Who am I? I’m someone you might like to talk to while waiting in line at the store. Or maybe not. I don’t know. I do have a pretty severe case of resting bitch face, but it doesn’t seem to stop people from striking up a conversation with me now and again. I’m awkward around people and never initiate conversations myself, but I do think I’m a relatively smart and entertaining conversationalist once I’m forced into it.
I present myself as content, but like many of us there are silent battles taking place inside my hyperactive mind. Mostly I think about injustice. Lately it’s been the injustice in my own life, coming at me like a friend secretly carrying a knife. Mostly I think about the struggles of the people I know, how much I hate for them to hurt, and how I wish I had the money and resources to remedy their pain.
I’ve never done well with pain. As a child I handled internal pain so poorly that I would cut my arms as a way to make sense of it. The first cut happened at age 11 and, I can honestly say that 20 years later, the urge hasn’t gone away. I stop myself now because I recognize the pain it causes others to see me marked up, but there’s still something broken inside of me. I drank too much for a time, but always socially.
Frankly I’m shocked that I didn’t become a drug addict. My need to drown out my pain is overwhelming at times, and I come from addict blood. I was lucky enough to have a family that cared enough to keep me from going off the deep end… not that people who do go off the deep end didn’t have enough love.
I can say that with certainty because I love an addict and have given away parts of my soul in an attempt to save him. There is absolutely no lack of love there. It’s an unhealthy love, but it is love.
I saw a video the other day that talked about how drugs and alcohol can more easily “hijack the survival hierarchy” (make themselves more important than food, water, and sleep) of people under 21 than people over 21. I didn’t smoke, drink, or experiment with any drugs until I was out of high school.
My addict started all of those things at a very young age. Maybe that’s why he went off the deep end and I didn’t. It made me worry that he’s less “fixable” than other addicts. He was clean for a few years before he relapsed. How will I ever know that he can get and stay clean?
Who am I? I’m a woman in love with a man who can’t stop destroying us both. I’m a person who has always given more in relationships than she receives… put up with more from the other person than they would from me… fought harder for them than they would for me… sacrificed my own well-being for the happiness of another.
I am the perfect person for an addict to bring into their lives: passionate, hopeful, and codependent.