A LETTER TO MY EX: LOVING AN ADDICT

"You don't need your fucking wallet!" 

That is the last thing we fought about. The last time I heard your voice and knew you were okay. That's all I think about before I go to sleep - tossing and turning to thoughts of you being somewhere cold, alone, scared and hurt. No phone because I turned it off and no fucking wallet.

My mind cannot help but wonder if you're alive or dead, and the odds of each. Maybe 80/20, maybe not. I imagine that's what everybody tells themselves right before burying somebody they love who passed way too soon because they believed it "wouldn't happen to them." It's what you say, until it happens.

The idea of it all makes me sick because I just want to hear you tell a dry joke that I probably won't find funny. Just to know you're safe. Well, at least your warped version of it.

In the heat of the moment, it's easy to believe you chose the drugs over me. To believe you have a choice. To believe that you're happier now. But that only lasts a moment before I start to remember that addiction is a disease. It shows no mercy to it's victims when ruining their lives.

The young girl with beautiful brown eyes and a shy smile who dreamed of being a mum and was so socially awkward that she would tell the uber 'anywhere here's fine' when it was right outside our house. 

You see, I loved that girl. I fought for that girl. I held on for that girl. The girl who ever so briefly made appearances and reminded me of the woman underneath the addict who lies, cheats, steals and disappears. Who is selfish, moody and disconnected; who always chooses drugs.

I hate the girl who chose the drugs over me, over our son, over our family. The addict who slowly consumed the person I loved and refused to give her back. The person you have become that I no longer recognise.

Mourning the loss of someone who is still alive seems like a waste of time but when I see you, I don't. I see the monster underneath, the shell of a once beautiful woman who lost it all to her demons. Despite my pleas to save you from yourself, I watched you fade away and disappear. Helpless, hopeless and faithless.

I stayed for so long because I always believed in you, in us. I saw your past, pain and misery and I wanted to give you an escape - one that didn't involve getting high. One that you always wanted but could never find. I wanted to show you that you could be happy. You deserved to be happy.

Maybe I failed you. Maybe I was never enough. Maybe I wasn't what you really needed. Maybe I only made things worse. But fuck, I loved you. Even now as I choose to walk away, I do it with a heavy heart.

Because you were my person, my best friend and the woman I thought I would spend the rest of my life with, there was never a doubt in my mind - you were the love of my life. What we had could have been great. It could have been forever. It should have been forever.

But I can't keep holding on to a woman who is no longer there.

A woman who doesn't care about herself. A woman who only cares about her next hit, her next fix, her next binge. A woman consumed by a monster. A woman that I cannot fix; that I shouldn't have to. 

Leaving you is honestly the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I constantly find myself second-guessing the decision - horrified at the idea of you being alone, of you thinking that nobody cares, of you having no one you can turn to.

But I also know that I cannot continue down this destructive path with you. I know that our beautiful baby boy needs me. I know that my understanding and my empathy and my love has enabled you. It has prevented you from hitting a rock bottom that might actually wake you up to realise what you have to lose. 

Which is everything.