Watching someone you care about being devoured by their demons is perhaps the most painful thing that I think anyone ever has to go through.
I am currently watching it, and my heart is in constant pain.
It doesn't matter whether it's mental illness, or an eating disorder, or drug use, it's all the same.
Knowing that you can do nothing to help someone who doesn't want to help themselves is agonising, and knowing that it can only end two ways, either in death or the person getting well, is the coldest of comfort.
I suppose I have an even more acute understanding of both sides of this issue now, because not so long ago I was the one destroying myself, and people had to watch me, knowing that I would either get help, or die.
And there was nothing they could do to fix me.
Now, I sit in the ironic position of watching someone I care about destroy themselves more every day, and the pace of his destruction is picking up.
He looks thinner.
His face is drawn, and the bags under his eyes are stretching down toward his cheekbones.
He looks ill, and he has a sick smell that only another who came close to dying from the same choices can recognise.
I doubt he's slept in the last 48 hours.
I know he hasn't eaten, because every penny he has goes up his nose, or into his arm.
He is dying line by line, and I'm not sure he even knows it.
He stole from me to feed his demons, and while I am angry, angry enough that I considered selling his debt to someone that would probably beat him senseless for my money and then make him pay for their time, I am more saddened then pissed.
I cry for him daily, in spite of the fact my tears aren't doing him, or me, any good whatsoever.
I've been through this before, my ex was a junkie too.
But we were both using at the time, and I couldn't see past my own pain to even begin to look at his.
We were together 5 years, and almost all 5 of those years included copious amounts of dope.
I loved him, but by the end, I loved dope more, and I wasn't too concerned about what happened to him, so long as I got what I needed.
He's not clean.
In fact, I hear he's working boy's town, blowing strange men for crack.
My heart aches for him, but it's different, because I can't and don't have to see it.
I don't have to see it every day, and I wouldn't even want to dare to look for him.
But this one, this one that I gave a piece of my heart to, this one who I trusted and allowed into my house and my heart only to have him steal from me, him I have to see every day.
It won't last much longer, I know, because either he will have ripped off the wrong person and they will finally catch up with him, or he will get fired from his job, or he will disappear down that rabbit hole the way we all do when we have finally exhausted every person and every option we have.
When there is no one left to beg borrow or steal from, we bolt.
If we are still healthy enough to work, we move onto another menial, useless job, and a whole new set of people who don't know the truth of who we are.
Some end up like my ex, hustling in dark alleys for enough money to buy ten more minutes of oblivion.
Dignity is so often the first thing a junkie sells, and believe me, it doesn't come back cheap.... if it comes back at all.
Some things are just to ugly to look at in the cold light of sobriety.
Thankfully, there are some of us, when we get backed into that corner, we finally give up, and we get help.
But rarely does that help come from those who love us, because they aren't around. They got tired of watching us sit around in our self pity and self destruction and cleared out weeks or months or years before.
I want to take this boy, and really, a boy is what he is, and shake him, and yell into his face until I make him understand that he is dying, and that I may very well have been the last person who cared enough to try and help, and he pissed in my face.
But I also want to hold his head to my chest, stroke his hair and let him listen to the heart of someone who has lived where he now lives and survived. I want to give him hope, and show him that it is possible.
I can do neither of those things.
He is no longer speaking to me, because I did the unforgivable.....I talked.
I told others what he did to me, and essentially what he was doing to them.
I made sure that everyone who didn't already know he was using ( and believe me, there were not many of them) now knows.
I told the person that we work with that used to be his using buddy that he was helping him kill himself, and I told him that he was no kind of friend.
So now, he feels I have betrayed him, and will not say a word to me.Yet every day and for 8 and a half hours I am forced to work in the same place as him, to watch him stumble around with that look of the walking dead etched on his face.
And each time I see him, my own shame and guilt wells up and I think "This is what it feels like.
"This is the pain I caused others"
This is what it was like for people who loved me watch me die a little every day.
They couldn't help me.
I can't help him.
And it hurts.
My heart is so very heavy.