November 22, 2016

This Is The Heartbreaking Truth About Living With An Addict

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What is the issue?
Austin Ban
Austin Ban

Growing up, you were always more talented than I. Always getting attention for unbelievable skateboarding tricks. From as long as I can remember – you were on that skateboard. Our yard transformed into a skate park, where the neighborhood would come to hang out. You went away to the most expensive of camps and parks and trips to fuel your desire to become something “big” in life.

When did that desire to become something more fade away? Did it start when you began experimenting with pot in the basement with your friends when you were a teen? Or when you progressed onto the “fun” drugs like shrooms, and molly at music festivals? Or did everything come crashing down after your big skateboard accident, when you were laid up for months, being prescribed painkiller after painkiller?

I’m looking for anyone, anything to blame but you.

It’s only been a year we’ve known about your heroin addiction, and since that day our lives have changed drastically. Every day I try to understand what it does to you, and why you can’t stop, or want to stop. How can you want to live your life this way? I question if you have any understanding of how you appear to us, or others, or if you even give a shit. I wonder what lie you’ll tell today, what crazy story you’ll come up with as to why your behavior is odd and bizarre or what time we’ll see you nod out at the kitchen counter.

I wonder if you genuinely have any idea of what you’ve put our family through or if you even care? I wonder if we’ll ever be a happy, healthy family again, or, if I’ll spend the rest of my life fighting your addiction with you.

You’ve changed our family in every aspect. Mom has become so focused on her son and this addiction that every conversation, every story, every day starts with you, and your disease. Every angle of her life is consumed with your welfare, and fighting a battle to your recovery – something I’m not even sure you desire at this time. The hateful, nasty things you’ve said to her while high, is something a mother should never hear from her child’s mouth, but still, she sticks by your side, praying she can save you, before it’s too late.

Dad, – well, he says he’s given up and he’s so tired of dealing with the lies, and the stories, and the drama, and he wants to cut you off and throw you out into the cold but truth is, he love you more than you’ll ever know, and he is so hurt by your choices, and actions – but unfortunately, you’re too blind to see this as the drugs have consumed every fiber of your being.

As for us, well, we’re all we got – we’re always going to be siblings and someday all we’ll have is each other. But for now, we’re done. I can’t watch you slowly kill yourself. Each day I try to distance myself from you and your addiction more and more in hopes that someday I’ll become as numb to it as you are.

The honest truth is, I want to rid you of my life, and our families’ lives and never have to speak to you again – I want to hate you – and often even wish you weren’t my brother – I want to feel good, and morally right for feeling this – but that is the furthest from reality.

I spend every day worrying and thinking of every bad thing that could happen to you and how ill deal with it if it happens. I spend every day researching, and learning, and attempting to further my education in hopes to help you fight this battle. I spend every night worrying, wondering where you are, and if you’re going to come home and make it to see another day tomorrow.

Dinner time in our house has turned from “normal” family conversations, to discussing how your disease can end in two ways, success, or succumb. We’ve all discussed being prepared for “the call.” if this disease claims you before you can overcome it. Not the typical dinner conversation, and certainly not one I will ever be able to stomach.

As much as I hate this disease, and who you are when you’re high, and the amount of pain you’ve caused our family – is nothing in comparison to the pain we would feel if we lost you.

We’ve all given up so much for you; we’ve devoted the last year of our lives in an effort to get you into recovery, keep you clean, support you financially, provide you housing and most importantly, educate ourselves on this epidemic. However, we’re no longer hopeful; you’ve robbed us of that too – after each failed rehab stint, and relapse – we can only pray that someday, you’ll get tired of living this life and want to change; not for us, but for you.

We can’t want it for you, and that’s the painful truth we’ve dealt with.

“The worst thing is watching someone drown and not being able to convince them that they can save themselves by just standing up” – Anonymous

We’ve watched you withdraw in our living room – right before our eyes – the unimaginable feelings of physical withdrawal – restless legs, nausea, sweats, and agonizing discomfort. We’ve sent you to multiple rehabs, and detox facilities. Multiple intensive outpatient programs, and even monitor your prescribed medication to reduce the cravings. We’ve watched you crash a car while driving high – get assaulted, jumped and left for dead on two separate occasions – and yet, here we are – prisoners in our own lives, and our own home – fearing the unknown – hoping, praying for change – all while you get high, day after day.

We can’t watch it anymore; and it’s come time for us to ask you to leave.

This house is no longer “home” it’s become ground zero to your addiction. I hope you hit rock-bottom, and it comes sooner rather than later, I hope you spend a night in the cold as winter approaches here.

I hope you lose everything you have – in order to gain back the life you deserve. TC mark

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