Hey everyone. So, this week I reached out all-over social media asking people to share something. My request was, for some, I’m sure, a difficult one, but the response was overwhelming. I asked for one sentence on how someone in your life’s addiction, past or present, has affected you. Per the NCDAS (National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics), about twenty-one million Americans have at least one addiction. Think about how many people could be affected by one person’s issue; mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, children, friends, colleagues, etc.. That’s a lot of lives potentially damaged by another’s disease. I never realized how much all of these sentences would affect me. In my life, I grew up with an alcoholic father and later married my first husband, who was an addict. Both of these men, who I loved dearly, eventually succumbed to the disease, and needless to say, living with them in active addiction and living without them dying from it has greatly affected me. That is why my poetry book, Unheard Whispers, and my upcoming novel, The Silence in the Sound’s partial amount of proceeds will be going to a great organization that helps families and kids affected by this disease. So this week, I am sharing your words, and I am moved by them all in a way word’s can’t express. Your statements are beyond powerful, and just maybe, someone will read these who might be feeling the same and take comfort that they are not alone.

—I miss my brother every day, and he’s alive but not living.

—My mother and father are gone, lost in the abyss of booze.

—My husband’s cocaine use has destroyed me to the point of no recovery, I’m afraid.

—I’ll never stop being angry, and I’ll never stop fighting for my son.

—My sister’s alcoholism is a rollercoaster ride my whole family has been on for what feels like our entire lives. I want to get off, or it to crash. Sometimes I’m not sure I care.

–I just know that I can’t do this anymore.

—I stayed with my wife through her battle with drugs, and I think I’ve lost my daughter because of that.

–I don’t even know who I am anymore without this. My obsession is my boyfriend’s drinking. Is he drinking? Is he lying? It’s all I think about.

—I forget what our family was like before this. My brother and sister are people that I don’t even recognize, and what they do is killing my mother.

–Waiting for a call to see if her car is wrapped around a tree or she killed someone else is my constant fear. When she goes to jail or rehab, it is the only time I can breathe.

My baby sister’s addiction was the central drama in our family for decades prior to her death from an overdose of Fentanyl at age 37, and the ripple effects have been profound.”

There are so many more that I received. If you’d like, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments. Thank you all. You are not alone.