The Other Side of Addiction

December 29, 2009
She was in my life for what felt like forever, but was, in the grand scheme of things, a brief moment.

Four years we spent doing things best friends do.  I loved her.  In truth, I love her still.

It’s impossible to know if the person she showed me was who she thought I wanted to see, or if it was some semblance of the real her. 

I like to think I knew her.  That I didn’t come to love a person she only pretended to be.

I trusted her with my feelings, my deepest thoughts, my children’s lives.  Apart from my husband and the midwife, she was the only other person in the room when my youngest child was born.

We shared.  We laughed.  We loved.

And then she was gone, in the blink of an eye.

She was an addict, her boyfriend said.  Vicodin.  He’d only just discovered it himself.

And she was gone.

He told me things then, things that hurt my heart and my head and my soul.

About the person I thought she was, how she really felt about me, about my kids.

I dream about her.  I dream she comes back, and explains that he was just lashing out in anger.  Maybe he was trying to make it easier for me to let her go.  Maybe he was vindictively trying to burn her bridges for her.  Maybe he was simply telling the truth.

I’ll never know. 

But still, I love her.  The person I knew, and the parts she hid from me.  I only wish she’d trusted me enough to let me see.

Maybe she could have left knowing I love her, anyway.  That I love her enough to help her through it.

I wish I could tell her that.

Originally Posted at The Sweet Life 7/31/2009 9:26 am


  • 7/31/2009 11:35 AM AmazingGreis wrote:
    Great post. I totally had a friend that just disappeared, not sure why, but she stopped calling and coming around. I think about her often, but I can’t say that I continue to miss her to this day. But I do still think about her and what her life must be like now.XOXO 
  • 7/31/2009 11:59 AM melissa wrote:
    Drugs are a scary thing and addiction is serious disease. It changes people. I’ve been unfortunate to see it first hand. The one thing I do know and have heard many times over is addicts are know to hurt those they care about the most.I think you are right. I think she truly wanted to push you away because she didn’t want to let herself hurt you. I honestly believe that.
  • 7/31/2009 12:21 PM Issa wrote:
    I’ve lost one of my brothers to addiction. He’s still alive, but he’s no longer him, the spunky kid I grew up with.It’s the people who are left behind who always wonder. Wonder what could have been, what was real, what could have changed it?

    All I know it, this is a wonderful post. And? I am sending you an Internet hug right now.

  • 8/1/2009 2:49 AM Ben wrote:
    People are their actions. If she was always a friend to you, that was the person she wanted you to see. That’s the person she wanted to be when she was with you. That’s the person she was.Addicts aren’t evil. They’re sick. Often they know it. She may have wished she wasn’t that person. With you she may have not been that person. She would probably didn’t want you to even know that person existed.

    At her worst times, when she said those things, she may have been angry or jealous. Regardless, I doubt your friendship was artificial. Hopefully one day she’ll remember that and come back into your life.

  • 8/2/2009 11:54 AM Maura wrote:
    I’m not sure what affects me more, your post or Ben’s response. Both are wonderful to read. Addiction has played such a huge roll in my life, but I don’t even talk about it. Maybe I should. I feel for you and the friend that you lost.
  • 8/5/2009 11:42 AM Annje wrote:
    I think Ben is right. Even if she said those things, it was the drugs speaking. What was not fair, was her boyfriend telling you that–he is probably angry and suffering as well. I am dealing with loved ones with addictions as well and it is heart-wrenching. I can understand your doubts as to what was real or not–I have those too.
  • 8/6/2009 11:22 AM Lu wrote:
    I am going through the same situation right now with my sister. I totally agree with Ben. I think that it was the real side o who she wanted to be with you. Addicts are great chameleons.
    I wish I could give you some great insight or hope, but I am walking this path with you.
  • 8/6/2009 12:04 PM merlotmom wrote:
    I’m sorry about your friend and sorry that she hurt you. I think you’re right though. You need to trust that what you felt was genuine when you were with her, was. THe other stuff was the drugs, or something else, talking.
  • 8/6/2009 6:33 PM anymommy wrote:
    She was your friend, don’t let second hand information color your memory. Okay, I just read the comments, Ben said it beautifully.It’s lovely writing too, we all have friends lost. I tend to blame myself, so I hope you are seeing this clearly, it was her addiction.
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    One comment

    1. Gah. SO sorry to hear about your friend. Addiction is so brutal.

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