An Open Letter to Addiction and Depression
To Addiction and Depression:
I am so angry.
At the age of 32, I have now lost my father and my brother. My mom has lost a husband and a son. And it's all because of you.
How dare you.
How dare you take two good men from the world. How dare you convince them that they weren't loved. That they could handle everything on their own. That there was no way out of the darkness. How dare you make them feel so low that they no longer wanted to exist. That they thought the world would be better off without them.
My father died by suicide when I was 8-years-old. He had undiagnosed mental illness that fueled his alcoholism. I still remember the day my mom sat us down to tell us he was gone. It's not something you ever forget.
Then there was my brother. A sweet, goofy kid who grew up into a kind, hardworking man. A person who would literally give the shirt off his back to help someone else. He struggled with depression, bi-polar disorder, and ADHD, and used alcohol to self-medicate. As the older sister, I would do anything I could to protect him. But I couldn't protect him from you. His death may have been a tragic accident, but it was YOU who caused it. He was only 30-years-old.
Both of these men had all the support in the world. Family, friends, and coworkers who loved them deeply. Who offered them help on more than one occasion. But YOU told them they didn't need it. And I will never forgive you for that.
Our family of four is now a family of two. Two women mourning the loss of two people that we loved so much. Two women who feel a sense of guilt and shame because we couldn't save them. It isn't fair.
Not a day will go by when I won't miss them both. The pain is unexplainable. I can only hope that sharing their stories will be an inspiration to someone else who is struggling. Someone else who is using substances to numb the pain. Someone else who thinks that they are better off dead. To those people, I say: please, accept help. I am begging you. You have something to offer the world. There are people who love you and want to see you happy.
Please, choose to stay.