I suppose that I have been in shock for the better part of the last two weeks. I have been meaning to write this letter to you. I know that you are watching, waiting. I have been at a loss for words. Words usually never escape me, but they have fled and left me wanting. Wanting to put down on paper all the many things I want, no, need to say to you. Things you need to hear in the hopes you can see yourself through my eyes, as you are, and as you can be, that scared little girl who is still running away from all the things that have plagued her in life. I need you to see that brave, strong girl who has survived so much adversity in her life thus far. I need you to see that the hardest part is over, the barely surviving is over. You have to be strong a while longer, but I promise if you stay strong just a little bit longer, that it will be worth it. It will all be worth it in the end. Your dreams can come true. You and only you have the power to make that happen.
I remember you when you were young. Twelve years old to be exact. You were young and impressionable. You were assigned as my little sis in our fraternal service youth organization. You were almost six years younger than me. You adored me, and looked up to me. You always wanted for me to be proud of you. And I was. I was your biggest cheerleader when you were filled with self doubt, that voice always in the back of your head rooting for you. Always cheering you on to do your best, and to work harder. To get the result you have to put in the work.
I listened to little girl dreams, about boys, marriage and babies. I watched the heartbreak when the other girls would not pick you for their best friend, and silly boys passed you by in favor of thinner, more fashionable girls, as young boys often do. I watched as your health problems made you different from other girls, and how you related to grown ups better than children your own age. I watched you struggle with finding your niche' and the constant search for acceptance. I watched as your mother's heart broke at your heartbreak over not having an active father figure in your life. I watched you struggle with self imposed demons. Never being good enough, loved enough, thin enough, pretty enough, popular enough, and just being enough. Our self imposed standards are the toughest we will ever have to live up to. All I could do was love you and be there for you. I want you to know that I love you still. Even now.
After I went off to college and began getting on with the whole growing up business, we still kept in touch. So it has been for the last twenty or so years. We would get together off and on, with and without our mothers, for lunch, dinner, or random youth group slumber parties. I would enjoy hearing about your life, and you of mine. You kept me sane on a number of occasions when I was going through a rough patch, and needed to vent. We have always been there for each other when we needed each other the most. You and your sweet momma were at my mothers wake, even though she had just gotten out of the hospital. Our families meant that much to each other. That is what we do. We are there for each other.
I have heard all about your past and how Mr. Right never seemed to come along. Plenty of Mr.'s did though, Mr. Abusive, Mr. Controlling, Mr. Possessive, Mr. Drama-King, Mr. Drug King, Mr. Self-Absorbed, Mr. Right Now, and Mr. Enabler. You have been chasing the fairy tale for far too long my friend. You are exhausted. You are tired. You are putting your all into being there for someone else. Fairy tales don't always happen as we imagine them. Isn't it time to love yourself best? To be there for yourself first? Isn't it time to treat yourself right? Nobody else is going to do it unless you show them. Stop settling for less than you deserve. Stop selling my friend short. She deserves better. She is an amazing person with a heart the size of Texas, surely she can learn to love herself!
I know that one of your biggest fears turned reality was when you could not have a child. That was one of your biggest dreams. I know the heartbreak of infertility firsthand. You threw yourself into partying and getting high to dull the pain. It also dulled the pain of having to deal with reality, and the deep seated issues that remain, just under the surface. You got sober and quit drugs cold turkey when your mother's declining health continued to worsen and you got away from the abusive relationship that you had been in for far too long. You pulled your big girl boots on and climbed right out of a big 'ol pile of adversity. All by yourself. Lookit baby! You did that!
There was a brief interlude when you began dating a decent guy. He was certainly older than you, but he was good for you. Your relationship had its issues, as all do, and went your separate ways. You loved his kids like they were your own, even though they were closer to you in age. This left you raw, and conducive to the suggestive Mr.'s agin. Who were all to happy to lead you right back down your former path.
