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it’s hard for me to watch movies and documentaries about addicts. i become a bawling mess. ugly crying. as an addict, as a child of an addict, as a friend of addicts and a family member of addicts…it kills me on every possible level.

it’s impossible for me to detach from the substance abuse world.

there are definite emotions that each of those parts of me feels. an addict will understand the part of me that mourns while watching others like me on screen. the struggle, the sorrow, the soul-beating despair that rippled through every part of your being. the yearning for something you work daily to overcome. that longing inside for what should have never been placed there in the first place. the mourning for the person you once were.

i mourn the person i was, even though i have a greater desire to never be that person again.

it’s so complicated. so complicated. and from that standpoint, an addict and alcoholic, it’s impossible for me to watch “myself” in each of these films and not be deeply affected.

coming in a close second…sometimes in first: the daughter of an addict and alcoholic. if you have never been this person, thank God. being the child of an addict is…something no one should ever have to go through. ever. i wish not to get into the details now. perhaps another time.

when i watch these stories unfold in movies and whatnot, in addition to being the addict, i watch it from a child’s eyes. it is impossible for me to watch movies about those like us…and not see my father. regardless of male or female…in every character, i see him. and i mourn the loss of my childhood, the loss of never being loved. i mourn my life that addiction took, stole, when it took him. before i was born he was what he was. unable to change, he was what he was. he died, being that addict.

there is a pain inside us all, addicts. a pain that is the same, however different the story…a shared pain. when you love an addict, you love that pain, too. that pain deep inside of them. it is impossible to not love that pain and love your addict. why?

because it’s that pain that drives us. it’s that pain that overtakes us. it is us.

have you ever watched someone slowly die? i have. many times. including watching myself slowly die. another story for another time. i’ll say this-it’s not for the weak. it’s impossible to watch someone you love slowly die, and not have a piece inside of you die right along with them. however small that piece is varies from person to person. but mark my words…they take a piece of you with them as they go. you never get it back.

i always see the movies and documentaries from the view of a person watching someone they love die. it always comes rushing back. and as i watch whatever it is i am watching, the piece of me that they took, that died, becomes lit on fire and i die all over again. i suffer their death multiple times.

as someone who has had people walk away, when times got too tough for them and watching me die was more than they could bear…i want to tell you to those who stuck around, who stick around,

thank you.

the love it takes a person, the personal cost to you, to stay with someone as they die…it’s impossible to measure. impossible to properly describe with mere words. to the one person that stayed by me, even when i was inside of death itself, i say to you:

i would not be alive if not for you. you saved me by loving me. you saved me by sticking around. your sacrifice with the pieces of you you lost while loving and staying with me…they literally saved my life.

as a person who has lost life by sticking with ones that were slowly dying (and ended up completely dying…physically, as well as every other way), i can tell you it was absolute and pure torture. no joke. no lie. i hated it. i hated most of those moments with those loved ones while i was in them. they were destructive, they were not healthy for me…

they bled me from the inside out.

however, every single moment was worth it. all of it. because it was one more moment i had with them. one more moment they had in this world. and in the end, regardless of the outcome, i was a better person for it. a better person for loving someone else so unconditionally.

once you make it through those moments, there are blessings that come from being selfless and faithful. loyal. there are. they aren’t huge. there is no neon sign saying “blessings this way.” they aren’t things you can promise others that they, too, will “get.” they are of no monetary or materialistic value.

instead, they are things like peace. after your loved one is gone, a day will come when you will feel it wash over you like a wave. it will soak you, but gently carry you to a destination that is so pure and perfect. a peace that only comes with true love and sacrifice. it will fill a part of you that nothing else will ever even come close to. the part that became empty when you loved another more than yourself…it becomes filled with peace and understanding. and a sense of…gratitude. gratitude for being able to make it through for them. love them until the end. for letting them know, without a shadow of a doubt, that they were loved. that they mattered. that they had value and purpose.

love is a powerful thing. it turns the impossible into possible…and makes all the pain worth it.

i will be mourning for the rest of this night, and probably tomorrow.

i will be mourning myself: as an addict, as a child of an addict, as a friend of addicts and a family member of addicts.

and on every level, i will be reliving those deaths. mine, his, theirs.

but eventually i will be filled with something few will experience, and the peace will wash away my tears and quiet my burdened soul. one more time.

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