“Wow! What can I say about RISE AGAIN? This beautifully written book took me on a roller coaster of emotions and I was gripped right from the first page. What inspires me about Megan is how she listens to her intuition and trust in life; that by leaving her doors open, love will rush in. She is a fearless and relentless warrior fighting to recover herself and her family. Really beautiful and powerful writing that ended too soon.”—Madeleine Black, Author, “Unbroken”
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He fell in love with her. Then he fell in love with a bottle of tiny white pills. Can a love that’s already overcome the unimaginable survive addiction, too?
I was a typical middle-class Mom living in the idyllic red rocks of Sedona, AZ.
Everyone thought we had the perfect family.
We had respectable careers, three beautiful, young children, and an extraordinary love that had drawn over 300 witnesses on our wedding day.
But the truth was, we’d just lost everything – our home to the recession, my career of five years as a TV host, and twenty-one people we knew and loved. Tragedy had prepared me for the greatest fight of my life: facing the truth of my husband’s deadly painkiller addiction, before it was too late.
It was 3 a.m. and the kids were sleeping, but I lay awake counting the seconds between my husband’s breaths, wondering, “Will this be the night this addiction finally kills him?” I looked around at my life, finally seeing through the lie that we’re a, “perfect, happy family.” I knew the truth: the addiction had taken him over. I had to find courage before the next breath…before he became death number twenty-two.
My husband Kory and I fell in love on the heels of the two greatest losses in our young lives: his best friend had recently died in a tragic drunk driving accident, and my two-year-old nephew had passed suddenly. The instant we met, even in our youth, our love buoyed us to overcome our grief and begin building the life of our dreams.
But just after we met, Kory injured his back helping his grandmother with a home repair. It was 2003 and doctors were excited about a new miracle drug called Vicodin. Kory tried everything from acupuncture to physical therapy, but in the end, his doctors recommended long-term use of opioid painkillers.
Over the years, I began to see the changes in him, began to wonder if he was using the pills as prescribed. I didn’t want to face the truth, because the other truth was that this man was a truly amazing, selfless, kind human being. When his behavior started to change dramatically ten years after we met, I knew I couldn’t waste anymore time in denial. When I looked through our bathroom window from the outside early one morning, what I saw was enough for me to finally kick him out and change the locks after a decade of failed interventions.
Left to recover our lives from the effects of his addiction – ransacking my home for drugs, filing Protection Orders and Police Reports, I was determined to divorce him even after he’d entered a thirty-day treatment program.
As I struggled to hold my family together as a suddenly-single-mom, I vacillated between forgiveness and anger, courage and fear. After losing so much, I needed to learn how to trust life again, how to trust myself again after years of looking the other way. I decided the only way I could survive separating from the love of my life was to believe there was something beautiful waiting on the other side.
After fifty-five days under an Order of Protection (and thirty days in rehab), I saw Kory again for the first time in court. The instant I saw his clear, crystalline-blue eyes, I knew he was my soulmate again. I hated him, I loved him…could I ever forgive him?
Told with electrifying honesty and suspense, RISE AGAIN is an unlikely story of forgiveness and redemption that speaks to an ever-growing epidemic of opiate abuse in America that affects families everywhere. But it’s not just a story about addiction – its about love, overcoming unimaginable betrayal and hurt, and the power of the human spirit to turn tragedy to triumph; to overcome, and rise again.
More of this story here: “I Lost It All & Got It All Back: We Survived America’s Opioid Crisis”
“Through Megan Aronson’s powerfully told story, her innocent family becomes the face of America’s hidden horror story, the current opioid crisis. With rare vulnerability and true poise, her voice calls up our own deepest family secrets and we feel Megan’s pain and courage as she faces the monster of addiction as though we stand beside her.”—Veronika Grace, Operations Manager, Sedona Soul Adventures