Do you have a loved one that has a problem with addiction? Do you have a loved one that suffers from depression or other forms of mental illness?
It can be a heartbreaking journey to love someone so deeply and not be able to help them until they are ready to receive the help. Sometimes the person will cut you out of their life in order to avoid facing their demons. Sometimes they attempt to hurt the people they love the most so that it gives them a reason to keep pushing the self destruct button over and over again. It's a seemingly endless cycle of self hatred and lack of self care.
I sat in my car yesterday crying my eyes out and speaking out aloud. I probably looked like a crazy lady. Right now I’m on the other side of the world from my little sister that is in hospital due to her drug/alcohol addiction and subsequent mental health issues. My parents are with her and trying their best to figure out a plan of action to get her the sustainable help she needs. This journey has been unfolding for nearly 20 years and for anyone that has an addict in their family, I’m sure you know that it can be an ongoing nightmare.
(My sister and I, 1987)
“I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I wish I was a better big sister. You will get through this if you choose to. I wish I could have been there for you so much more. I love you. I love you. I love you. I’m here for you if you need me.”
My little sister has been in and out of hospital more times than I can count. For a while (over 5 years) she was doing so well and worked a 12-step program that included daily meditations and journalling to hand her suffering over to God (the Universe). It was a wonderful way to cope and heal. Our relationship, especially leading up to my wedding in 2013 was amazing. She was my best friend and I felt so incredibly proud of how brave she had been to rise above her demons and be living in the present moment, but then life became tricky to cope with again and she lapsed back into her old patterns of pain.
My sister and I were raised in the same way – in a really loving, creative home with amazing parents dealing with their own shit. As we know, kids don't arrive in the world with an instruction manual. At 3 years and 9 months apart we were always fighting as little girls, but there were so many fun times as well where we would laugh until we nearly peed our pants. I would say that as a family we were really close. I’m not sure what the catalyst was, but our journeys went in very different directions as adults.
Many addicts have lived and experienced the darkest shades of humanity and dabbled in various ways to dull their pain and facilitate the ongoing manifestation of shame. However, it’s so important to remember, and especially as the non-addict, that unconditional love, BEYOND JUDGMENT, is incredibly important.
I don’t care about the things my sister did yesterday (as in, the past). They could be (for all I know) the things that most people in society deem to be really “wrong”. I’m choosing to hold space for the sister that I know and love and remember. I believe in her spirit. I believe she is so much more than her mistakes. I believe that her higher self, no matter how cloudy her path, is taking her on a wild ride to facilitate the expansion of her consciousness. It’s a sacred soul contract. It's her journey.
My sister has taught me to love unconditionally. She has taught me that we are solely responsible for our own happiness and that releasing expectations is one of the most powerful spiritual lessons to put into daily practice.
My heart feels so heavy for her pain, but it’s the beauty of life in full force.
You can’t experience the light without the darkness.
Now if you know me, you know I don’t believe in blaming others. My sister made the choice to use drugs, she has to live with it. I hold judgment (however) for the scumbag dealers on the streets that create and feed the cycle of addiction. Crystal meth is one of the most addictive substances on the planet. It can fracture your consciousness, break your spirit and make it very hard to want to seek help. Karma is a bitch and so I’m lovingly hoping that the dealer/dealers that preyed on my sister will be met with the same energy that they put out into the world. Take that, motherfuckers!
In the meantime, if you have a moment please send a loving thought or prayer in the direction of my sister. I figure it can’t hurt to share this story and raise awareness for the suffering that millions of families around the world are currently experiencing. xo