I fought off writing this for a long time for a couple reasons. I never felt like it was my story to tell. I also felt like it was super sad and depressing to talk about.
But I’ve realized that anything in my life that has shaped me is part of my story and I know I’m not the only one in this situation so maybe writing this post will help me connect with other people.
Loving someone who is killing themselves through the means of an addiction is the most painful thing I will probably ever have to live through. I used to blame myself, always questioning if there were things I could have done or said that would help this person from the destiny they continue to choose for themselves. I wondered if it was my actions that turned them to drink themselves into their unconscious state day after day.
“Maybe if I was smarter, more well behaved, had bigger achievements.. etc. etc.,” were questions I asked myself every day.
Every glimmer of hope I saw, I would hold onto, hoping that one day they would wake up and choose life over their addiction. That they would choose family over an intoxicated haze. And again and again, every piece of hope would be ripped from my fingers.
People will tell you to just keep loving them to the best of your ability. Just keep praying for them. Just keep holding onto to hope that one day it’ll be different. But what they don’t see is the relapses where hope is torn from your hands over and over again.
People don’t talk about the missed birthdays, Christmases and other holidays. They don’t talk about the awkward conversations when people ask where they are, why they look so ill or how they got all those bruises all over their bodies.
You have to watch people judge your family, wondering why we’re not trying to help them more, and not knowing we’re helping them the best we can.
They don’t know what it’s like to have the person you love one day and an addiction stricken monster the next. They don’t know what it’s like to blame yourself into a depression. To compare yourself and wonder if you’ll ever end up drowning in addiction too.
Loving someone who is killing themselves hurts, it hurts every single day. It leaves your heart feeling empty and hopeless. And you live for the sober days, the sober conversations, the sober hugs and “I love you”s. Because even on the most hopeless days, hope is all you really have to hold on to, and hope is what we continue to do.