I Am Not Responsible For Your Disease, Says the Jabberwock
Once upon a time, I was 21.
I was 21 and naive. As most people are at that godforsaken age.
21 and a fool in love. So deep in love that I lost myself and almost lost my will along with that love.
I found myself doing things I said would never do, things that I judged others for in the past.
Down this rabbit hole of loving an addict I fell and as the book goes “never once considering how in the world she was to get out again.”
There’s an irony in my favorite book being Alice in Wonderland, because loving an addict is in itself a wonder. There are times when the world seemed beautiful, but then you step through the looking glass and see things for how terrible they really are.
Pills were his “eat me” drug of choice and he was mine. We clicked, and everything was beautiful. Until the pills were gone and I had overstayed my welcome, or asked him a question too loudly, or couldn’t help him find what he “needed” to go on.
At every attempt to help fight this beast, the addiction would remind me that “all ways here are its ways”, and I would retreat back. Stepping in that home was bizarre, as I did not want to be around mad people. But I would quickly be reminded that I can’t help that, they’re all mad here. Addiction ran through his family like blood courses through veins.
There was hardly enough of me left to pretend to be two people in a relationship. So, I left, knowing a piece of me would never return back from Wonderland. Stepping back through the looking-glass, I had changed so much and when I would try to get back to being myself, I couldn’t, because I was not myself. Post-Wonderland me, was stronger, but cautious. Vowing to never allow myself down that path again.
7 months later, I had graduated college and was in a blissful new relationship. I received a call, the caller ID shook me and I answered with caution. To my horror, it was his mother.
He had taken a whole bottle, she said.
It was my fault, he saw the pictures of you with your new boyfriend and decided to end his pain, she said.
He hadn’t been the same since I left and because of me her son was going to die of an overdose. She said.
She, who would journey to Wonderland many times with her own son.
She, who introduced him to this world to begin with.
But you know what, I started to believe her. I was ready to leave my new love, and journey back through the looking glass because, IT WAS MY FAULT. If I had stayed, I could’ve stopped this.
Then, I paused.
I remembered the tears, and the hurt, and the bruises. I remember the fear I used to have of walking the room and not finding him breathing.
And I hung up the phone.
For months after his overdose scare, his family and friends would blame me. And at first, the words they hurled hurt and I would cry. However, that happened less and less.
I say all of this to say, I have been sickened by the things I have seen said about Ariana Grande in regards to Mac Miller’s death. Both as a fan of hers and his. But more so as a woman who has been blamed in the past for the consequences of a disease. My heart aches for his family and friends. But my heart also aches for her. This is a terrible burden that we put on the significant others of addicts and unless that person is injecting someone in their arm for them, THEY ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE.
“would you tell me which way i ought to go from here”