A Friend of a Friend

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I was browsing Facebook yesterday when I came to a post from an old high school acquaintance about her struggles with heroin addiction.  I clicked on her page, classic FB stalker style, to see how she is doing. After some considerable time stalking her page, I came to a series of posts on her FB from another young man fighting the affliction that is dope addiction. There I found something written by his mother. First off, I have to comment that I have a lukewarm relationship with social media. It can be draining, consuming, and for lack of a better word addicting. In my attempts at a balanced life I do limit its use and even feel uncomfortable putting emotional and personal information out into the digital atmosphere. Hence my anonymity on this blog (maybe I am just a total wimp).  I do, however, understand that in this social media age, these platforms are a sounding board for many and serve to give people a voice. I admire the brazenness of putting it out there, even when it makes me, or any of us for that matter, feel uncomfortable. That bravery helps people to start talking, come together, and break down barriers.  It can be stigma shattering. It can also be heartbreaking.  In another piece that I am working on, I write about empathy. Addiction impacts many of us directly and indirectly. We probably all have, at least, one friend of a friend whose life has been scarred by addiction. If one has not been affected, then number one they are lucky as hell, and number two,  learning about the experiences of others and shedding judgment, can help one look through the clear lenses of empathy. I think this is really important for enacting change in the way that we treat addiction in this country.  The following is the Facebook post from the friend of a friend (with names blacked out):

When your loved one is in the throes of addiction it’s like someone took a serrated knife punctured your heart and slowly ever so slowly cutting through your heart. It hurts like hell your heart bleeds with worry, fear, heartache, exhaustion. Sometimes you wonder if you even want to go on; the pain is like no other, you keep checking your phone waiting for that dreaded call.  How does anyone want to go through their day living in pure hell? Your loved one is living in Hell through the throes of addiction but so are you.  You feel isolated, alone, sad, depressed and so powerless.  All we can do is pray every breathing second asking God to guide our loved ones as well as yourself to give you the strength and the courage to get up every day and hope and pray and hope and pray again.
Please pray that all of our loved ones are guided in the right path to their recovery.  Pray and give them hope that their life matters.  Pray that they know that there is unconditional love surrounding them.
Pray that they surrender.
I love you ————–.  My only son, my world, my heart.  I will never give up on you

Like I said it can be heartbreaking. Those words resonate for me so much because of what I have been through with my husband, and I know that I am not alone in this struggle. For those that are struggling with this, that are beating it in recovery, that are still caught in the tight hold of addiction, for those that live with an addict, and that love an addict: stay strong people and keep fighting the good fight. For those that just have a friend of a friend, think long and hard about what that person and his or her family may be going through, try to let go of judgment, put the shoe on your foot, open your heart, and gaze through the eyes of empathy.
For more stories from brave people in recovery who have been there, check out the website: I Am Not Anonymous

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