Watch Me Die
The tone of voice echoes the sound that the heart makes as it is breaking.
The look of one who loves the addict is indescribable… the epitome of sadness and despair. There is a need for closure, but along with that need comes fear and dread. There is never complete recovery, only the process of “recovering”. Reaching out for closure means the risk of having to face the death of a loved one…or worse yet, having to watch the dying process...but from a distance…because they hold their arms out…only to push you away. “Watch me die”.
Emotions are raw, and with tears spilling over, I ask, “How can I help you?” He replies, “Just watch me die. This isn’t about you. Don’t tell me to stop. Just watch me die. I don’t struggle unless I’m caring about something or someone…so I choose not to care and then nothing can hurt me. The very same poison I live for snuffs out my light and my very soul feels nothing. Compassion is foreign to me. I don’t want to care about you or myself. I only care about getting high...so what if I die? I am alone and I reject caring about anyone because the pain is unbearable and too great to face in the solitude I have chosen for myself. If I admit to caring about anything, then I have opened Pandora’s Box and I am overcome with guilt and I hate myself enough to want to die. Watch me die.”
It has been said that the addict uses again an average of seven times before finally staying clean for an extended period of time. Seven? I'm not sure whether he will survive this relapse. The tone of voice echoes the sound that the heart makes as it is breaking. At first this was foreign to me, but now more easily recognized. Please God, not my child. My focus was on my own children. Which one of them would be responsible for taking me to that place of complete brokenness and desperation? I couldn’t see it happening to either one of my girls. I knew I was supposed to be involved in the life of an addict and my initial questions were, who…and why.
There are other questions that have bubbled up from my depths from time to time…questions for my Higher Power. I used to believe that all of my questions would be answered on that day when I finally meet God. He knows I need some answers here and now. Recently, I have had a change of heart which has lead me to a revision of certain beliefs. Following the spiritual epiphany I experienced two years ago, I am convinced that God reveals his plan to us directly through circumstances which he orchestrates in our everyday lives. It takes a trained eye or a crushed spirit to recognize and experience this.
I am the mother of two daughters who are adopted from China. After five years of humiliating and often painful fertility treatments, and one failed twin pregnancy, I was beginning to think that I would never experience the joy of raising a child. Was my overwhelming desire to have children clouding my view of God’s perfect plan for my life? Was he sending me a signal that I just did not want to acknowledge? I believe so. His message for me was, “No, you will not be able to give birth to a child, but, yes, you will be a mother to many.” What? He was speaking to my heart twenty years ago, but I was not paying attention to that still small voice, and I totally missed the message…until now.
The truth has been revealed to me following a recent chain of events. I am beginning to understand the bigger picture after years of not knowing. I have always wondered, why the infertility, and now I believe I know. My children are adopted and loved more deeply than words can describe. But because I am able to love them so much, even though we are not related by blood, I have been given the extraordinary capacity to love many other kids who are not my own by blood…but who are in need, or even in crisis. Along with that gift comes tremendous responsibility and the need for discipline. I am required to step out of my comfort zone and love without reservation. When that becomes a given, then it is unconditional love. The natural man wants to be defensive, put up walls, or retaliate. But instead it becomes necessary to shed my protective façade and expose my vulnerability. This is raw love...very often painful to the giver, but it may be life support to the addict.
The following is the Adoption Creed...but this creed also applies to the teens I care about who suffer with the disease of Addiction.
Not flesh of my flesh
nor bone of my bone,
but still miraculously my own.
Never forget for a single minute,
I carried you not under my heart,
but in it.