Mourning the Living Death of a Loved One to Addiction.

A Letter to ______________,

It consumes your every fiber of being.  It hijacks each and every electrical pulse of your brainwaves, numbing and amplifying all of your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors at all the wrong times.  It creates the strongest psychological and physical dependence you have ever known, isolating you into the blackest hole of the universe.

But, addiction doesn’t just affect you.  Putting aside your unfathomable pain and suffering for the sake of this letter, the permanent lump in the back of my throat blocking my tears and the air in my lungs urges me to tell you –

It has destroyed the hearts and souls of every single person in this world who loves you.

I was only a teenager too.  I was doing my best trying to battle those high school demons, living my life, growing up, experiencing my own traumas, and experimenting with those same things.  But somehow, in just a moment of time, when I wasn’t paying attention, you were gone.  In the gladiator fight for your life, the heroin had won.  It took over your mind and your body, like a scientific procedure gone horribly wrong.  Your friends died, you went to rehab, my friends died, you went to jail, you got sick, and then you got better.

But, you never got better for long.

Mom and dad, mostly mom, held out the longest.  She never lost hope.  Every time you got clean, even for one day, she thanked god for the miracle.  But those hundreds of times when you were in deep, I watched our mom and dad sobbing on our kitchen floor.  The memories I collected were of dad going to therapy six times a week, working three jobs to pay for your rehab, and of mom choking on her tears, holding her breath, before walking into that visitation room, with nothing but a painting of track marks behind the glass.

It’s been twelve years.

How can I help you without enabling you?
For how long can I be forced to watch you kill yourself?
How many times can we encourage you to change?

I desperately want to help you.  I wish I could assure you that I will never give up, that I will always be here, as I have assured you all throughout our lives.

But today, for now, all I can muster up the strength to say… is goodbye.


I have researched thousands of coping mechanisms and have participated in countless therapy sessions, but please – if you have any thoughts or suggestions, I could really use them these days.

Thank you for reading,


4 thoughts on “Mourning the Living Death of a Loved One to Addiction.

  1. Oh Nina this kills me 💔
    This is something that is so hard and so terrible to witness and I really really feel for you. I am so sorry for what you and your family have experienced!

  2. Wow, I don’t think I’ve related to a post as much as this one. There’s nothing I could say that you didn’t already address, so I just had to thank you for posting this and for contributing to the ever-spreading awareness and taboo-reducing of addiction.

    1. Thank you so much. It’s been really hard speaking about this on a personal level, but I have had some incredible conversations with unexpected strangers/acquaintances in the process, and ultimately, I’m grateful that I opened myself up to this.

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