To my loving family,
I’m so sorry. I messed up and I didn’t realize it until now. The pain, agony you must be in…it’s my fault. You both tried your hardest to fix me and make me normal again. But I was too stubborn. I’ve always been so stubborn. I think I got it from you, Mom. You never expect your child to be gone before the parents. That’s not how life normally works, but I didn’t play by the rules of the game. I cheated my way through and made you both miserable and embarrassed. I took so much from you… and for what? I got so high I could feel myself sinking.
I know you never imagined your life like this. To sit here, reading your baby girl’s letter. You both tried so hard to help me. But my disease was too strong for my own good. It took my life before I got to say thank you. Thank you for trying your hardest, thank you for constantly calling me and setting up appointments. Thank you for locking your safe, so I couldn’t steal Mary’s saved college tuition. Thank you for telling me not to come over until I got clean. Thank you for pushing me to get healthy. I would say my first treatment was a success. Detox was terrible, and going through withdrawal was the hardest thing in my entire life. But I was strong. I felt empowered and brave. I did it. I recovered and I was on the right track to a healthy life.
But then, little brother George got married. We were all at the wedding, the happiness I saw from him and his now wife. They are so perfect for each other. George’s friends, standing tall and groomed as they faced the seated guests. He told me I could be a bridesmaid if I got clean. I was paired to walk down the aisle with his best friend, Max. Little did I know that it was going to be the end of my 67 day sobriety.
All it took was one relapse.
Mary found me passed out on the bathroom floor of the wedding reception. My eyes were closed and I was unresponsive. She was bawling and screaming. I will never forget the face of my little sister. How could I do this? I was clean and happy. I was doing well for myself. But it all went to shit.
My addiction was too powerful. I was too stubborn. I knew what would happen if I relapsed. I knew the consequences and how I had to go back to treatment. I had to detox again, go through treatment again. I knew it all. But I didn’t have a second chance. That part, I didn’t know. I don’t have a re-do. I can’t start over. I won’t be there for Mary’s college graduation. I won’t be there for George’s firstborn. I’m gone forever.
I’m writing this for a couple reasons. First, to say how unbelievably sorry I am and how embarrassed I am. I disappointed everyone. I took my normal life pain away with drugs only for it to numb me from any pain and feelings. I cheated my way through life. Instead of going through life with normal feelings and goals, I went through life high and numb. Being sober was the best thing I ever did for myself, I felt alive. I had goals, I wanted to be a lawyer, get married, have a family, have friends, do normal stuff. But I threw it out the window to get one more hit at the wedding.
Secondly, I want you to keep others aware of how dangerous addiction is. How powering it can be. Share my story to save lives. Share it to encourage people to seek help. Please get help. For anyone who has the slightest idea they might have a problem, get help. And for people who are heavily addicted, it’s not too late. It’s not too late to find help and turn your life around. Do it for yourself, your family and your friends. Do it for your neighbors and strangers. Getting help was the biggest decision of my life, and it was the best decision for myself and everyone around me. Be strong and kick addiction’s ass. And after treatment, learn techniques to overcome triggers. This is something I wish I had done more of.
Triggers will come up throughout your life. Stay strong and don’t let it tempt you like it did to me. I would do anything to feel happy, sober and alive again.
Thank you, mom and dad, for raising me, loving me and supporting me.
Mary and George, I love you, and I’m sorry I’m not there with you. Stay strong and learn from me. You both are stronger than me. Don’t let anyone or anything ruin your happiness.
Your oldest, but not so wisest, Claire.