“To the girl that’s in love with an addict…
I need you to know I see you. I need you to know I’m watching.
I see your struggles and I’ve felt your heart break a hundred different times. I also need to tell you it will be okay.
You will get through this. You just have to decide when you’re ready.
I know you know this, but I feel compelled to remind you. His failures are not your failures. His demons are not your demons. And please, please, don’t ever let him make you think his addiction is your fault. This has nothing to do with you at all.
I want you to know how proud of you I am. I saw you get out of bed this morning even though you had no desire. I saw you check your bloodshot eyes in the mirror and hang your head. I heard your silent prayer and, trust me, you do have strength. You will make it through another day.
I watched you with tears in my eyes as you woke up each of your children… one at a time. I couldn’t stop a tear from falling as I caught a glimpse of you struggling to carry the youngest one up the steps, but you did it. I saw the contentment on your face as you held your sleeping baby for a few extra minutes before getting him ready for the day. After all, he’s hardly a baby anymore. I know that some days that is your favorite part of the day. Take your time.
I see you.
I watched you hurry off to work and saw the fake smile you’ve gotten so good at wearing. Don’t worry, no one knows. They really aren’t talking about you when you leave the room and the stares you feel are just in your head. They all still believe you when you say things are fine.
My heart ached as you struggled to make an excuse when your friends sent a text message inviting you to girl’s night out. You know they know things are different about you, and you know they just want to make sure you’re okay. You know they would never judge you for anything you told them, but you just aren’t ready. And I get that. It’s okay. You’ll get there. Trust me.
Hang in there. You got this.
I watched you sit at your son’s football game tonight. I noticed you wore your sunglasses long after the sun went down. Don’t worry. No one else noticed. I know you were afraid to take them off because they hid your tear-filled eyes. I know that because I saw those tears roll down your cheeks while you pretended to watch the game so intensely. I saw you sit in your car alone at halftime and breakdown. Its okay, you made it out there by yourself and you held it together until you were alone. You’ve gotten so good at crying hard, getting it all out fast, and getting back to your seat before anyone even realizes you’re gone.
I see you. And your fake smile.
I listened as you tried to be present and talk to your kids about their day while you fed them a quick dinner. You felt like a failure because you hadn’t even planned for dinner but its okay, they love random TV dinner nights. And they aren’t mad at you for losing your cool and sending them to bed a little early. They know you are trying your best…you’ve done amazing.
You show them how strong and capable you are every day. But, they have heard you cry yourself to sleep. Sometimes when they come in your room and ask for something after they’ve been tucked in, they know. And they are checking on you. They know you aren’t okay, but they need you to keep pretending, momma. You’re all they have.
You’re almost there. I see you.
Don’t break yet.
Things are going to get better. You need things to get better. You’re ready. You have the strength. Just speak up. Talk to your friends before it’s too late. Don’t lose any more of yourself to his addictions than you already have. You have nothing to be ashamed of and you’ve done everything for him that you possibly can. You deserve better than this. Don’t let him tell you otherwise.
Hold your head high, sister.
Tell your family. They love you. If you are still too embarrassed to tell them, fine. I get it. But tell someone, please. People care even when it seems like no one does. I’ve been there. I see you. Find your people and start talking. Do whatever you have to do to get to where you want to be. It’s your time. I promise, things will get better.
Every little thing.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Abby Croman, 40, of Marion, Ohio. Submit your story here, and subscribe to our best love stories here.
Read more from stories from Abby:
‘I gave up. I couldn’t do it any longer. I freaking quit.’: Mother of 3 divorces husband after coming to terms with his ‘addictions’
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