Monday, October 10, 2011

An Acknowledgement

It is the middle of the night. I've been trying for hours to think of something profound or maybe lyrical to say about what is on my mind. How arrogant of me - that I'm worried about making sure you read this and say, "what an excellent piece of writing". How arrogant that I am thinking in any way of myself right this minute. The situation itself is profound. It does not need my words to sanction that. 

I did not give much of myself to either one of the people who are on my mind at this moment. Now I will at least give them the dignity of acknowledgement. 

Terri is gone. I always thought I would see her again. That will never happen now. Her addiction won the battle. She will be buried today, I think.

I don't know what the official cause of death will be on the certificate. Accidental overdose? Suicide? It does not really matter. The addiction overpowered her and now she is gone.

Freddy is in prison. His addiction took him away from his wife. I am not by any means saying that Terri's addiction would not have taken her if Freddy had been with her. I think things would have turned out much the same. Being locked up might be the only reason that Freddy has not died from this affliction.

I was not very close to either Terri or Freddy. By the time I came along, they had pretty much worn out their welcome in our mutual group of friends. I think they knew that I was not willing to participate in the madness that comes with addiction - lying to your friends, lying to yourself, chasing your tail in ever-smaller circles trying to keep that "high". But we had moments. Moments where we prayed together, laughed together, cried together, helped one another. I think both Terri and Freddy would be amazing people to be around if it weren't for the addiction.

Addiction is ugly. It does ugly things to beautiful people. The thing is - addiction wears a mask. It is a smooth operator that can reel in the best of people and then they are hooked. Living inside a body that has become so dependent on drugs that it does not know how to function without them is a prison in itself. The cravings that taunt you when you can't get a "fix" are physically painful. What happens to the mind during this process is just complete insanity. Things that you would not do otherwise begin to make perfect sense. Hurting yourself or others suddenly becomes completely justifiable because you NEED that drug and you will do whatever it takes to get it. Whatever it takes. 

To overcome addiction, you have to do whatever it takes. This side of heaven I will never understand why some people are able to grasp that and others are not. I know God could have delivered Terri if she had held onto Him. Whenever I think of her from now on, there will be that question of "why?" connected to her. She knew who He was. Why did she not throw herself at His feet and hang on for dear life? That is always the question. Why do some addicts learn to hang on and others don't? I have absolutely no answer.

What I know right this minute is that a child of God - a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend - has lost this battle. I know that another child of God - a husband, father, son, and friend - is grieving and closed off from his loved ones.  This is my acknowledgement that their lives, addiction and all, matter.


  1. "Addiction is ugly."

    Very ugly.

    And it comes in many forms. Lots of people are addicted to lots of things.

    Well written :)

    Sorry about your friend.

  2. Carolyn,

    I know a bit of what you are feeling. My kids' uncle lost his battle and his life last September. He loved God and his family, and he really tried, but he somehow missed something. We all question "why?"

    Their lives do matter; bless you for saying so. Perhaps through Terri's loss, Freddy will come to trust in God more than she was able to, and their children as well. That is what I pray for my nephew.

    I am sorry.

  3. Wow, this really resonates with me. I have been on both sides of the coin - losing someone to their addiction war and being the one who was *this close* to being lost myself. You describe both aspects really made my heart hurt a little reading that.

    I'm sorry for the loss of both Terri and Freddy. Thank you for telling us about them.

  4. Wow, this was a really excellent piece of writing.


    You wrote: Terri and Freddy would be amazing people to be around if it weren't for the addiction......and I said outloud, they all would be, they all are.

    In my expierience, the saddest part, well, one of the saddest parts is how the addiction hides that beauty. And how addicts allow it to hide the beauty because showing it, revealing it is much too vulnerable. And addicts.....we're all just broken and hurting people using a substance to lie to ourselves that we're not.

    I remember shortly after my husband quit drinking, we were lying in bed, and he said to me, "Thank you for believing in the me that was inside." I'll never forget that moment in time.

    6 years sober, his person inside continues to be revealed by the grace of God. And I continue to be amazed that it's so much more than I ever thought.

    I'm sorry about Terry. May she rest in peace now that the addiction finally lost it's pull. And may Freddy find behind prison walls what many do, freedom in the One who paid for it.

    Thank you for sharing your heart Carolyn!

  5. Hi Carolyn,

    I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. Yes, addiction is ugly. May God mercifully touch her husband and family.

    I have a good friend whose adult son has been fighting it out for years, and it breaks her heart. We continue to pray and stand and believe, of course, that Jesus will win.

  6. Carolyn - This post is so raw. It acknowledges so much of the pain and tragedy that is addiction, all the lives that are affected, all the hope that is destroyed. Your honest assessment is a tribute to both Terri and Freddy. My prayers are with you.

  7. Thank you all for your prayers and support. I'm so glad we are here together.

  8. I.m so sorry for the loss of your friends and thier family. Addictions mask is powerful, and the longer its worn the more layers are added. Your acknowledgement of them was beautful. Hopefully he can peel his layers with some gentle help.

  9. Maggie, I knew you would "get it". :) xoxoxo


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