LifeGrief

This Is What Addiction Does To The People Who Love You

You’ve always been my best friend. My fiercest protector, loudest cheerleader. The person who stood up for me when I couldn’t stand up for myself. The one who believed in me when I was ready to quit. We raised each other. Most of my best memories include you.

You used to be my person.

All of my recent memories with you are clouded by a fog of anxiety, guilt, confusion. I never know which you I’ll get when we’re together.

When my phone rings in the middle of the work day or late at night, my stomach ties itself in knots. I wonder what crisis I might be answering the phone to this time.

Will this be the day your addiction finally got the best of you?

Sometimes in unexpected moments, I find myself reliving that night when I thought I was watching your last moments on earth. I’ve never seen a body lose so much blood so fast.

I was eerily calm. I knew exactly what to do. I moved you from the bathroom floor to the bed and wrapped you in a sweater. A little sister should never have to do that. All I could think about was how, if you were dying, the only thing I could do to help was to make sure you weren’t naked when the EMTs arrived.

I didn’t cry. My heart didn’t race. I don’t think I was even surprised.

Then came the guilt.

We spent the whole day together, and I knew something wasn’t right. I should’ve forced you to go…somewhere.

I left for a few hours when it got to be too much for me. If I hadn’t left, would you have gotten so bad? What would’ve happened if I hadn’t come back? Would you have died? Would it have been my fault?

I told you last week that if you don’t take steps to address your substance abuse, to fight the addiction, then I’m out of your life.

Honestly, it wasn’t even a hard decision to make.

You’re not you anymore. You are your addiction. Everything you do, everything you say, is for one purpose: feeding the addiction.

You don’t care about anyone the way you care about the monster who lives inside you. You nurture it, feed it. It’s turned you into the most selfish person I know.

The big sister who once cared for me now manipulates, lies, twists the story.

Your monster broke you, and you broke us. Broke me.

You used to be my person. Now I don’t even recognize you.

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