If you read my blog at all last year, you may know that I was going through a "tough" time. Well, this is the first post that kinda explains why. And it's the most honest post I've written in a while. I debated whether or not to post this, but here it goes...
Do you ever come across words or a quote online that makes you feel awful because, if it's true, it paints you in a negative light? Well, I came across a quote the other day and it reminded me of my struggle with wondering what type of person I am.
I’ve been wrestling with if maybe I’m the second type of a person. Not maybe, I am. Or at least I have been to someone I deeply care about. And that kills me.
Three years ago I fell for someone. Our relationship was complicated from the beginning. We dated for six months and were an “official couple” 13 months after that until I ended it the week before Thanksgiving 2013. I’ll skip over the details behind that decision, and skip to what happened after.
He had a history of substance abuse, and shortly after I broke up with him, he started using. I didn’t know he was using until July, a few days before he checked into rehab. I knew he had a history, but I didn’t know about the use of this particular (hardcore) drug. Not that I can say that would have changed my decision to enter a relationship with this person. I'm not sure if it would have.
Anyway, after the breakup, we spoke from January to July and saw each other a few times. A part of me thought we’d get back together. When he told me he'd been doing drugs, he was in a car with his parents on the way to California. It was the weekend after his birthday and he asked if I'd "orchestrated" what was happening. I became really upset because I didn't know what he was talking about or what he was accusing me of, until I remembered that he went to California the first time he went to rehab. Finding out that he hadn’t been honest crushed me. “You told me you weren’t doing drugs.” “No, I told you I wasn’t doing that particular drug.”
He spent a month in rehab, during which he tried calling me and left me voicemails, and he lived in a halfway home for several months after that. He told me how great he was doing—reading his Bible every morning and how he felt close to God and was going to the gym and meetings and how he’d joined a bowling league with some people with a similar past and how people looked to him as a leader and so on. He wanted me to know how great he was doing. And he begged me to give him another chance. Telling me how much he changed and how he could "quit drugs for me."
But the trust was broken and I was struggling and coming to terms with just how much drugs have an effect on loved ones. It was the darkest time of my life. I hated myself. I blamed myself. I felt guilty and selfish and so many things. And I didn’t understand, and still don’t, why and how drugs can ruin so many lives. Yes, I know scientifically how. But it’s the “why?” that you ask after something completely unfair has happened. The fact that life is unfair isn't new to me. But I can’t wrap my mind around how there are drugs out there—stupid, pointless drugs—and how they destroy lives. And how the person you love more than anything is living a life of addiction. It’s excruciatingly heartbreaking. Because you know life doesn't have to be this way and you know how special that person is and how they could have a good life and you want it so badly for them.
Not knowing how to walk away, I told him I needed time, a lot of time. But with time (a time of depression and feeling helpless and being sick knowing how low the recovery rate is after use of this particular drug—some studies say 12% with rehab; 5% without), I realized that time wasn’t going to fix “us” and what had happened.
He relapsed (and I blamed myself) and started using on a regular basis. That’s when the conversation happened where I expressed how deeply I cared for him and how I just wanted him to get better, but I couldn’t be a part of his life anymore. He told me I was giving up on him. That I didn’t love him. And that he wasn’t worth it.
I want to stop to say that this person is an incredibly good guy. That he's incredibly special. And that he has a big heart, with the most genuine care for others. And I’ve never wanted more for a person, or cared for a person so deeply. He wants the people he loves to be there for him. But my gut told me that being “there for him” wouldn’t fix his problem. And that it would wreck my life.
Walking away was incredibly difficult. And I still wrestle with if it was the right decision. I believe it was the right decision for me, but could I have helped? Is this my fault? He begged for my help and I said no. I left him in his most difficult time. And, well, I’m still battling with what type of person that makes me.
I've struggled with if I should make this post public. An hour after writing this, God reminded me that He is bigger than my decisions. That nothing is impossible with Him. And He'll never leave him. So I'll keep praying and hoping and believing that he is part of the five to 12 percent that recovers. I have to believe that.