I know we talk about addicts rock bottoms all the time, but what happens when the family reaches their rock bottom but the addict hasn’t? I mean, I can’t do this anymore. I don’t want too. I don’t want her to be in active addiction, I want to get some fucking sleep that doesn’t involve horrendous dreams that wake me up so startled I don’t know if it was real or not. I want all my children to not only love each other, but like each other. I don’t want her little brothers to look at her with disdain, and I don’t want her to not be able to look them in the eye. I want my family to be whole, in the real sense. We are so splintered at this point. Something is really wrong in a world where my 18-year old son takes me to dinner because he feels bad for the pain I am in and my 15-year old son sends me text messages saying I need to stop beating myself up because I am a great mom. When did they become the cheerleaders to me instead of the other way around?
I have no idea what she is doing or where she is and that is the most gut-wrenching part. I don’t want to bury her. I don’t want to live in a life where she dies before me. I am both bracing myself for it, dreading and accepting at the same time. It’s exhausting. The mental arguments I have in my head before even getting out of bed is enough to make a crazy person sane and sane person crazy but I don’t even know which one I am. At this point in her addiction there is nothing left to do. I can’t do anything. I can’t help her, I can’t not help her, I can’t chase her or try to find her or even tell her all the reasons that she should find recovery. She has enough knowledge about addiction and recovery to find her way to recovery if she wants too. She doesn’t. She does not want it and I have to accept that whether I like it or not. I can’t keep forcing her into clean time because each relapse is getting worse and worse. It’s not fair to her to guilt her into doing something she doesn’t want to or is not ready to do.
Living in my life right now is like the end stage of a stomach flu. Sort of hungry but afraid to eat, sort of tired but have slept too much, sort of energetic but don’t really want to get up. It’s like being almost something but not completely. So I am somewhere and nowhere and everywhere all at the same time. Confused? ME TOO!!!! My day begins with a text “Are you ok?” and then staring at my phone until I get the “yeah” response. Sometimes that can take hours. Those hours are agonizing. And every time my phone pings to life but the text is not from her its anxiety provoking. But I can’t get angry with her. I know people around me are angry and believe me, I am pissed off at life itself, but not at her directly. I can’t help but think if we are suffering so is she. I don’t believe this is all fun and games for her. I don’t believe that she is out partying like its 1999, laughing at us like we are fools. I think she hates herself and what she has done and continues to use and stay away because facing what she is doing is too hard. When she is angry and nasty and hateful with me I can’t help but feel like that is really a reflection of how she feels about herself, which makes me hurt more because I want her to love herself as much as I do. It’s a vicious cycle.
I can’t do this anymore. I can’t live in this tornado with no relief in sight. I go to parent meetings and they say that we are co-dependent or enabling or some other psycho-babble bullshit that is supposed to get us to see that we aren’t responsible for their addiction so we should “relieve” ourselves of the pain. That is such a pile of crap. I am a parent. Her pain is my pain. If she is using and not home and in my mind, in danger then I am going to worry, and be sleepless, and have general anxiety because she is my fucking daughter. There is no magic switch that I can flip to say ya know this isn’t my gig so ya, I don’t care. When she isn’t using I worry about her putting too much pressure on herself, and will she relapse and is taking her meds which is what parents do. If she is alive and out using, I’m screwed because I am going to worry. Every time our family celebrates something without her, or is having a good time and she isn’t there, I will be thinking in my head how she should be with us, and laughing too, and I will feel guilty that she isn’t. Even though it isn’t my fault, it doesn’t matter, that’s what will happen because I am her mother and I love her. If she dies, same thing. Only worse because then there is no hope. It will never get better because life will go on without her. After a time that she is gone, I will be the only one left to think about her every single day because I am a mother and that is what mothers do. So someone tell me, how am I supposed to live a life when I am living in purgatory? It’s a terrible situation for everyone. It’s hard enough as a parent to divide your time equally between your children but when one is suffering it’s even harder. It’s hard for me to be here in the present sometimes. Sometimes I don’t want to get out of bed at all. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes if I lay in bed one more minute I will suffocate so I get up, like now, at 4 in the morning wondering where she is and what she is doing and if she is ok. I hate this shit.