I am ready to tell the rest of the story when I had to let Ashley go. I did not realize how reaching back into those memories would affect me but I think it may be helping somewhere. I heard from a friend that the blog is helping her understand a bit more of what a loved one of hers went through with addiction. Sadly, he did not make it. This is why I go back to those times. If Ashley and I can reach people, if we can help make a difference in anyone’s life, then it is worth every single word.
When Ash arrived home, I told her what I had found. Everything around me seemed fuzzy, like when a person gets the news that someone has died. The whole world changes. Everything looks different. Smells different. Nothing is as it was. So it was that day. I had to tell my daughter, who had already experienced more loss and pain than I could ever imagine, that she had to leave.
It was the hardest thing I have ever done. It is heartbreaking to think that the best thing to do for an addict may be to let them go. But sometimes it is. I knew it was what had to be done, but believe me, my heart was breaking.
She may have weighed no more than ninety pounds. Have you ever seen a cancer patient near the end of life? That is how she looked to me. My daughter whom I love so dearly. I did not know what else to do. The truth is, there was nothing else I could do. My daughter loves me but yet in the depths of addiction, nothing means more to an addict than the drug. Heroin. Fentanyl. Alcohol. Whatever the demon is what the addict wants more than anything. Sometimes more than life itself. My love for her was not enough. We had done everything that we could think of to do while trying not to enable.
I had to let her go. I had to let her go and she had to know how much I love her no matter what. I saw the little girl she was curling up in my pink bathrobe outside the shower so she would be there with me when I stepped out. I saw my child dancing with me in the kitchen. And there she was mimicking me in the car and had me laughing so hard that I was crying and almost had to pull over. Sometimes others just see an addict as a life not worth saving. I see my daughter, I see other people’s children, spouses, cousins, friends. I see human beings tortured by a disease unlike any other.
I see lovely people who did not choose to be addicts. I see lives worth every bit as much as mine.
Ashley said she understood. She did not blame me. She was wondering where she would go. I guess in the back of my mind I knew she would find somewhere as she still had many friends in our area. She packed up some of her things and left the house.
She was gone. I didn’t know what would happen next. A close friend came over and just let me cry and behind all those tears emerged a strength and faith that she was not going to die. That I did the best thing I could even though it literally was tearing me apart. I pray.
Time to stop now. I still have to take care of myself. I do not live in the past and at times it creeps up when writing and comes dangerously close. That is not my way. I am grateful for today knowing Ashley is waking and going to her job in a rehab center to do what she can to help other addicts.
This post is not complete but will need to wait for another day.
Just so you know, Ashley says I saved her life that day. I love my recovering addict.