A Love Letter to Addicts

In my life I have been significantly impacted by addiction. Sitting idly by, watching someone you love wrestle the beast is the most helpless and soul-crushing part. I don’t want to enable, but when I see someone in pain, it hurts to say the things I know they least want to hear. So here is my love letter to addicts everywhere, from the sidelines.

Dear Addict,

I see you—the real you. I see the latent potentiality of the beautiful, fun, loving relationship we could have. And I know you’d really like it. I would too.

I see the darkness,too. I see how you internalize it, let it envelop you, let it cocoon you until no light gets in. And it may surprise you, but I know the darkness, too. It’s in me, it’s in you, it’s in all of us. Every one of us possesses darkness as well as light.

The only difference is perspective. You are not the darkness. You haven’t seen your own light, but know that it is there. There are people who love you and see your light even when you don’t. We may not say it often, or at all, but we see it.

We are not delusional. We are not pretending to see it. We are not ignoring the shadow side. We simply see that you—like us—possess a darkness and a lightness of being. We accept both. We love both. You are enough. You are loved.

And yes, you may have made choices that force those that love you to walk away. We may or may not forgive you. But we have to respect our own boundaries. We are on a journey through life, same as you. If only you knew how much harder it is to walk away from someone you love—who is in pain—you would begin to understand that we showed you love in the only way you allowed us to.

We see the only kindness left to offer. The gift of solitude. You need to learn to be you. You need to believe in your own value. To sit alone with your thoughts and enjoy your own company. We know that it’s possible. We know, because we love you. We enjoy your company.

We don’t want you to feel cut off. We don’t want you to feel pain. We don’t want you to hurt yourself. And there may come a time when we have to acknowledge that we can’t help you. And I guarantee that we did not come to that decision lightly. We think of you often. We dream of the day you come to us, healthy and bright-eyed, that latent potentiality finally a reality. When we can laugh together. Sit together. Be. Together.

We want the best for you. We want you to see how wonderful, amazing and lovable you are. We already know you are. But we can’t make you do the work. We can’t make you see yourself the way we see you. That is up to you. So whether we can support you from close by or with some distance, please know, no matter what, you are loved. You are enough.

Signed with love.

 

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