At 8 a.m. a woman pulled up in front of my house, got out of her car and stood there for about an hour, watching every car go by. I recognized her. Her makeup sloppy, her eyes glazed, her body emaciated, her arms bruised. I was her. I was hoping her dealer would show up soon so I didn’t have to look at her, it hurt. We recognize our own kind, and that is very uncomfortable.
I had to leave and drop my car off at Jiffy Lube a block away from my house, I walked home and the woman was still there sitting in her car, I thought if she falls asleep I can tuck a note under her windshield wipers…”You don’t have to live this way”. ” Don’t give up”. “Anything is possible”. Or some other something that would mean nothing if she isn’t ready to get clean.
I am helpless. As I glanced out my window again I notice she is now standing outside her car holding a young child. I watch for awhile, I decided to ask her if she needs anything, is she ok. As I walk out a man shows up, gets in the back of her car and she puts her arm in through the window, I cry. She’s holding her child while he shoots her up. I am a fly on the wall. I am broken.
I know what you’re thinking: where the hell do you live? I’ll tell you where, an upper middle class neighborhood in Salt Lake City, median home price $350,000.00, granted it is downtown, so some freeky things are bound to happen occasionally.
I am a recovering addict. I have been clean from meth and cocaine for 20 years, and still I don’t know how to help anyone, still I have no other advice than make the choice every day to not do drugs. Wake up, don’t get high, do that all day, go to bed. It is that cut and dry to me. I seem to have less sympathy rather than more, because I know how easy it is to just make the decision to not do drugs, make it and stick with it.
My sister is an addict, my father died from an overdose, my husband’s family has a history of addiction, we grew up surrounded by this.
I am not my parents, I am not their history, I write my own story. I will not be associated with addiction when my last breath is taken.
I am tempted to walk outside and say “you need to leave before I call someone to take that child so far away from you, he will not remember the shitty story you’re trying to write in his book of Life”
I can’t save everyone, I barely saved myself. I am ashamed, as she drives off, I hope she finds some peace, I hope she finds some clarity, I hope her son finds an identity separate from her.