Having an addict as a sibling is like climbing a mountain.
When they’re in recovery, when things are “ok” you’re either climbing the slopes back to normality or trudging the plateaus of what you think is life as “normal” or “fine”.
But then comes the relapse, and the ground beneath you feet gives way and you’re left tumbling down the mountainside. As the crisis subsides you’ll hit solid ground again. You’ll land battered and bruised and bloody and close to breaking. But there’s ground beneath you again and you know your sister isn’t selling her body in some hotel or shooting up in the hopes of death.
Sure, she may still be using, she may not be clean. But you reach a new normal. The kind of normal where checking her Whatsapp ‘last online’ status to make sure she’s been online in the last 24 hours, to make sure she’s not dead (yet). Where you take it for granted that she’ll always be on a come down when you see her. Where you know she’ll sell anything she can get her hands on, so your parents lock the gates in front their rooms whenever they’re not home (you parents have gates in front of their rooms and a safe full of jewellery).
But then comes the next crisis – the next major binge and you’re plummeting again, waiting to hit solid ground and feel your heart break through your ribcage.
I’m plateauing a level above hell right now. I know this level ground can’t last. This new relationship she is in won’t and the job won’t stick. Then it’s back to the pimps house, the dealers – or my parents. Where she can rip them apart a little more and age my 60+ parents into their graves.
Living with an addict is like climbing a never ending mountain. A mountain that will only break your heart.