Written by Kaitlyn Robichaud, guest blogger to MVPediatrics
We all know that my sister was an addict…But she was still my sister and my friend. We need more awareness, not just from preventing drugs, but how drugs can impact loved ones too.
Over this past week, I have been thinking a lot, I’ve been feeling broken and needing to make sense of it all. I know this is long, but I think it is important that people know what it’s like to love an addict…
Loving an addict will consume your every thought. Watching their physical deterioration and emotional connection to everything will make you the most exhausted insomniac alive.
Imagine watching the person you love disappearing right before your eyes. You start to become invisible, too.
Those not directly affected won’t be able to understand why you are so focused on their well-being, especially since they don’t seem very concerned with their own.
They do not understand, and they are lucky not to understand. You’ll catch yourself wishing you didn’t understand, either.
Drug addiction has the largest ripple effect I have ever witnessed. Not one person is left unscathed. These drugs cause parents to outlive their children. They cause jail time and homelessness. They cause brothers and sisters to mourn their siblings. They cause nieces and nephews to never meet or remember their aunts or uncles.
Loving an addict is being scared every time the phone rings wondering if this is the phone call you’ve been dreading.
It is being called by a stranger telling you to get to the hospital now to say your goodbyes, only for them to make it and re-live this horrible nightmare over and over again.
It is wondering if today is the last time you will see them, so all you can do is hold them a little bit closer.
Loving an addict is having your husband hold you at night while you cry and scream for things to be different, for them to just wake up and get sober.
Drug addiction causes statistics to rise and knees to fall, and praying seems like the only thing left to do. You beg for the strength to make it through the days. They call them “trash,” “a junkie,” or a “criminal” – which is not the truth. They may be an addict but they are still people. And behind every addict is a family desperate for their survival.
When you grow up, you’re taught to stay away from drugs. You’re taught why they’re bad. You’re taught to say no. But what they never teach you is the hell you’ll go through loving someone who is addicted to drugs. You won’t know the feeling you’ll get when your heart feels like it is being ripped in half, or the twisting in your stomach at a 3am phone call from them. They never teach you that even though the addict is still with you, you will start to grieve as though they are dead. They don’t tell you the heartbreak you feel when you can’t save them. They don’t tell you that you’ll find yourself screaming for help on the inside, but you’re too afraid people will judge your loved one so you keep it to yourself to protect their identity.
Loving an addict is sending them messages as often as possible, knowing that if they check them, they are still alive. Waiting for that little “seen” bubble to appear.
They don’t teach you that even if you never try a drug in your life, drugs can still kill you.
They don’t teach you that when they die, a part of you dies too.
Awareness. Love. Support.