For the past few days I’ve been abiding in the land of coulda, shoulda, woulda. I know that there is nothing I could’ve done. I did everything I could when I was in the situation. At its height, it was a lot of fun. At its low, it was heart shattering.
I wonder, though, what would’ve happened if you kept your promise to me. Not for me. We weren’t meant to be…but for your close friends and family. If you had faced your ghosts, scary as they were, and done the hard work, I may be just getting ready to celebrate a birthday, thinking of you on occasion.
Addiction is an ugly thing. One of my friends put it best. She said that no matter whether the addict was a good person or a bad person, they were still a person. He was a son; a brother; an uncle; a father; a friend. He bled red just like the rest of us.
I am blessed. I don’t often have to deal with the darkness of addiction. I don’t have to pick up the pieces, time after time. I know that I am in the minority. I know too many people who deal with a loved one’s addiction on a daily basis. I’m sure I know people who suffer with addiction, but they keep their demons hidden well.
Addiction doesn’t always look like the zombies they show you on television. It looks like that funny guy that everyone loves, but who has shadows behind the laughs and smiles and jokes. Addiction looks like the handsome guy that you see walking down the street. Addiction looks like someone who served our country, saw things that no one should see, and then was released back into the general population without a second thought.
I pray that you are at peace, calling football games with your father and chilling with your brother. I pray that your family finds peace knowing that you are at peace. I pray that people remember your goofy smile, your passion and the way that you made them feel when you came into contact with them.
After you’re finished reading this, please say a prayer for a family that needs your prayers. Please say a prayer for millions of families who need your prayers. Let’s stop demonizing people for harboring demons. But by the grace of God, it could easily be your or I.