I’m Beth and I’m the sister of an addict. If you are new here this story runs deep. I’ve shared every ounce of my heart in hopes to ease my own pain. The years of grief and sadness have taken up permanent residency in my heart. It’s been eight years since this nightmare began. I witnessed my beautiful loving sister disappear into addiction. Her face hollow and every word a lie. I remember sitting with her underneath the trees planning our futures together but I realized a long time ago that I am not in control. Our strong bond can’t break this awful cycle. Sometimes I lie awake with a sick feeling that leaves me weak. Over the years I have had to learn to live without my sister in my life. At times it feels as though she is already gone even though she is alive and breathing. It’s become my new normal. This lifestyle continues to keep her in chains and I have to accept that I may never get my sister back.
Recently I opened my heart in hopes that something had changed. Unfortunately nothing has. There are countless layers to my broken heart. We have three children but what you may not know is I watched as our youngest was born. My sister named her and brought her home from the hospital. She knew her as mommy for the first year of her life. Several years ago we took permanent custody of her. It was not an easy road to travel but what’s right will always be right. Over time I became Mommy as I tucked her into bed at night and fixed her boo boos. All the while my sister continued to live this destructive lifestyle. To refuse help and continue using. We began talking about adoption. A year of prayer and tears went by before we finally decided to file. We have spent the past year opening our home to case workers. Completing a long list of classes and paperwork to finally be in the final months before our adoption will be finalized. Our intentions are pure and our hopes would be that she finally gets the help she needs.
I’ve watched as my parents have suffered. All the while trying to be strong and encourage them. They have been forever changed by her addiction. They continuously go through the stages of grief while floating in and out of depression. Anger and sadness are minutes apart. I try to keep it together even though I’m seconds from breaking. I’m bitter that she has left me alone and there is little hope left in my broken heart. As I tell my little ones stories of our adventures together, I remind myself to be the best person that I can be because that’s what she would expect from her big sister.