"For a long time I had myself convinced that during the years my husband drank that I had compromised myself and lived a facade. During his drinking I put on a happy face and pretended to have a good life and marriage. When he stopped drinking I found myself lost and disappointed with everything I had put up with and sacrificed. I judged myself very harshly and thought everything about me had been a lie. But now I know different. Through much soul searching and counseling I came to realize it was not a facade but rather survival. I am a winner and I learned to survive by putting my emotions on hold. I learned how to wait. I put myself second so I could focus on my family. I hid myself and my emotions not because I was weak, but for my family to survive. So I have reframed my experince and if I talk of the past I now speak as a survivor, not as one who lived a facade. This has made all the difference in my happiness and self image today." - V.W.