So imagine when, out of left field, you got your heart's desire! How very happy I was for you! You were pregnant! You were going to be a single, unwed mother? Baby's daddy is still stuck in another relationship? So what, we're having a baby! Babies are one of life's greatest blessings. We talked of how he was your little miracle baby. Your boy, your son. How funny it was to say those words. You were becoming a mother! We talked of making the best of any situation! You showed me all of your plans and his nursery. We talked about your hopes and dreams for his future, and yours. Anything was possible! I was there right before he was born, in the hospital. I laid my hands and head on your belly and felt your miracle. I was there shortly after he was born once you came home. I was there for his first Christmas. We had lunch several times, and caught up! I was so happy that things were turning around for you. Life was finally looking up!
The next time I saw you, the stress of being the sole caretaker of your mother, and your baby son had begun to take it's toll. I came to visit, and you slept while I held your sleeping wee munchkin. Baby's daddy had split, and was stringing you along. You were talking to someone new. You were exhausted physically, mentally and emotionally. You were trying to be all things to all the people in your life. Too many people. You were suffering from post partum depression. You promised me that you would go to the doctor and get help. You had no support system. You were stretched too thin. and still searching for love and acceptance. You were starting to party again, and to turn back to your old habits.
I saw you again in June at our statewide youth group meeting, to have your baby dedicated to a life of service. You had lost a lot of weight and you looked tired and stressed, but happy. We took silly selfies and had a good time. You had met a new guy, a genuinely nice guy, and really liked him. We parted with the promise to have lunch in the near future.
Oh the tangled webs we weave, when we practice to deceive.
The next time we spoke on the phone, it was in the fall, and your little man needed to have surgery. The nice guy had disappeared, and little man appeared to be the focus. Getting him the surgery he needed, and taking him to a specialty children's hospital in Ohio. This would be the last time I ever spoke to my friend.
In the interim, your brother sent me a friend request on Facebook. We chatted for a minute and he told me that you were a mess. I knew that you two were not as close as you used to be, but I had no idea of the reality of the situation.
Two weeks ago, you texted me with a request to have lunch. You had big news and wanted to tell me in person. I had no idea what an afternoon I was in for. I picked you up at a local hotel that you and the father of your son were holed up in until you moved out of state in a few days. You and baby's daddy were giving it another go 'round, and you had moved out of your mom's house. I knew immediately when you got into my car, that there was something very wrong with you. In twenty three plus years of knowing you, I know your mannerisms and speech patterns like the back of my hand. I had never been around anyone who used drugs on a regular basis. I had never been around a junkie before. My mind didn't want to make sense of it. I knew immediately.
I was determined that you needed a real, warm meal and a true friend. You had lost one hundred plus pounds in record time, and I gather that you were not currently employed. So I took you to a restaurant, not a fast food joint, and fed you while you told me all about what was going on. Because that's what we do. We love no matter what.
Apparently you started using drugs again in August. Your family had tried to help you, but you thought they were trying to tell you what to do and boss you around. You and the babies daddy were trying to make it work again. For the umpteen thousandth time. You told me that you were going to slowly quit the drugs, and that moving to Maryland would help you get away from all of your contacts and enablers. You sat there and told me that you were going to give up your baby. Your dream come true, your life, was being given to the daddy's sister to raise until you could get clean. Apparently she and her husband are successful, and are unable to have children. You told me that you trusted her. I told you that I thougt that was a smart decision because you were in no way, shape or form able to take care of or provide for a child.When you are high on drugs, there is no possible way that you can provide the love, care and attention that a one year old baby needs. He deserves better than that. He deserves better than what you are giving him right now. He deserves a chance in life, and all the love and support that requires. I told you that every time that you held a needle full of death in your hand, I wanted you to see my face telling you that you were choosing meth over your baby, your dream. Because that is the sad, unfortunate nightmare of it all, isn't it sweetheart? You are choosing Meth over the fairytale, over your miracle baby.
