My story began with a pretty minor misstep while running that turned into a gruesome injury that would forever change my life. That was July of 2015. After months of not being able to walk or work. Months of sitting around putting on roughly 60 pounds to my already obese body I saw a surgeon who finally said he could help. He could help with the numbness, the swelling, the mobility issues and of course the pain. Up to that point I had been prescribed very little pain medication but that changes when you have a major surgery. And it definitely changes when you develop a serious infection that leads to a second surgery and a host of other problems. I spent the summer after those surgeries trying to recover physically and mentally. When a doctor brought up my increasing weight and the option of bariatric surgery it took all of 2 seconds for my to decide that that was what I was going to do. By August of 2017 I had had 4 more major surgeries. It started with bariatric surgery and led to complication after complication and ultimately a reversal of the entire procedure. I spent most of that time in and out of the hospital. I was in and out of different E.R.s in extreme pain. And I was high for most of it because narcotics were all they could do for me as my body had completely rejected the gastric bypass surgery. When the symptoms settled and my scats healed and I got my nutrition back on track it became obvious that all this led to... an addiction. I was in rehab by early October (Less then 3 weeks after my wedding). Rehab was not for me and I did not complete the program but I have remained 100% clean and out of the hospital fortunately. But I've hit a speed bump. Sometimes drugs, alcohol or any other addiction cloud our minds. And at times makes it impossible to see anything, much less any silver linings in our life. When I was using I found myself to be very impulsive. Perhaps to a fault. In that impulsivity I went out and adopted a dog on a whim. And it may have been that decision that changed it all for me. I can't say that it was Ginger who made me want to get clean, or who kept me clean. But what I can say is that when I was emotionally beat to a pulp, she was the one there, silently loving me. She had no words and that was exactly what I needed. She would come and lay next to my face when I would collapse on the floor in a fit of rage because I burnt my Mac and cheese. She would lick my tears when I would wake up screaming from the nightmares. And she was always in bed with me when I woke up in an empty house on days that all my family was at work. This dog was more than an impulse buy, she was the silver lining on the cloud that was my life. And as I fought the battle to where I am today, over 8 months sober, I realize that nothing good comes from an addiction. But good things can happen when addicted. Ginger has been missing for over 24 hours now. She took off while I was at work yesterday and we can't find her anywhere. I'm having trouble conveying my need for this dog without being openly honest about my addiction. I spent the day looking and searching. But the fog that I used to need drugs to cover up is creeping back into my head. She walked me through it... She held my hand and let me scream and cry without batting an eye or moving an inch. And I, well I couldn't even keep her safe. I'm desperate to know what the next step is here. But I don't even know where that step should lead. Hope or grief?