Advice to My Younger Self

Dear Kilee

Dear Kilee,

You have been married for a short six months. When you were first married, you could never have imagined the betrayal and hurt that your husband could cause you. You thought you were both on the same page and on the path to the celestial kingdom together. Now, in just a few seconds, your world has come crashing down.

You are so young, and you are embarking on the journey of a lifetime. Right now, you can’t imagine it getting worse. It can. But it will also get better.

More will come: pain, darkness, and heartache. At times, hope will seem completely lost. You will ponder the idea of divorce and even the possibility of taking your own life to escape the hell of this addiction.

There is more than darkness in your future. There is bounteous light and hope, and you will make it through the dark periods every single time. As you and he embrace recovery together, you will learn to love each other in ways you never thought possible. You will discover your greatest strengths and weaknesses. And you will see the compassion and love you are both capable of. You will start the rest of your family.

Through recovery, you will make friends you would have never known otherwise. You will learn lessons about friendship, vulnerability, and service. You will learn to love others and see them as Christ does.

You will learn about the Atonement, and you will be cradled in the arms of your Savior. You will learn how to follow promptings of the Holy Ghost. And you will be able to share a message of hope with others you come in contact with.

Your husband will get into recovery. Eventually he will acknowledge that this is an addiction and that he can’t solve it on his own. You will seek help together and become one in the fight against Satan and his efforts to destroy your family. You will be given knowledge and resources to help you understand the addiction. You will learn it’s not your fault. You will learn you can’t control the addiction. And, eventually, you will turn it all over to God and trust in His plan.

You will go through hell on earth. But you will come out stronger and more beautiful. Four years from now, you will be welcoming a baby boy into your home, and you will be so grateful for the efforts you have put into your marriage and recovery. Things won’t be perfect, but you will have hope and be grateful for the recovery path you are on together.

This addiction won’t exempt you from other trials. So many hard things will come your way, but what you will experience with the Atonement will teach you that you are never alone. You will become a strength to your family and friends, and you will have gratitude for all the blessings God has given you.

Don’t give up. You can do all things through the power of God.

You are beautiful and strong. You can do hard things.