As I sat listening to you pour out your story to me, my heart was breaking. You told me you knew that you had disappointed everyone in your life, that you knew you were disappointing me too and that you were sorry. Sensing that you were still fighting that old demon of trying to please everybody else, and make everybody else proud of you, of never being enough, I looked into your drug ravaged face and told you the truth. The god's honest awful truth. I cried. Many times, with you during our lunch. You didn't notice it, but the waiter looked at you with disgust. People in that restaurant were staring at you. It did not bother me because I was trying to save your life. I was trying to say something, anything, that would maybe be the one thing that would get through to you. How far you have fallen, how deep Meth has it's clutches into you, are apparent to everyone but you. I hope my attempts were not in vain.
I told you that I was not disappointed. I was brokenhearted. I was brokenhearted that a year after you promised me that you would get help, you had not. And it has oh so obviously gotten worse. You hid this from me. From many. Your demons have snowballed into you not caring if you lived or died, giving your son away, seeing him occasionally and 'playing' at being a mother, still chasing a man, trying to please a man, judging your self worth by having a man, abusing your mind and your body, and screwing up my friend's life. Your demons have gotten ahold of you. A ghost nor the devil himself would have shocked me more than the shell of my former friend sitting across that booth from me. No greater rattle me to my core, shock than the Junkie that was sitting across the booth from me.
The Junkie who sat across from me and tried to downplay how bad drugs were. How deep the addiction ran. The Junkie who sat right there in that booth in a family restaurant, and feature benefitted me on why she chose shooting up meth instead of heroin. I felt like I was being sold a new car over a used up, worn out one. The same girl who once looked me in the eye and was proud to call me friend, now scarcely could hold my gaze. She even went so far as to make up a story as to how she had never looked anybody in the eye. Well I call bullshit. You used to look me in the eye, searching for love and acceptance of a big sister, and you always received it. I told you I called bullshit. I reminded you of that beautiful girl who had a happy face, bright shining eyes, and an infectious laugh. She is no more. You have replaced her with a downtrodden, shot full of meth, can't meet my gaze, shifty, fidgety, nervous, scared, weak individual who continually every day, gives away all of her power. You have given away all of your power over your own life. You have given away your baby and have an incurable disease. What is it going to take for you to wake up? I am angry at what you have done to yourself. Stop it already! Haven't you been through enough?
You sat in that booth and told me of how you were going to detox yourself slowly instead of seeking an intensive inpatient treatment facility, because it wasn't your style. You didn't like the way they tried to get you to read a bunch of stuff. Excuse me, do you even hear yourself, I wanted to shout! I watched you fidgit and not be able to hold you hands still, even when you concentrated after I mentioned that little fact. You head was constantly in motion, and as we sat there, you began picking at your face. An imaginary scab that did not exist. I urged you repeatedly to go to a facility. Meth has changed your genetic makeup. You need help to get off of the poison. I sat there and pointed out all the things that you were not aware of about your own appearance. I pointed out the harsh truth that your addiction is now a very apparent and noticable condition. I advised you, that having hired employees in my former career, that nobody would hire you in your current condition least of all to work in the medical field. You couldn't sit still for thirty seconds. Nobody will hire a junkie, especially when patients lives would be in your care.
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you listened, but did not hear a thing I said about getting the help you need. I am heartbroken for you, my friend. At what you has done to yourself. I am heartbroken that I may be attending your funeral sometime in the near future, unless you decide to take back your life. Take back your power, your baby, and find your way out to get help. I am not writing this to be mean, I said everything contained herein, to you at lunch, as you well know...if you can even remember.
I am writing this because I love you. I want to remind you that you are worth it. I want you to get the help you so desperately need. I want you to decide that you are going to be strong, and stand up for yourself like you never have before. You have several medical conditions, and need to reclaim your life before this toxic choice kills you. It is a decision you make every day, so today make a different decision and reach out for help! I want you to make that decision to seek help and call a family member, or call one of the numbers listed below for help! You have nowhere to go but up! You have nothing else to lose...except for your life. Call now!
Meth Addiction + Depression= You need help my friend. You cannot do this alone! Please call!
|WV Drug Abuse Information & Referral.................1-800-662-4357|
National Meth Hotline..................We're Ready. Are You? Call (866) 697-1481 Now