An open letter to my Mother of an Addict:
The pride I feel towards you has always been covered in unfounded resentment towards you. As I stare at the door to your office, and see all the initials after your name, I beam with pride. You’re my mother, rock star, independent, and the strongest woman I know.
When my dad left, you didn’t spend time sulking, you drowned your efforts in educating yourself. Went from a homemaker to a medical professional in the blink of an eye. Secretly I’ve always resented you for not focusing on me, but on your studies, but now that I am maturing in my recovery, I realize you were focusing on me, you were just thinking long term, something an addict really struggles with.
You were trying to show me how to live.Your the Mother of an Addict. Independently, overcoming obstacle after obstacle. You make more now as a single woman than most families with two incomes. You busted your ass to make sure I would never feel like I was part of a single parent home. I’m just now realizing how much you had to sacrifice for that.
I am sorry for disappointing you on every single imaginable level. Our relationship has been so strained since I started using, and I can’t even imagine what that does to you inside. Knowing you did the best you could, over and above in fact, and I still ended up a drug addict. You may have well thrown your hands up when my dad left and said “fuck it give me drugs I can’t handle this”, you could have took the easy path, the one I’ve been riding for years. Well maybe “easy” isn’t the right word. Nothing about the path of a drug seeking addict is easy. Running from your emotions is easy, but nothing about active addiction is easy, nor is recovery.
I am sorry for lying, sorry for stealing from you and then helping you look for it. I recently got high off the money I made for stealing, then selling your iPad). I’m genuinely sorry for manipulating and then guilt tripping. I’m sorry for the multiple calls you receive that start off with “an inmate at…”. I’m sorry for the empty promises, the promises I truly believed I would follow through with, but didn’t. I hate the fact that I cause you worry each night, knowing that you’re concerned, wondering where I am, the nights you envision the sheriff is going to ask you to ID my body, the fact that you mourned the death of me a long time ago and prepared yourself for the day you’d be putting me in the grave untimely.
This disorder is insane, that somehow I feel resentment for the one person that’s left in my corner. The fact that I am aware of all my wrongs but still hurt you anyway. I’m sorry I didn’t follow your example. I’m sorry I let every obstacle encourage me to pick up opiates. I’m sorry for building you up with such hope when i’m in rehab, just to obliterate it days after. Im sorry for the tens of thousands you’ve spent on my recovery and on getting me out of trouble. Im sorry for making you feel unsafe in your own home. Im sorry you have to lock up anything of value in your own home. Im sorry you have to sleep with your handbag under your pillow, but most of all i’m sorry for being sorry, when I know all of this is going to continue. I pray one day I can say “i’m sorry” and mean it with all my heart, and be able to back it up with my actions. It’s such a vicious cycle. I use cause I feel guilty about using. If that makes any sense. I just hope you know that I love you, i’m not sure I know what that word means, but any glimmer of emotion I still feel is escalated when I think of you. So I care, somewhere, deep down.
To all the mothers out there dealing with an addict in their family or household. You’re certainly not alone. And I will speak for the vast majority of us: we hate what we do to you. We hate what we do to ourselves, but we especially hate what we do to you. My only advice, just wait patiently, I know it’s easier said than done, but our rock bottom will come. Unfortunately, the nature of this disorder, takes all control out of your hands. Unfortunately, the nature of this disorder means that you need to seek out help for yourselves, that’s even more messed up. All you can do is love us until we get there, don’t enable, just love. Even if its from a distance. Just love us, and wait.
I love you mom.