you have to contend with the little bumps in the path that also take a toll on your marriage.
For us it was medical school. And graduate school.
Residency. (Which is far more stress than medical school.)
Craig's dad passing away.
Deciding it was time to start trying to have a baby.
Realizing that's near impossible when your husband is never home.
Selling our souls to the army to pay back medical school. (His soul really, mine was just bonus.)
Not getting pregnant after years of trying. (Which is a lot less fun than it sounds.)
My mom passing away.
Deciding to adopt.
Adopting our first child, River.
Then moving to Germany.
Where the tragedy of September 11th happened a week after our arrival.
Adopting Sky and Jade.
Craig getting sent to the war in Iraq for 15 months.
While I stayed in Germany with a 1, 2 and 3 year old.
Deciding to move to Colorado on a whim. Somewhere we hadn't been, that we didn't know a soul and we didn't have a job after the army.
Paying the equivalent of 2 mortgages for 7 years to buy into a group medical practice.
Adopting our fourth child, Ember.
Taking a job with the Peace Corps and moving to Morocco.
And you know how stress free that has been.
For years we didn't realize the toll all of these bumps (and many others) had on our marriage. We took it for granted. More than once we tripped on the obstacles in the path and lost our course. At different times each of us thought that maybe it wasn't even the path we actually wanted to be on at all. That's what being clean, sober and dopamine free gets you. Reality. Reality bites.
But, in this unsexy reality, I always have someone to catch me or help me up when I fall. Not because he can't see my imperfections, but because he can. And somehow loves me despite them. As I do him. Who needs dopamine? We've got oxytocin. Let’s cuddle!
That's why I'm doing 20 years to life hard time on drug charges with my best friend.