My daughter is an addict.
Writing those words breaks my heart. They sear my soul and steal my breath. I go to bed at night praying that she is safe, praying that she is sober, praying that she lives to see another day. Praying that I can be strong enough to get through this…wondering if it will ever end.
Nothing I do, nothing I say can change any of this.
My beautiful baby girl. My beautiful baby with a needle in her arm and a crack pipe in her mouth. Lying unconscious on a street somewhere. Beaten by a stranger. Lost and trapped in a haze of pain, shame and remorse.And I can’t help her. I can’t save her.
I’ve fought every way that I know how. Getting assessments done, speaking to counsellors, dragging her to detox, taking her to rehab. Again and again. Always hopeful that maybe this time…
I’ve fought with her, cried with her and prayed for her. Nothing helps. This vicious, evil cycle of recovery and relapse seems never ending. I try to remember that as bad as this is for me how much worse it must be for her. No one wants to grow up to be an addict. No one wants that kind of hell. Because it must feel like that for addicts. They must feel like they are in the very bowels of hell. Knowing how much they are hurting themselves and their families, yet unable to stop.
Recovery…a simple choice to make but such a hard thing to do.
So I worry…I know that her next fix could very well be her last. And I don’t want to lose her, my beautiful baby girl. So much potential there, if only she could see it.I can’t enable her anymore. I know this. Paying her rent, giving her money, believing her lies. Allowing her to manipulate me. Because that’s what addicts do. They justify, rationalize, look for someone who’ll buy into their deceit so they can continue to use. But it’s hard. People say that tough love is the only way to help them and intellectually I know they’re right. But emotionally…would you want to see your daughter homeless? Sleeping with strangers to get money for a fix? Having nothing? Having no one?
I get so angry when I get advice like that from people who haven’t been there. That includes the so called experts. Unless you have walked in my shoes you have NO IDEA. You have no idea what it’s like to tear yourself apart with such deep founded sorrow and fear. You have no idea, so don’t presume to tell me what you would do. Because you don’t know what you would do if you had to walk this path. And don’t presume that it couldn’t happen to you. Because you don’t know that it won’t, you really don’t. Just pray that you never have to find out.
My daughter and I have been walking this road for 5 years now. She’s an adult. I no longer have any say in treatment options. I know that in order to keep my sanity I have to get off the path because it is not mine, it’s hers. Even though my heart breaks for her and I am so very, very afraid. Giving her up to God is my only option. But I want her to know that I’ll never, ever give up on her. Not ever. I want her to know that even when I won’t give her any money or enable her to use or take the responsibility of her recovery onto myself; she’s not alone. I love her, whether she’s broken or whole, I care about her and won’t ever give up on her.
My daughter is an addict. And my heart is broken.