Thursday, January 24, 2013

Guest Post: Anonymous (requested)


My Mental Marathon

In all of my 19 years of living I don’t think I have ever spent time just me and my sister. That’s just not the kind of relationship we have ever had. But tonight I gathered up the little courage I had and went to spend the night with her. And to be honest I was scared shitless. As I made the 25 mile drive to her house all kinds of things went through my head. What kind of condition is she going to be in? Is she going to be using while I’m there? What will I do if a big fight breaks out between her and her boyfriend.

She had warned me before I got there that she had been “sick” the past few days and lost some weight but that she didn’t want me to think she was all strung out. When I pulled up there she was, my beautiful big sister out in front on her hands and knees planting, her jeans hung off her thin little frail body. I got out of my car and she greeted me with a “Hey Laura!” and as I got closer to her I could see those awful sunken in cheeks, her once beautiful blue eyes were glazed over, her pupils were almost nonexistent they were so small. I instantly wanted to freak out and say what bad shape she was is and tell her she needs help for God sake she needs help. But instead I smiled and said hello and asked what she was planting and from there the floor was all hers. She talked and talked. She told me all about her plants. You could tell she took pride in them something that made her feel needed and important. She told me about them for over an hour. What each plant was, how she got it, what her plants are for. Its hard to get a word in when she talks so I just smiled,nodded and added an occasional “oh wow” when I could.

There’s something about the way an addict moves, the way they talk.  Looking at my sister I saw nothing but pure emptiness. Someone who appears to be numb to life but is clearly in more pain than she can bare. She used to be so lively, not only that but she was funny, even now sometimes she will make a joke or say something and we see the old "D" come out for a split second and that split second alone keeps us all hopeful that she can still turn things around. We love her regardless and always will. But we miss her.

She wanted to make dinner so we headed to the store, even something as simple as grocery shopping was hard to do with her. I picked up my pace as she quickly walked through the store grabbing anything that caught her eye and filling up the cart within minutes. Just like her plants I think making dinner for us made her feel important. Making me fajitas at 11:00 o’clock at night was probably the biggest thing she had to do all week. And although at this point I had completely lost my appetite I grabbed myself a plate and filled it with food. The rice she made was still crunchy but I ate it anyway and said it was great.

"D" has been in bad shape for years, this visit though was a rude awakening that addiction has completely taken over her body. And as difficult and heartbreaking as that is it’s the truth. I can’t force her to get clean (but I would if I could) it has to be something she chooses to do. She said something though that will stick with me forever. She said how scared she was to go to hell, a life of forever torture. How terrifying that is. "D" will say she doesn’t know if she believes in God or not but I could see true fear in her face when talking about this, and I think believing in God and asking for his hand to lead her in the right direction may be the only thing she has left to do. Because this girl is hurting. And there is only so much we can do for her now. So I can only pray God wraps his arms around her and lets her feel the presence of him, because she needs it now more than ever.

12 comments:

Dad and Mom said...

Thank you for your post. It is a powerful message about how our addicted loved ones affect the fabric of our own lives and love. Intellectually we know what we should and must do but the life connections make it so hard. Be strong and take care.

Anonymous said...

I can't seem to post tonight so I hope you don't get multiple replies of mine...I keep trying.

It was a beautiful post. I know how hard it is not to beg them to get help or even point out how bad they look.

I would bet she felt very loved by you and she will hold that in her heart for a long time. Tori

Summer said...

Your post is so raw and sad. I am so terribly sorry for your sister, you and your family. Like Tori said, it's so hard not to beg and plead with them to get clean but you did the right thing. I'm trying to learn that with my son, too.

You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing with us!

Summer

Bristolvol said...

Don't lose hope! As long as your sister is alive, there is hope! I am glad that she still lets you be part of her life, however infrequent that may be. Miracles happen, trust me, I know. Keep on praying and try to be there for her. It could make a difference. I am glad you got the courage up to go see her. My heart hurts for you. Thank you for sharing your story.

V. Paulson said...

I cried as I read your post. I know the empty look you wrote about in those addicts faces. It is hard to see the life sucked out of them and so incredibly frustrating that you feel helpless to do anything about it. She is lucky to have a sister like you. My heart goes out to you and your family. My prayers to your sister. I feel God knows these struggles the addicts go through. Your sister will not go Hell she will feel the warm embrace of unconditional love and no longer have the pain of being an addict. I pray everyday that my son turns to God for his help. I feel like we have tried everything else with no luck. So, I know exactly what you are talking about. Blessings to you.

Sarie Lotta said...

I commend you for staying. Most families members of an addict would get too emotional and hurt that they yell or give advise. That's the hardest part. We all want them to know what they are doing to themselves but they already know. They feel worse then we ever could. Cunning and Baffling are these drugs.
But you stayed, listened, took her shopping and ate dinner with her. You helped her. The hardest part for me with my son's addiction was thinking he would die without knowing God. As he started into recovery we spoke about how he struggled with his beliefs. I know that his addictions helped me to come closer to God. The first step is admitting you are powerless. Not just the addict but US. You knew you were powerless but you stayed and let her know that you loved her and made her feel important for those couple of hours. That is God!
Please write more because we need to handle our situations with seeing there pain and not adding to it. God bless you and your family!

AB said...

