Open Letter

An open letter to my best friend.

You have been my best friend for 25 years. We’ve been through a great deal together. You’ve always had my back. Never faltering. Always there…until you weren’t. One day the person I loved and connected with and bonded with from childhood to adulthood suddenly disappeared. The loving, loyal, kind-hearted, sassy, smart ass I once knew was no longer. You turned into someone I no longer knew. Someone I didn’t want to know. You allowed drugs to rule your life and that changed you forever.

I don’t know where life went wrong. I don’t know when you thought it was okay to use drugs to escape whatever you were trying to run from. I don’t know when you determined drugs were more important than those that love you. You can call it addiction, but at some point you made a decision to begin using. You are responsible for all the destruction you left in your path. You denied your addiction. You lied even when you knew we all knew. You were not ready to face your reality. And it killed you.

Over the years, when we didn’t talk, I never failed to think of you. You were always on my mind and we were always able to reconnect. To come back together. The last time…we weren’t. We never got the opportunity to reconnect because you never got clean. You didn’t want to. You were so consumed by your addiction that nothing else mattered. I have always supported you through good and bad, but this time I couldn’t. I could not support you in your addiction. I could not enable you. I was willing to support you in your sobriety and in your recovery, but you never got there. I was more than willing to enable you when you chose to live a healthy lifestyle, but you never made that decision. You chose drugs…

You were only 33. I don’t know why this time was the last time. I don’t know what happened. I’ve only heard speculations. It wasn’t natural causes, it was DRUGS. The same addiction that took you from your family and friends also took your life. You chose to use that night and it killed you. I used to tell you if you didn’t stay clean you would die…I never thought the words I spoke would become truth. I was only trying to scare you. To make you think. It didn’t work. In the end I was right. You died. You left two precious children, a mother, sister, and brother who loved you dearly, regardless of how strained the relationships. You left a best friend without the opportunity to say goodbye. You may have said you hated me, but I know you didn’t. You loved me. Your drugs hated me. I was proud of you at one time. You took that and abused it. You ruined it.

I am so fucking mad at you. You were supposed to finally recognize the severity of your addiction and decide to get clean. You were supposed to get well for yourself and your children. You never made that decision. You continued to make the decision to use and to place yourself around those who use. You made no attempt to surround yourself with positive people. That was your downfall. You were superman and the drugs were your kryptonite. They won. They destroyed you. They killed you. I am so fucking mad that the person I knew as STRONG-WILLED allowed something to pull her so far down she saw nothing else but that. You died…alone. By yourself. None of those “friends” were there. I’ve seen people using your death as a means for attention. You can tell by looking at them they were the people you spent your time with. Is that judgmental? Sure the fuck is. A drug user is a drug user no matter what face they put on. They were not your friends. They were your addict buddies. I was your friend. Your mother, your brother, your sister – they were your family. You chose everyone else and the drugs over all of us.

I am still trying to process your death. It doesn’t seem real. My brain knows it is, but I can’t process it. I knew I would get this call one day, but I don’t guess I figured it would be this soon. I suppose I thought there would be more time. One last ditch effort to save you from yourself. That never came. Although we had not talked in a year and a half I still hoped one day you would return telling me you were ready to get clean. I…don’t know how to say goodbye to you. My anger is overwhelming. The shock is undenying. Regardless, I love you. I always will. It will never matter how disappointed I am in you – I will always have your six. Wherever you are, biff, know I will carry you in my heart. I will use your story to help others. I will make your life matter. Your memory will carry on – in all of us.

Until next time, Khel…

This is the song you chose for us many moons ago…

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