Do you know someone who has been affected by the opioid crisis? Maybe you know someone who has unfortunately lost the battle of addiction. You may know a few souls who have struggled with substance abuse and have waited for their drug trials in jail. Maybe you can’t even remember the times you have talked to friends or strangers who share similar stories. I understand your pain and anger.
For me, it’s my sisters and brother. A few years ago, my step-sister lost a tough battle and before I could fly home to say goodbye, she was gone. The next year, my step-brother overdosed the night he was taken to jail. Death has been knocking on the door of my closest sister for over ten years. Thank God for a second chance with Narcan.
It’s hard for me to give words to the many emotions I feel – angry isn’t hostile enough, heartbroken isn’t sad enough. My sister has been on a rollercoaster, and I’ve been along for the ride. Wondering where she is, who she is with, maybe she’s hungry or maybe she is just waiting for me to call her. To save her.
I know now, after twelve years, that I can’t save her. And yet I don’t even want to type that. It makes it more real to read and my mind is still able to hide a piece of my hope. Like a tiny piece of buried treasure.
If you connect with any of my story, I want to you to look inside your heart and ask yourself – Am I OK? If you hesitated and immediately thought of your loved one struggling with addiction, I get it. You’re not the one personally struggling with substance abuse every day, but that’s not answering the question. I want to know if you, the one who is awake at night thinking about your loved ones, are OK.
I wasn’t OK. The days, months, and years passed. Jail visits, stolen jewelry, stolen identity, numerous unanswered phone calls. The roller coaster was still speeding through its’ highs and lows, and I was hanging on as a passenger. Then I found therapy.
My journey will be as unique as your own, but if you share any of these feelings and thoughts, there are people who can help you find a piece of your hope.
Ask yourself these questions below and whenever, if ever, you are ready to find a therapist you can trust and talk to, Heart-Centered Counselors will help.
Question 1 – Do you want to help save your loved one from an opioid or substance abuse addiction?
There isn’t a single thought I haven’t created in my head where my sister overcomes her addiction. I play it over and over again.
Question 2 – Have you confronted your loved one or encouraged rehab?
I thought a heart-to-heart conversation would help. Later I wished a confrontation with the whole family would help. I remember crying, and begging my sister to stop her lifestyle. I thought my words could be enough.
Question 3 – Do you ever worry that your loved one will overdose from substance abuse?
First the call that my step-sister passed away. Then the call that my other sister was revived from an overdose with Narcan. Most recently a string of calls, my step-brother now gone. Bad news thru my phone has created more anxiety towards a piece of technology than I could ever have imagined.
I could keep going on with questions, but I think if you answered yes to any of these, then I want to encourage you to take the first step to a path of healing. Reach out to someone and make sure you are OK. You deserve it.