My entire life was destroyed by a drug addict stepson and a drug-enabling wife, who placed our marriage ALWAYS in last place in favor of her son. This vicious cycle between son and mother has resulted in the collapse of my family. I’m sure many families have or are going through this same thing. First off, you marry your spouse. Without the support and foundation at the top level in the family is like a building without structure.

My ex-wife’s denial and guilt resulted in the collapse of our marriage. Both she and my stepson are now in deep crisis and their mistakes have trickled down. I continue to experience financial difficulty as the result of their lack of regard for anyone. Drug use and enabling, I’ve found out, are usually found in very selfish people. My wife and stepson have no clue what they have done to themselves and family unit. I had to go out and work a second job delivering pizza due to this nonsense with them. It’s one thing to sympathize and do your best to understand someone’s problems. But, it does and MUST go both ways! There comes a point when you have to stay “ENOUGH!”. My wife never did that for me and for our marriage. I have a daughter from another marriage. I would NEVER allow my 16 year old to rule my family and bring us down to nothing! That’s what my ex has allowed to happen.

Last year, she betrayed me by leaving suddenly, without warning! She had it all planned! An affair on the side and only concern for protecting her son, who is now facing drug and shoplifting charges ONCE AGAIN! I do sympathize for those going through this type of thing, but if you’re enabling and you continue – SHAME ON YOU! You are doing a very big injustice to your loved ones. And if you are a spouse and your child is a step-child, DO NOT jeopardize your marriage/relationship over your kids! It’s not fair to your spouse and certainly not fair to your children! The "kids come first" crap is total BS and does not apply to serious situations where an entire family is affected by the poor choices of someone else.

Drug addicts and enablers live life being very irresponsible and always try to shift blame and accountability elsewhere! They rob from their families, they ignore their finances and they simply do not balance themselves positively for the well-being of the entire family unit! I wasn’t a perfect husband. No one is perfect! But my mistakes were never against the family! I worked well over 100 hours per week at a very demanding IT job, plus pizza delivery over the lack of parenting and support from my ex-wife.


It’s total bull and this is why I’m saying that when this stuff gets out of hand, one can no longer feel sorry. Someone has to be the responsible one and take action for the well-being of the family. I tried to do that, but my ex-wife and stepson had ZERO appreciation for me. Anyone else would say that I should have walked away from the marriage and these selfish people, but I didn’t! I stood by my vows and did EVERYTHING possible, even went to counseling and spent money that I didn’t have in an effort to save my family and marriage. But, enablers and addicts just continue like the plague! They wipe everything and everyone out in their paths and both play each other like fiddles! This is becoming an epidemic! There is not enough room in prisons and the laws and practices only put the drug addict right back to environments where they fall back off the wagon! I pray for all of you out there experiencing the same challenges to not fall victim to drug enabling. Be tough on your loved ones. Don’t give them money, don’t let them sit around the house all day! They need to be responsible and are no different than anyone else. Love them productively and not unproductively! Wishing everyone the best!

Anonymous said...

That's quite a post AB. I would certainly like to hear more about your story. Could you post a blog so we can learn from your experience. I have son heavily addicted to marijuana. I trying my best not to enable by not giving him any money. I have taken away his phone. Basically I am just providing him food & shelter. Is there anything else I should be doing?

Chelsie Charmed said...

Wow, its not that simple, you can't just call them selfish, you know its a mental problem, not the actual person.

AB said...

To Anonymous from Feb 3 - sorry to hear about your son. All you can do is be firm and advise him that his choices are not good. Many MANY feel that marijuana is no big deal! That's bull! Marijuana, being the gateway drug, leads to other drugs. My stepson started with pot and is now hooked on all sorts of things. I'm convinced that a lot of addictions only worsen when parents/guardians take things lightly, like my ex. She was way too soft, had no expectations for her son, made no demands. One can go to the gym and work out or sit in a chair and do nothing. My stepson purposely chose to drop out of school and his mother honored his request. He had nothing lined up. My advice to you, which I'm sure you're doing, is to ensure your son knows that you are HIGHLY against him smoking pot. Why? because it's a drug that inhibits his thinking, erodes his lungs and is simply a "fake" copout to life's problems. Kids also need to realize that they would be bloodguilty if they take another life, operating a car while under the influence of any drugs. Thank you for your support and I'm right there by your side. I will take your offer up on setting up a blog. To Chelsea Charmed of Feb 5, do not be misled to believe that drug addiction is a mental problem. Drug addiction can be coupled with mental problems, but drug addiction is A PERSONAL CHOICE just like robbing a bank is or deciding to get out of bed and go to work. We all need the proper education and be smarter than the drug addict. The drug addict will do EVERYTHING to play on the hearts of those that he/she can feed off of. The smarter we are, the more they realize they cannot sway those who have knowledge. My stepson always felt he had "street smarts over me". I told him that street smarts are not "smarts" at all. If anything, street smarts will not get him a job, but instead will award him a certificate in jail or in the morgue. See, we cannot guide our loved ones if we assume or accept their cover ups. All my best to everyone. AB

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately drug addiction is not as simple as a personal choice. In fact it is considered a disease by the American Medical Association. It is a progressive and insidious disease. Cunning and baffling ~ you bet!

Science and research are helping gain a better understanding but if it difficult for doctors, addictionologists, and specialists to deal with it is no wonder that families and loved ones are confused!

Thinking on this subject is ever evolving. Some of the traditional ideas of tough love approaches are being re-examined. Please check out recoveryhelpdesk.com and click on "parents" or "tough love" for new ideas and approaches.

Robin

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