How things have changed is the hardest to notice. When a person is with you regularly you don’t see them sneaking off all of a sudden. It comes in stages. They go to the bathroom, they step out for a smoke, they make a phone call, stay late at work. It is a gradual, “normal” absence.
Only after it’s too late do the signs become obvious.
Clothes change. Bigger, loose, layered. Long sleeves hide secrets.
Clothes aren’t the only thing that change. They’re euphoric. Manic, even. The high makes them feel brighter, and appear duller. Being happy is easy to them. It’s one more hit. The crash gets worse each time.
Mood swings and sudden anger. Deep depression. So they keep smoking, snorting, injecting, HURTING, in an effort to make sure it stays a “happy” time. What even is happiness if you have to alter reality to achieve it?
Friends, other addicts, are assuring you that everything is chill. Everything is a party. They are the life of the party. The party never stops.
The party will stop.
The party does stop.
Someone has to clean up after the party.
That’s when you notice.
How could you not see it before? The signs were all there. Who wears a hoodie to a July 4th picnic? Who throws a glass against the wall after a game ends? Why do you use the bathroom if your water is untouched? How could they be so sad when they had so many friends?
You’re cleaning their room. Dismantling a life that had just been there. Had always been there. You found their spot. Each needle takes the wind out of your chest. The curtains have been shut for too long. So much darkness.
It will always be dark.
The questions go unanswered. Your questions. The questions you’re asked. There is no solace in the words you hear. You don’t understand. They don’t understand. How? Why?
You could have been better. Didn’t you see the signs? Didn’t you love them enough? Didn’t you call often?
The world is spinning. It’s so dizzying. You sit.
You can’t understand where it all fell apart.
It’s been weeks since it happened. Wasn’t it just yesterday? That moment you heard the news haunts you.
Why? Why did this happen to you? This doesn’t happen to people like you. You are so confused. But no one can help.
You blink and your eyes are like rivers. You rest your head. There is no energy left.
You have no appetite. You need to eat.
A bite. Maybe this time you can keep down a bite.
The questions never get answered but they get less loud. You focus on good. You see the other hopes in the world. But there is always an emptiness. There is always silence.
Drugs change a person. They become a user, not the person you love so dearly. The drugs kill a person while their hearts are still beating. The drugs hurt everyone around them.
The drugs. They took the drugs.
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