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Red Flags and Powdered Donuts

written by Angela Newton

Drug Addiction is ugly. It makes good people seem unrecognizable. They say things they would never say. They do things they would never do; hurt people they would never hurt.

Then, there are the addicts themselves. I know what you are thinking, but, no. I’m talking about the spouse; the co-dependent. I’m talking about me…as “Stand By Your Man” plays in the background. [Insert eye-roll here.] Oh, the irony.

When I was approached to contribute to this blog, I was looking forward to sharing my story. But, after thinking about it, I became apprehensive. Over the past ten years, I have been able to minister to other wives, moms, and sisters, but on a much smaller scale. And, therefore, I didn’t have to dig too deeply into the details of our marriage and our past. I only revealed little pieces here and there; you know the good and the bad, but never the ugly. There are memories I would like to erase. There are places I don’t want to revisit in my memory.

But, I was reminded, “And they overcame and conquered him (the devil) because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony…” Revelation 12:11.

So, as I prepare to flip back through the pages of my mind, I am filled with hope and courage as I can see those pages are stained with the Blood of Jesus and all has been forgiven...and forgotten by our Father. (Psalm 103:11-13)

There is quite a story to tell---more than one post can handle. So, let’s begin with a memory that had long been forgotten, as I was trying to determine how and what I wanted to convey in this initial post.

Shawn and I had been married almost four years. I was a naive young woman. I trusted my husband. I believed his every word and desired to be the best wife I could be. But, I have always had this internal alarm that would go off when something wasn’t right. That alarm was going off and I would question him. He would give me the most profound look of betrayal and I would cry and apologize for assuming anything was wrong. I began to think I was losing my mind. He even tried to convince me that I was paranoid. Until one day, after he had been up for nearly three days straight, I stepped into the garage to find a white, powdery substance on the floor, a small piece of a straw and a blade on his work bench. When I questioned him about it, he tried to assure me that it was just the sugar from a pack of powdered donuts he had brought home from the store. Now, what would make a naive, young wife come to the drastic conclusion that her husband is abusing drugs? Surely, it was just as he said, “Powdered donuts.”

The red flags were flying! The signs were all too familiar in my family. But, that’s another story for another time. The point is this: Don’t ignore a red flag. Someone gave me that advice just five months ago about another situation, and it fits perfectly with this. Those red flags serve a purpose: to warn of danger ahead. Seek help. You are not alone. This ministry is here to help, not only the addict, but the family as well. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I hate powdered donuts to this day.

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