Addiction, I Hate You

burning tree in time lapse
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Dear Addiction,

I hate you.  I hate what you have done to those I love.  You’ve taken their lives and ruthlessly thrown them into the fire, watching them burn, with indifference.  You truly are a living embodiment of hell on earth.

Addiction, I hate you.  I loathe the day you waltzed in promising my sister that you would make things so much better for her.  Rolling out the red carpet, giving her the royal treatment, and romancing her so she would get hooked.  All the lies you fed her knowing that when it was said and done, you would have stolen another soul and left your victim scrambling, sweating, sick on the floor begging for more.  All the times you gave her and others the false impression that they could easily let go when and if they desired, knowing that your physical dependence would imprison & enslave them.

Addiction, I hate you.  I hate the power you hold and what people give up when you finally have secured your place in their soul.  They give up their identity and call themselves “addicts”, enslaving themselves to a lifetime of using and shame.  You don’t deserve the vast following of individuals victimized by you.  You are not only taking lives, you are robbing millions of their potential and peace.  Their waking hours are spent fixated on you and how to remain in your good graces.  Some will steal, lie, and destroy relationships to maintain your presence in their lives.

Addiction, I hate you.  I hate what you do to families, ripping them apart.  I hate that your destruction causes bewilderment and confusion, people don’t know wether to confront or enable.  Often, children affected by your disease will defend you and will even grow up somewhat complacent and numb to the chaos you create.  You sit back waiting, chomping at the bits to claim another victim.  Children who are raised in an environment where you reign, are particularly vulnerable.  But, you tell your victim lies and you discard the loved one that confronts the drug use to try and keep the family safe.  Those screaming in the distance are muted by the noise you cause, continually deafening and disorienting your victim.

Addiction, I hate you.  I hate you for destroying family bonds.  As the flames grow higher and the devastation reaches epic proportions, some scream louder, while other enable more and shrink back in denial. I’ve screamed so much that my voice becomes hoarse, hitting a brick wall, reverberating around this dark chamber that has become all too familiar.  I’m sent to the dungeon, cold and alone, by the loved one you have claimed as your victim.  Nothing penetrates you and you lie to the victim, keeping them in the cycle that defends you and your destructive path.  You’ll admit through the smoke your mistakes, but continue to stand close to the fire.  The fire is never entirely extinguished.  I become disillusioned and dance around the flames, sometimes raging and other times desperately trying to reach you.  And you discard me once again.  

Addiction, I hate you.  Through the years of my experience knowing you, I have doubted my own reality.  I look through the eyes of the victim and I no longer know if it is you or my sister I am staring at and this devastates me.  Her kids have been touched by your fire and one is particularly close to the flames as we speak.

Addiction, I hate you.  If one ever tries to cut ties with you, you hold on like a bitch with nails, clinging, taking the life out of them.  You torture them with beatings and lashings, as they hurl you from their body, clinging to the toilet and sinking on the floor, sweating.  “I’ll teach you never to leave me!”  You snarl and spit in their face, sometimes hijacking their minds with hallucinations and delusional thinking.  No, it’s hell to leave you.  You do not want to relinquish your control.

Addiction, I hate you.  And when the dust settles, and there is stillness, then there is dealing with the aftermath while the cravings for you are forever present, occupying a permanent space in the victim’s mind.    

Addiction, I hate you.  And as if all of this was not enough, your victims wear the label of “addict”, having to rebuild, often ashamed and remorseful.  There are some who have been sitting at your table for so long they have lost themselves.  Your presence can cause changes to the brain that may lower empathy and create cognitive issues.  I am perpetually oscillating between the extremes of trying to help and becoming angry and aggressively confronting .  I am seen as harsh and cruel, when really I am sad and scared.   I have become an indirect victim, my moods and perceptions often altered by this deadly, intoxicating dance. 

Addiction, I hate you.  Because of you, I am letting go of my family.  Not just my sister, but all of my nieces and nephews.  It’s getting too hard to keep trying, only to be devalued and discarded.  I then lose my dignity in anger and rage, saying things I know will only cause more shame.  I begin to wonder if some victims never reach full recovery from you.  And, then I hate on you some more.  

Your reign in my life is over addiction.  I have truly tried to save my sister and her kids from your very ugly, abusive ways, but it is up to them to ride this dangerous storm out.  I will remain hopeful that they one day eradicate you from every inch of their lives.  You have absolutely no place in mine.  I will be more effective letting go, healing, and remaining available when and if any are ready.

Goodbye addiction.  I’ve learned that if you are to leave from any person you have touched, it has to be the victim cutting ties.  No one can do it for them.  

I hate you.

I hope to one day stand on the other side of you, with my family, free from the pain and suffering you’ve created.

Our story is complete.  


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