Dear Addiction, A Letter from a Mother

Dear Addiction: You have been around for centuries. Way before I was born. You can appear in many shapes & forms. You can be a cigarette, a joint, chocolate cake, a bottle of beer, French fries, pills, sex or white powder. You ruined many holidays for me. You made me feel different from all the other kids at school. You made me feel ashamed of my family. You caused me to do poorly in school. You made me keep so many things inside-fear, shame, anger, worthlessness. You made my mother distant & cold.

You made my father negative & unlikable. You made my childhood miserable. You made me act & think like an adult when I should have been playing kick ball outside with my friends. You made me who I am today. Because of you, I am strong & confident. I can handle any crisis that comes my way. You forced me as an adult to tackle many difficult emotions. I am still standing. I am who I am because of you… But, that’s me….

You stole my son’s youth. You robbed him of his innocence. You made him feel like he wasn’t normal. You made him steal, lie, & cheat. You always were, and always will be a part of his life. Even when he was in my belly, you were there. As much as he doesn’t want you-you will always be there. You’re that annoying person riding his tail on the highway. He looks in the rear view mirror & there you are. He can speed up or slam on his brakes but that won’t get rid of you. You’re that ex girlfriend he can’t shake, the annoying, possessive, controlling, all too consuming person, he can break up with a girl friend; he can’t break up with you. You will always come back to haunt him. You’re that first pimple, on his perfectly, clear complexion-that never goes away.

 

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He doesn’t want to go to school because kids will stare at his pimple, everyone notices it but no one says anything. He looks in the mirror & there you are. You are always lurking. You’re that big Biology test we all had to take. We studied for hours on end, sleepless nights lying in bed worried, stressed out about how I will do? Will I pass? Will I have to re-take it? What if I fail? What if I let myself down? But you’re not a Biology test that goes away at the end of the semester or school year. You are so different. You cause my son stress & anxiety every day. You never go away, not even for a minute. You are air, water, a constant nagging reminder. He looks in the mirror, opens the frig, puts gas in the car, goes to work, watches the Super bowl, goes to the mall, church, sees a pretty girl & there you are. He can’t even get away from you when he’s sleeping, he dreams about you. You are his skin, his soul, his heart, worst of all, you are his mind. Everyone deserves a break, but you, you don’t give up.

You are cruel & evil. You don’t care whose lives you ruin. Doctor’s, lawyers, plumbers, pregnant mothers, there is no discrimination or age barriers with you. You invade 13 year olds & continue haunting them well into their 90’s, if they live that long. You confuse many people. You make others think that my son is weak. If they only knew how strong he must be to keep you away. It takes stamina to keep you out of his life. More people would feel comfortable asking me how he is, if he had cancer. How’s he doing? Is the chemo working?

What do the doctor’s say? would be questions I would hear. Few people understand you or believe you are a disease. You’re not concrete, not everyone can grasp you. But me, I have lived with you in one way or another, my whole life. If you weren’t my grandfather, you were my father or my brother, now you are my son. Since we have lived with each other for so long, we should be friends by now. You used to be my enemy. Now, I accept you. You won’t ruin my life any longer. I am a fighter, remember?-you made me that way? You made me a survivor. You have made me be able to cope through the most difficult times. I have watched my mother & my 39 year old brother take their last breath. Because of you, I am still standing. You made me drop my 18 year old son off @ rehab on that cold February morning. The Steelers had just won the super bowl 12 hours before. My son should be at college celebrating with friends. But no, you made him go to rehab for heroin……..

 

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