By A.R. Andrews | Personal Narrative Contributor

I’d struggled with a lot as a child with major anxiety and depression. My mother was a recovering cocaine addict; she also had severe mental disorders that went untreated for many years. This caused her to not be the nicest mother. My three siblings and I survived this childhood of verbal, mental and physical abuse. We had known about her past addiction and were sheltered from pretty much nothing.

Being the youngest, it felt as if my parents simply gave up on parenting once it was just me; they also divorced. Growing up in the household I did I was really the poster child for a future drug addict. I was never supervised, no curfew, allowed to drink, and I smoked weed. However, despite these things it never went passed a random joint at a party or a beer on occasion. Graduated my senior year 4.0 student.

So I’m sure at this point you are thinking, “Why on earth is she on this and posting if she isn’t an addict or recovering”…. Oh, dear reader, I was also the poster child for ending up in a relationship with an addict, too. With the things I’d seen when I was young, it somehow made me a very open-minded, understanding, and compassionate person. We’re all human and bound to screw it up every now and then. I can’t sit here and throw stones when I live in a glass house, too.

We fell in love right off the bat. He’d explained “previous” addictions. But did come clean quickly about the previous really being current. He was shooting heroin. He came to me for help, he asked me to be the one to be there with him as dispose of all his paraphernalia, needles, cotton, caps, you name it. I know how hard that must have been. He wants sobriety he is tired of the life this demon leads. Sadly going on two years still trying to get the monkey off his back, two rehabs, two suboxone doctors, 3 totaled vehicles, one official arrested, and two undercover roll ups, just this year. Not to mention finances. We’d lost everything. Yet, I still love this man more than words can say. He sees the addict, I see who he really is, strong, loving, gentle, good morals, amazing work ethic.

But the strong friend and rock I had been for him had become weak through all of this, I started to nitpick an active heroin addict, in full spiral mode! I hated everything, I felt alone, helpless, lost.

I don’t know what made the last “trip to the city” different than the thousands I’d been on with him so he isn’t sick but it clicked……. I AM HIS ENABLER. I could not say no if it meant he’d suffer. I would drop anything to rescue him or send money. I cannot help him find his strength if I myself have lost hers. I chose to go and rebuild back home, leaving him feeling alone, abandoned, scared during his toughest time. If I didn’t go I may have lost him for good. I didn’t break up with him I will support him through extended rehab, or jail time he possibly is facing, but I can’t do that directly next to him. But as this is his second night without me there I am BEYOND proud…HE HAS NOT USED. Whether due to lack of funds, transportation, or whatever ….. HE DID NOT USE. He didn’t steal, beg or borrow to “get right”. I read tonight on this site a post from an amazing lady named Tara, and I’m sorry I don’t remember your last name or screen name or what have you, but the headline was My Hero is a Heroin Addict. And tonight mine is. For the first time on his own, he chose NOT to use. It brought me to tears because he’s never before allowed that. I know this may not last but it sure could as well. It was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make, but I feel like it was best not just for me But it was what he truly needed.

I hope this brings hope to someone as Tara’s story did for me. YOU CAN CHANGE IT, no matter how far off the path you’ve gone. It may be hard, it may be painful, it will not be easy…. Please know you’re strong, please know you can get through this, please keep pushing through just ONE more day, you never know who’s life you will change.

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If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction and need treatment, we would love to talk with you and see how we can help you. PLEASE CALL 844.310.5975. Our counselors are available to answer your questions.