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[ Personal Narratives ]

What Addiction Did To A Loving Relationship

“Over 8.3 million children, nearly 12 percent of all children in the United States, live with an addict.”

This was part of my story, in fact a major part of it for a few years. I was hopelessly in love with a drug addict and we had a baby together. He seriously was my best friend, when we met he was sober and became my everything. I adored him like no other. He made me laugh the most and all the way in my belly laugh. He was far from perfect but he was mine and I was his. I keep so many of my fondest memories locked away tightly because it’s all I have left of what we ultimately became; which was a broken family. Violently and shamelessly robbed by a black sticky substance that smells like death and melting plastic. HEROIN.

I kept a journal of our time together and when I crack it open for some reason the memories and entries smell exactly like HEROIN. It was a smell I hated, in the end it was the Cologne he half hazardously oozed through every pore in his body. What I wouldn’t give some days to go back that day he left our family one last time and breath him in tightly and intently.

I remember our first Christmas together we had just found out we were having a baby. We were so scared and excited, I was terrified because having a baby wasn’t my plan. Not even close. I never let him know this and secretly cried when he was not around because for most of my pregnancy I truly didn’t want to have another baby at the time in life we were.

He ended up getting loaded and I left him when I was 14 weeks pregnant and moved to a different state to give our unborn son some sort of chance. For 2 years after our sons birth he battled to stay sober. It was a back and forth journey of getting sober and getting loaded. All while our son was an innocent bystander. I fought so hard to keep our family together, I selfishly didn’t know how to say enough and continued to let him keep coming back when he would get sober and clean up his act. Every single time I would get my best friend back. The belly laughs and late night breakfast sandwiches returned.. only to be shattered again by tiny square packages of black tar heroin and missing spoons from our kitchen.

I started to grow tired, I started to change and started to realize that my best friend and partner had died a long long time ago. That I was always in a state of grief and mourning the loss of this beautiful perfect person I truly loved with my entire heart. See I saw beyond all the things he ever did wrong (which was a lot) and lavished and feasted like a queen on all those tiny moments of hope and happiness. Those short little periods that I got with who I considered my soul mate and my best friend.

Then one day in our bathroom that all changed, when he overdosed and I had to save his life. As I was breathing for him I could literally feel every ounce of hurting and suffering our family had endured being poured into every breath I gave him for 9 whole minutes until help arrived. After that I never quite felt the same. I knew parts of me had finally died inside for the last time. It was time to let go and say goodbye. So I did. 3 days later he was gone for good.

It was one of the hardest days of my life. I was coldhearted and angry and mean. I refused to come home the day he left. I didn’t even say goodbye. I didn’t get to say “I love you” one last time or smell that smell I had grown to hate. What I wouldn’t give to have said goodbye one last time.

I remember coming home that night to a completely trashed house. I began picking up the pieces. Then the reality started to set in of what this has done to our son. How this had affected him. It’s was one the of hardest realities I had to face. For so long I was entirely guilty and filled with shame for trying to make something work when obviously the first few incidents were indication enough that nothing would have changed. But I effortlessly tried for so long. To make our little family whole. To fix my best friend and lover.

Today the consequences of these actions are alive and well. Although the outcome of all this pain and suffering has truly benefited everyone involved. That healing and forgiveness have occurred. It’s still entirely painful most days. To watch our little boy be affected still by this. The distance and space that it’s created between father and son. The half assed effort of being there for him when it’s “easy”. How entirely hard co-parenting truly is and the level of patience it requires.

The fact that I’ve been entirely willing and helpful in restoring and balancing a healthy father/son relationship. All the nights I stay up way past my adult bed time crying over the few, far and in between memories that now hang on our living room wall of our memories as a family of 3.

Sometimes I feel like he didn’t have to die for me to grieve the loss of him. That everything that became of us and that fateful day in our bathroom was the ultimate death. One of the worst deaths I’ve ever had to experience. Brushing my teeth has never quite been the same in that spot by the sink.

Sometimes long stretches of time pass and you never cross my mind at all. Then some days you are all I think about, you invaded my personal safe bubble I created after you left and secretly fill it up with belly laughs and breakfast sandwiches at 2am. I sometimes sit on our old red couch and close my eyes and I see 3. But then I open them and all I see is 2.

I look at our little boy when he sleeps and I see you, and for me I feel like you aren’t entirely gone. That I will always have a part of you with me. And for that I am thankful and ok. I am excited for my next adventure with whoever that may be, but only because you taught me about the parts of loving unconditionally that I didn’t know existed. You’ve prepared me greatly for my next chapter of #BecomingAmber


The girl who still grieves the living

#heroinaddiction #notonemore #recovery