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.