Because It Really is a Family Disease: How My Addiction Affected The People I Love Most

I wake up with a text from my mom. We had a joint bank account at the time, and I had 69 cents to my name. No wonder why the anxiety of battling another day simply terrified me. But time doesn’t just stop because you want it too.

You can’t slow it down simply because you can’t handle whatever reality you call yours. I mean I am a full blown opiate addict, after all, and if you asked me what day it was, chances are I wouldn’t have an answer.

I lost my job. I lost my friends. I lost myself. There was nothing left to do, but pawn whatever goods I had left. It began with childhood jewelry. After that was gone, I became pretty desperate.

As my addiction grew stronger, so did my efforts to remain high. Never say never, they say. I was a good girl until I found these damn pills. I always said I’d obey the 10 commandments —thou shall not steal. And what did I do? I stole.

Eventually, I did things I never wanted to.

I knew they were wrong even then but that didn’t stop me. It hurts like hell to think what chaos I caused —especially to the ones I love the most. These are the people who loved me when I couldn’t even love myself and I had the audacity to steal from them? I charged it to the game and then got high (again).

I couldn’t handle the truth. I was trying to survive the only way I knew how. It’s as simple as that. So yeah, I stole since I pawned everything of value in my possession. I literally had nothing. I had to think outside of the box, which led me to “borrow” from my sister —with no intention of ever giving it back.

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I remember one week in particular.

Still living in Boca Raton, Florida but this time, I was living on my own. Well, not technically alone even though I was pretty lonely. You see, my first job (the one I got fired from) was at least good for something. I met Kent, an insurance salesman who owned his own coverage company. He worked in the same office as me.

We both smoked cigarettes and would take our breaks at around the same time during our 9-5 work day. He was really nice. I mean he let me sublet a room in his house (more like a mansion) with zero ill intentions and I would tell you otherwise. So during one of our smoking sessions, we got to talking. He agreed that I should venture out on my own.

I was my own person, he says, and it’s about time I start acting like it.

The thing was, I deliberately left out how I was a drug addict. But I thought what he didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him. I mean on the outside, I looked like the good girl I used to be (the girl he thought I was). He had this huge house and he too felt lonely AF.

I remember him saying the silence hurt his soul. So he offered to let me sublet a room. After a few days of reflecting, I accepted —except now I had rent along with my drug habit to pay for.

I was in over my head.

My sister and now husband (then boyfriend) were happy I was self-starting. And so, they help me pack my stuff up and we say goodbye for now. I was going to miss mornings with my sis. Hell, I’d miss her more than I was willing to admit back then. And today, I wish I never left. But at the time, I couldn’t get out quick enough. I arrive home, which was just down the street, luckily.

My new roomie and I small talk a bit as I make my way upstairs to start unpacking. I didn’t have too much stuff so it didn’t take that long. When I was done, I looked at the full-length mirror that hung from my new bedroom door. I saw the reflection staring back at me, only I didn’t recognize it anymore. I wasn’t the cute chick on the boat posing next to her big sis. I was her but I didn’t look like her at all.

My skin —pale, face —sunken in, eyes —blank.

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I’d come to detest the person staring at me, so deeply. The mere thought of who I had become, filled me with terror, but she was always sharing the mirror with me. I continued to check out my reflection. No matter how hard I tried to escape, she was Omni-present, taking the wheel with every bad thought I had.

And this sweetheart had no control. The old me had taken a detour and my sensible attempts at a good life went through a slow conversion on a path to self-destruction. I walk across the hall to the bathroom where I turn on the water, cup my hands under the faucet as the cold wetness splashes back at my emaciated face.

I remember saying, “What have I become?” —which I muttered under my breath.

I suddenly realized how sick and tired I was of being sick and tired. UGH. And now I was living with someone other than family? I was exhausted. Except, I would only get this way when my drugs ran out.

“My life is a fucking mess,” I silently scream as I shut the bathroom door and walk my unpolished feet back to my new bedroom. With moving and everything that brings, I had almost forgotten my mom was visiting my sister and me from New Jersey.

My dealer had been out all day yesterday and today.

I was using my reserves but I needed more —fast. Just as I get a text from my supplier that he’s good and to come by, my mom calls. She was here.

I had some tough choices to make.

Do I go see my guy or hang out with family? You think the answer would be easy. Family over everything, right? But it wasn’t that simple, at least not anymore. I did the math. And unfortunately, at the rate I was going, I’d be out of my private reserve in no time. I needed to pick up. And so, I devised a plan.

