Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I Love You Even as You Slice Away

Lately I've had some run-ins with addiction and let me tell you it is a shitty thing. Loving someone who is addicted is watching that person slice pieces off themselves until they are a pile of rotting slop. Addiction is the cruelest way to die. Addiction is the saddest way to live. There is nothing beautiful about someone filling their soul with poison, except that beautiful person. Addicts, they shine so bright for intense, beautiful, brief moments. The people who love addicts spend their lives chasing that bright spark like a crack high.

A person who loves an addict will pick through the carpet, flip over the couch, search the deepest recesses of the nastiest closet to find the addict's spark again. It is exhausting, yet, so exhilarating when you see it again. When the addict's light shines on you, it is like a glimpse of heaven. So it is always so shocking when the light fades and the addict quickly slides into hell, pulling on your ankles and screaming your name. What will you grab onto to keep you from falling into the depths? You better hope you still have yourself baby, (that addict will snort that up his nose too) because that's all you've got. That and the Buddhas are the only things keeping you out of hell.

I talked to three people this week who love addicts. The Queenpin's got a few she loves too. All of us, the addict lovers, we love them fiercely, we love them deeply, we have had the light shine on us, and like good little crackheads we are waiting for it to shine on us again. Or some of us are done. We have been burned so many times by the light,  our fingers sore from mantras, our arms aching from having to grab onto ourselves and not be dragged into the depth of hell. Again. We free ourselves from the grip.

But the addict lovers, we watch, we see them there over in the corner bleeding and bruised. Even though we hide our eyes, we peek and see the flash of silver, hear the flesh fall as the addict continues to slice. A little piece here, a little piece there. No more flesh, only bone. No more bone, only guts. And with all the strength of an Amazon this one time, we refuse to pick up the pieces. We realize that even the most colorful duct tape can't help this time. Humpty Dumpty was an addict. Didn't you know? The King knew.

I know lots of amazing people who have overcome addiction. They put themselves back together slowly piece by piece. After awhile their scars barely show. And they shine with a wisdom of someone who has kissed the lips of hell and lived to tell the tale. I love them deeply, fiercely, and without fear.  I do not walk away, and I rejoice in their light.

However, being with them is bittersweet because I see the promise of what could be for my addicted loves. Sober addicts are like Barbies that survived years of abuse by a twisted child. Their head had been shaved, their bodies positions so many ways the metal rods popped out of their knees, their clothes Sharpied up. Yet they somehow regrew that synthetic hair, put some New Skin on their knees, and found a mighty nice duct tape suit.

Sober addicts survived and then they thrived, but not everyone can recover from something like that. And that brutal truth kicks my ovaries in and scares me worse than zombies. It also makes me so sad I cannot express it, and that is saying a lot for a woman who likes to express things as much as I do.

So here the Queenpin sits. Eyes covered watching the razor slice, and waiting. Hoping and praying  the addicts I love to find some duct tape to tape those slivers back on. Hoping I have a strong enough sense of self to hold myself up out of hell. Hoping Sober Barbie and Ken will share their magic pixie dust, scored from Tinker Bell, that when snorted up, makes you well.

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