My Dearest Addiction,
I know what you are thinking. That by writing this letter you have found me in a moment of weakness, but it is actually quite the opposite. You see, I am strong today. Much stronger than I ever thought I could be. Strong enough to look you straight in the eyes and tell you that you have no place in my life anymore.
I used to spend so much time thinking about you, even after I let you go. I thought if I could just understand why I let you into my life in the first place, I could set up some sort of barricade to keep you out. The truth is, you were following me for years, most likely my entire life, observing me from a distance. You took note of my every insecurity, every misstep, everything and anything that you saw which made me feel like a failure; which made me feel less than. I was feeding you this information, and I didn’t even realize it. How could I? You are stealthy. I will give you that.
I still feel you lurking in the shadows. I feel you watching me every single day. I hate it and I wish you would just leave me alone! The only solace I find, is knowing that you are watching me succeed. I take pride in the fact that I have not entertained you in years, and yet you never give up. Why is that? I guess we have that one thing in common now, because I am not going to give up either.
I see what you are doing to my generation, and I have never despised anything or anyone as much as I do you. You suck the lives out of hundreds each day, and if you can’t take their life you shatter their hopes and dreams into a million pieces. You leave children without parents and parents without children. You cause millions to mourn the still living. You are a leach, a monster and a scavenger. You ravage families until there is nothing left but broken hearts and photographs of happier times. I sometimes wonder how you can be in so many places at once? I wonder where you hoard everything you have stolen? Will you ever get tired?
I will admit that you still find your way into my dreams sometimes, and I wake up afraid, with tears running down my face and your fingerprints etched into my skin. I used to let this break me. I thought it meant that I was doomed to fail. But today, I understand that my dreams are the only place you can find a way to reach me. It is the only time throughout my entire day where my subconscious is left unprotected. I hope you grow weary knowing that you can knock and shout and scratch and pound, but I will not let you in.
You are a snake, that slithered its way into my life and held me clenched in its powerful jaw. The more I struggled, the further I sank into the abyss. I didn’t have then what I have now, an army of warriors standing behind me. These warriors blanket me in love and strength. They are the complete opposite of everything you stand for. They offer me peace, hope, courage, joy, laughter and honesty. They carry me on their shoulders when I am weak, comfort me in my moments of despair and rejoice in my successes. It’s funny, I used to believe you did those things for me too…
You took so many years from me, nearly a decade of my life that I can never get back. I used to think I just served those years up to you on a silver platter, but that is not the whole truth. You infiltrated my mind before I even realized what was happening. You turned every single organ in my body against me. First my brain, then my liver and lastly my heart, along with everything in between. Can you believe I thought I loved you? I was convinced I was in love with the one thing on this earth that wanted me dead. It’s terrifying really.
You celebrated my agony, magnified my fears and corrupted my sense of reality. You stole everything from me; my family, my sense of security, my dignity and in the end, I almost gave you my life. You almost succeeded in leaving my daughter without a mother and my parents without a child. What’s worse, you actually had me believing that I made those choices for myself. You had me believing that I was unloveable and that those closest to me just wanted to control me. But it was you who wanted complete control, and because I could no longer think for myself, I gave it to you.
I still think of you sometimes, and every so often, I still miss you. Don’t get too excited, because I have learned that it is OK to miss something, even if it is bad for me, as long I understand what comes along with it. I’ve realized it is not you that I miss, but the idea of you; the idea of what you once promised me, freedom from any and all pain. But I’ve come to realize something; pain, no matter how unpleasant it can be, is a sign of living. When I was numb, I was slowly dying. And let me tell you something, I would rather feel the most intense pain, than spend the rest of my days chained to you, bound and broken.
I don’t miss you like I used to. I don’t cry for you at night anymore or wake every morning crawling to you. You no longer consume my every waking thought, but there are some days I feel like I could reach out and touch you. I feel the heat radiating off of you, your crimson eyes burning into the back of my head and the warmth of your breath on my shoulder. But, it seems, you have overlooked one very important detail of my life. I am not alone! I have a light today that burns within me and it is blindingly beautiful. It burns much brighter and stronger than your fire ever will. And though the thought of you can still hurt at times, I will not let it reduce me to ashes.
I have been given the freedom of choice today. It was returned to me soon after I left you. This choice that I have been gifted presents me with two options every day. In one hand there is faith and in the other there is fear. I choose faith every single day because THAT is who I am. It’s who I always was before you came along. Today, I am unafraid. I am free. I wish you knew what this freedom felt like, but I have come to believe you are a prisoner of your own darkness simply collecting souls to share it with.
I know that I will feel your presence until the day I die. I have come to accept this as a hard truth, but your memory will fade over time and you will soon be just a mere whisper in the distance. And when I leave this world, it will not be because you took me with you, it will be because I have lived a life full of love, laughter and faith. It will be because I have accomplished all that I have set out to do, and more. And my spirit will rest in a beautiful place where the souls you have so selfishly stolen have been returned to a power much greater than you; a higher power so grand we will forget you ever existed.