It’s important to understand the effects that our using has on our families. When we are in active addiction, we become so self centered that we forget about all the harm we are causing others. This is a letter my mom wrote to my brother when he was in rehab a few years back.
“I Love the addict,”
I don’t share the addiction, but I still live the life.
For the past five years, I’ve lived the life of a mother whose son is addicted to heroin. When I say I live the “life” I mean that when you are using, I live the pattern of your day. I know the exact time you get up in the morning, I hear the phone ring and know you are setting up a time to go to your dealer. When you come home you go straight to your room. You don’t eat meals with us, you’re up all night pacing the floors. I’m always anxious about when you’re going to ask me for money. When you go through withdrawal, I hear you sick in the bathroom. You are either sweating or freezing. It’s disgusting to find used needles and Qtips and bands for your arms lying around your room or in your jeep. I’m always wondering if you will come home or wake up alive. I see the desperation in your face and I feel completely helpless. I watch as you destroy your life and I wish that my love was enough for you.
Your drug use has brought a pain to my life that I’m not sure will ever go away. My mind is distracted with thoughts of you dying. It can be a struggle to get through a day. This distraction has made me neglect other family members and avoid friendships. When you are high on heroin or in withdrawal, you have a clouded mental outlook on things. It becomes impossible to have a conversation with you and the son I once knew is no longer here.
I feel such sadness that this addiction has made you lie and steal, that it makes you have no conscience or morals. I am angry about all the time you’ve wasted choosing heroin over being my son and a member of our family.
I will not let your addiction destroy or tear apart our family. I need you to know that I can’t live this life as a mother of a heroin addict anymore. The sorrow in my heart is just too much for me to take.
I pray daily that God doesn’t take you away from me and that he grant you strength to fight this evil poison.
Please try and be brave….bow down to the mighty, don’t run, stop holding your tongue, let the words fall out and say what you want to say, I want to see you be brave. ( yes, you know me, lyrics from a song)