The boys couldn’t get along playing basketball. So instead of playing ball, I had them write reports on presidents and present them to us today. They learned about the history and hopefully how to play nicely with each other. If not, there are still 41 presidents for them to write reports about. Ironically, not one fight broke out when we made Mabry Rushmore.
Grateful for the opportunity to share a spouse’s perspective on addiction for an interview. We started Mabry Living to share our truth. It’s comforting to know we made the right decision to let light into the dark spaces of our lives. If you’re secretly struggling with addiction in your home or family, you’re not alone.
Check out the latest blog by Bulow Orthotic & Prosthetic Solutions. A huge thank you to Matt Bulow and his team, who have taken care of all of John’s prosthetic needs for the last 7 years.
For John Mabry, the hardest part of being an amputee was overcoming the mental and emotional effects—the physical part was the easy part.
He became a below-the-knee amputee while still in college. During a ride in a friend’s SUV, a right rear tire blew out, causing the vehicle to roll twelve times. John’s legs became crushed from the impact.
“I literally envisioned the remaining seconds of my life as a scene from a 1920’s-style movie reel,” he said. “However, instead of thinking my movie would end in true love and conquest, the reality was looking more like a conclusion of indescribable fear, terror, and pain.”
John was faced with the choice of another year of surgery and therapy with no guarantee of complete recovery, or to amputate his right leg below the knee.
“Nothing can really prepare you for the moment when you first look down and see an empty space where your leg used to be,” he said.
He said what helped him the most was being able to talk to another amputee, who showed him that life does go on. Just six weeks later, John walked across the stage to receive his bachelor’s degree.
John went on to earn his master’s degree and married his wife, Sarah. He acted in Hollywood for a while, appearing in movies and TV shows as Superbad, NCIS, E.R., JAG, and numerous commercials. He is also credited with inventing a revolutionary product for the prosthetics industry that allows thousands of amputees around the world to live healthier, more active lifestyles.
However, in spite of all these accomplishments, he wasn’t addressing the mental and emotional impacts that his amputation was having on him. He fell into alcoholism, which caused much strife within his family.
Eventually, he sought help for his addition. Today, he says being sober and having a loving family is a greater accomplishment than his inventions or acting ever were. He documents his wacky day-to-day life with his wife and kids on his blog, www.mabryliving.com.
In 2009, he and his family moved from California to Nashville, where he works at Addiction Campuses to help others who struggle with the same issues as he did. When he knew he was moving, he called the first amputee he ever met and asked if he knew any good prosthetists in Nashville. That was how he first came to Bulow Orthotic & Prosthetic Solutions.
To other new amputees, he says, “It isn’t always as easy as they make it look on TV when they show the elite athletes competing. There is a rollercoaster that we go through, both physically and emotionally, that the average person doesn’t understand.”
Oh yeah, I’m pimping out our family car thanks to Krafty Kutz design. We named our car Maroon5 because it is maroon and there are five of us Mabry’s. Cheesy, we know! That’s how we roll!
In actuality, we did meet Maroon 5 several years ago in San Diego at a show.
Our Mabry Living room has been a place where we have RE-corded many of our memories. There have been RE-actions to unforgettable moments like when we were RE-warded with healthy children and brought them home from the hospital. It is where we have RE-told joyous moments like seeing the kids scamper to the Christmas tree on Christmas morning. It’s here where we can RE-count funny moments like when we thought our dog ran off with a dirty diaper and ate the goods inside (he didn’t, thank goodness). And, there have been seemingly irREconcilable moments such as telling the kids that daddy is going to be gone for their birthdays and Christmas to seek help following a RE-lapse.
When John RE-gressed in his sobriety this time last year and RE-admitted into one of Addiction Campuses’ great facilities, called The Treehouse, I knew I had to stay strong for myself and my kids. It wasn’t a choice to crumble. I HAD to RE-evaluate new ways to keep finding HOPE and JOY. Art and creativity have always been things I’ve RE-turned to as therapeutic RE-leases. So, what better way to RE-kindle hope and joy than RE-decorating my family room with my artwork?
I wanted to RE-create a room full of light, full of hope,full of encouragement and beaming with love. I started by painting my walls with a RE-freshing color, appropriately called RE-flection, by Sherwin Williams. This lightened the room drastically. With all the decorations down and new paint RE-applied to the walls, I had the blank canvas I needed to RE-create a new beginning for my room, but also for RE-newing my hope and RE-igniting my joy. It was time to RE-create, RE-fresh, RE-juvenate, RE-do and RE-claim ME through my creativity and love for decor.
While John RE-entered treatment, I spent time RE-evaluating “Sarah.” I RE-cognize that through the busyness of raising three kids and the RE-occurance of addiction in our marriage, I often lose pieces of myself. To RE-engage with my innermost self, I RE-flected on these simple questions:
I wanted to RE-create an atmosphere that incorporated my answers to the above questions through RE-decorating. My goal for this project was to RE-build and RE-store my broken spirit by RE-designing our Mabry Living room.
Now for the fun part, BEFORE and AFTER pictures. Who doesn’t love RE-decorating transformation pictures??
Like RE-making an old, darker room light again, we have the ability to chose to RE-invent ourselves. If these walls could talk, my HOPE is that they would tell you a story of continued RE-commitment, RE-demption and the RE-vival of a soul that has RE-ceived, through God’s grace, the willingness to RE-main open to RE-conciling a marriage following RE-lapse.
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