I apologize for the fact that this post is all over the place. I’m having trouble really getting my thoughts down in any kind of eloquently coherent manner. I also want to preface this by saying that any mean, rude, or generally unsupportive comments will be immediately deleted and not tolerated.
I don’t know why everyone I date has to have an asterisk next to their name. Everyone comes with their own baggage and issues, but I seem to find the ones with the oversize luggage and Major Issues. They’re totally awesome… but emotionally unavailable. They’re the man of my dreams… but they’re married. They make me really happy… but they’re a convicted felon that is going back to jail for a bit. And I’ve found myself yet another one with the dreaded asterisk next to their name. Jesus is everything I have ever wanted. I could easily see myself spending my life with this man, but his asterisk is a big one. He struggles with a heroin addiction.
He’s fighting this one tooth and nail, and has for a long time. I can’t fight this battle for him. It’s one he has to win on his own. I’m on the sidelines, cheering him on from afar. I’ve taken some space while he tries to get this back under control. I’m doing something that I’ve never been able to do before: I’m putting myself first. I’m walking away from something that I can’t fix. I set boundaries and stuck to them. I refused to be around him when he was impaired (and I can tell within 10 seconds of setting eyes on him), and I stuck to it. I told him that I would not date an active user, and there would be an expiration date on my tolerance for it.
And now, I’ve given him an ultimatum. No matter what happens, I’ll always be here to support him. I love this man more than I’ve ever loved anyone. I believe in him and in us more than I’ve ever believed in anything. I made some calls and will hopefully be able to help him bypass the waiting list at a program. But now I’m washing my hands of it. The rest is up to him. If he can get himself to a better place, then ultimately we can be in a better place. But the only person that can fix Jesus is Jesus. And if he’s not healthy, then there’s no chance for us to be healthy.
This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. No, we have not broken up. No, we have not taken a break. We’re just taking some space, so that we’ll have a sturdier foundation to stand on, one built from two healthy people that can support each other. I know it’s a long, hard road. I work with addicts; I’m very aware of what’s ahead. But he’s had 8 years of sobriety in the past, and I know that he can do it again. And I’ll be here cheering him on– from the sidelines– the whole time.
Of course, for the time being, I feel empty and sad and lonely and lost and angry and all of those other things that come along with loving an addict. But I’m not willing to lose this man to his addiction– at least not yet.
“Give me space so I can breathe
Give me space so I can sleep
Give me space so you can drown in this with me.”
-Something Corporate, Space