“Dear judgy lady on Facebook,
I read the article you shared about narcan. Your opinion and commentary made my pulse pound and my face flush. I was angry, but after a few minutes passed I didn’t want to punch you in the face anymore. My heart softened towards you, because I know you just don’t get it. You are so lucky and I am envious of that. I wish more than anything else that I didn’t get it either. I never wanted to and as much as I think you suck for saying what you did, I hope you never have to.
You see, I know something you don’t know. I have lived it, walked it, and most importantly survived it, while you sit on the other end of a computer content in your ignorance. I hear that it is bliss.
I made a decision early on in life not to use drugs or alcohol. It wasn’t because I was a saint, it was because I was scared of it. Not having my wits about me at all times terrified me, so I abstained. I left parties early, I just said no. That old Dare pledge may have been one of the only things I have ever truly followed through with in my life. Well, the second…
I have always wanted the same thing we all want. ‘True love.’ The heart-racing, soul-bearing stuff that roll of the eye inducing movies are made out of.
Lucky for me, I found it and I cherished it. I protected it, I stood by it through thick and thin. It was mine and I was never letting go no matter the cost. Unlucky for me, I lost the human form of the person it was attatched to. It went defunct in a run down apartment five minutes from my house, surrounded by people who didn’t care about that love. I lost the most precious person to me other than my children without a ‘goodbye’ or a last ‘I love you.’ I lost the keeper of my secrets, my duet partner, the finisher of my sentences and the other half of my heart. I lost my financial stability, my security blanket, my hope, my sanity, my will to live, my plus one and my emergency contact…I lost my home with narcan a truck door open away.
I get it, you think it was his ‘choice.’ You think he didn’t love me or anyone else enough. You think he was selfish, stupid, and weak. You think he didn’t deserve your tax dollars even though he worked harder than anyone I have ever known in my life. If I told you how wrong you are, you probably will not be convinced. He is the face of a million ‘junkies’ to you. You might not care that he poured ketchup all over his fries and ate them with a fork or that he always gave money to the homeless. That he smelled like wood chips, soap, and just the tiniest hint of a hotel swimming pool, or that he could draw a blue print with his eyes closed.
You won’t be moved to hear that he loved my feet, put my coat on me on our first date, and ended every text with ‘I love you more than all the stars in the sky.’ But all of these things mattered to ME. You are basing his worth on an image you have in your head. It just feels so important to me that you know this; there are good and bad drug addicts, just like there are good and bad NON drug addicts. He would never judge you for being such an a-hole. If I had gone to him all fired up and read to him what you wrote, he would chuckle and tell me to calm down. He was probably a better person than you or I combined.
My question to you is simply, what about me? Do I deserve your sympathy and your compassion? Is my pain any less because the person I loved was a heroin addict? Do I deserve to suffer for loving someone you don’t deem worthy? Did he for making one poor choice that led him down the road to hell? Do the obese deserve insulin or a defibrilator? Do smokers deserve chemotherapy? Where does it stop when we start making these kind of calls?
Still, I know I probably haven’t changed your mind. It seems pretty set. All I can ask is that you honor my pain, just like I would honor yours if your husband dropped dead because he ate a good too many cheeseburgers. I ask that you do because we are all human and we are all in this together.
The junkie’s wife.”
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