It’s Not Only About You

Image 48This week after your “slip” I felt as if you were angry. Was it at me or yourself? I don’t know. I look in on you, to make sure you are OK or to make sure you’re not doing something wrong. I’d rather not have to do this, I’d rather you weren’t an addict, I’d rather many things, but none of that is real. Nothing can explain the tears I shed for you. The nights when I awaken and hope that you are ok, even though you’re just in the next room. The nights when I awaken worried that you’ve hurt yourself or that I may find you on your bathroom floor. This is not a nightmare, it is life. It is not the life any of us wished for you or for ourselves. I don’t get a thrill out of searching your room for pills or other drugs. You think that I spy on you — do I have a choice?

You refer to your father as “That Man” or “Your Husband” among the more notable endearments. Let me tell you, as bad as you think he is, you are worse. Worse because you are like the gun sitting on a table that you can’t tell if it has a bullet inside or not until you pull the trigger. You can blame your father for many things, but the man he is today came out of worrying about you and chasing after you when you ran away. Did you think we were emotionless and that none of the things you’ve done had any affect on us?

I fight with myself every day. Should I stay home or go out? What activities should I participate in? Can I go for my walk? What should I plan to do? Can I go to a meeting? All are dependent on how you are doing.

This morning you complained, when I gave you your daily allowance that you are the oldest among your classmates and always have the smallest allowance. Are they recovering addicts, too? Have they slipped as many times as you have? I’m sure the answer is no here. Their parents can trust that their money is being spent on food, not drugs. Whereas we can’t.

The one thing you should know is that your addiction is not only about you. It affects all of us.  When you are doing well, the whole family is happier and when your not we are all stressed.

I found this poems over a year ago, perhaps it will give you insight on what I go through and what your father goes through. Don’t miss the last line, because it’s also true: 

I am the Mother of an Addict

By: dfdwilkins

This is not like being the mother of a child with cancer, diabetes, or aids
This is not like being the mother of a child who is serving with honor in a foreign land
This is not like being the mother of a child who lives no more and is mourned by all

I am the Mother of an Addict

There are no marathons or fund raisers for this disease, no sweet girls selling cookies
There are no flags flying, or bumper stickers to proudly acknowledge my child’s deeds
There are only tears and silent screams, dread of what the next knock or phone call brings

I am the Mother of an Addict

I see my child and I am not glad, for though I ache to save my child, with relief I let them go
I see my child with fear and suspicion, as I hear all they say and I can but endlessly hope
I see my child and wonder will I ever know them again, hold them again, see them again

I am the Mother of an Addict

They say it is not my fault, that I did nothing wrong, there’s little I can do
They say it is not my child’s fault, just a disease of disgrace, with no pity, no cure
They say be strong, but my life stands still and my friends and relatives move on

I am the Mother of an Addict

I watch the rest of my family suffer with sorrow and pain through the addiction
I watch the evening news and cringe as another mothers addict child is arrested and called scum
I watch a young man beg for change, for food and know he could be my own

I am the Mother of an Addict

I remember the smiles and look at pictures of my sweet little child
I remember the hugs, and kisses, the scrapped knees, the soccer games
I remember their plans, their goals, their hopes and dreams.

I am the Mother of an Addict

I look for child to come home, to call, and so I do not sleep
I look for my child to find the strength to battle this terrible disease
I look for solace, for help, for a cure and I grasp at what straws of promise I can.

I am the Mother of an Addict

And I hope, in endless hope for future free from drugs
And I hope in restless sleep of a way out of this nightmare
And I hope, and I pray, and I cry, and I plead, but always,
I love my child.

I know you believe that what you do only affects you, but that is simply not true. Your parents aside, what do you think your brother feels when you do the things you do? I recently came across this poem the author is unknown, but it gives a good perspective :

I am the other child.
The ok one
I am the sober child.
The one on the sidelines.
I am the observer.
The one watching him slowly killing our parents.
I am the angry one.
The one who’s pissed because he’s
destroying our family.
I am the sad one.
The one losing her first best friend.
I am the reassuring one.
The one holding her Momma as she cries.
I am the torn one.
The broken one trying to hold everyone
together.
I am the confused one.
The one who wonders how we became
so unimportant and invisible.
I am the other child.
The ok one.

So no, it’s not only about you.

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