My guy was on his way back from his anyway. So I had some time to kill. I figured I’d go over to my sister’s where my mom was, hang out for a bit then sneak out before dinner to cop some more. Then, I’d go home, get high and get ready for dinner. It sounded like a reasonable idea and I suppose it was. Except the execution didn’t go as planned.

Here’s what happened.

I snort one right before I leave. Remember, I’m driving that C280 Merdesez so getting around was never the issue. My dude was going to text me when he got home. I lived in Boca, which was about 15-20 minutes away from Boyton Beach —where he lived.

Now, I had just moved out of my sister’s place but it at still least felt like home. So I pull up and park. I take the elevator to her floor, breath deeply and open the door where I’m greeted by a friendly welcome. I walk into the entryway of her penthouse apartment where everyone already was.

They were excited to see me.

I hug my mom first since I hadn’t seen her the longest. My sis second and her hubby, Reid third. We gather in the living room as their Goldendoodle cutely attacks me (he and I were best buds). We all catch up and it was really nice to be together. I know it made my mom’s day. Deep down, I think everyone knew something was up with me.

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I wasn’t Macey as normal but I rocked it (or so I thought). Then, I get the text from my dealer. I end up telling everyone that my new roommate had two dogs, which was true. He was away for the weekend on business and they needed to be let out (that part wasn’t). Since I had the only spare key, it seemed as if I was the only person for the job. And so, I promised I’d be fast. I said I’ll let them out, grab a change of clothes for dinner and come right back over.

Well, I obviously didn’t go home right away.

I drive the 15 minutes to Boyton on I-95, grab 20 pills for $200 ($10 a pop) and head back home. Everything would have been perfect if idiot Macey didn’t pass out from snorting too many pills. Oh, and I thought it would be a good idea to chase the dragon before I left, which in pill-head lingo meant to smoke the pill on some tin foil.

It gave you a mellower high and the act of smoking it was fun. I think I’ve said this in previous posts that I was just as much addicted to the process of everything as I was to the drugs themselves. Well, I proceed to pass out for legit hours. Ugh. Why couldn’t I have just waited to smoke them until after dinner? Why couldn’t I have just snorted one and left? Addiction. That’s why. It hurts my heart thinking about this now. But it happened.

I slept through dinner and dessert.

But not before my mom and sister came over. When I didn’t come back after an hour or so, they got worried. They called me but I was nodding out so hard I didn’t hear my phone. They freaking drove over to my new house, banged on the door for legit 60 minutes. When I didn’t answer and 7:30 p.m. struck the clock, they went to dinner as planned without me.

When dinner was over, they came by again but not before trying to call. No answer. I finally hear a knock at the door. My sister was in the car with Reid so it was just my mom. And thank GOD (they were stricter than my mom). She tells me what time it was and I couldn’t believe it. She walks into my bedroom to see what it looks like. This was the first time she was seeing my new place so you’d think I’d want to give her the tour.

This addict didn’t know what she wanted.

Mom, if you’re reading this, I’m so sorry you had to see me like that. I say that because when she entered my room, she saw the smoked tin foil all over my bed. I tell her I was using it to smoke marijuana because I had a headache, which wasn’t even OK but she didn’t have another choice. I make up some lie that I couldn’t sleep last night and because I was so tired, after letting the dogs out, I shut my eyes for what I thought was a few minutes.

I remember freaking out inside and apologizing every five seconds. I felt so bad —really I did. Even though I was addicted to drugs, I still had a heart. Later, I’d find out that she called her best girlfriend and said, something is up with Macey. That friend told my mom that she needed to get me out of Florida and back home safe where she could see me, but that never happened, unfortunately (at least not yet).

What now?

At this point, the night is a bust. I ruined everything. I made sure my mom knew that I knew that. I think she did but she just couldn’t shake the feeling that something wasn’t right. Hell, everyone felt a little bit of that. I mean my sister afterward would randomly come over to check on me without notice. They cared a lot and I didn’t enough.

Anyway, at least my mom was here for another day or two. So the next, I made sure to pick up more pills early in the morning and head on over to my sister’s for breakfast. I even got everyone coffee —hey, I was trying.

And so, I make up for my absence by hanging out all day.

Remember, I had already copped so I was good for the next few days. My private stash was back up to 10 and my standard batch had 15. Like I said, I was good. Every few hours, I’d go to the bathroom and snort one or two more. My tolerance was pretty high so it took a lot to get where I wanted to be. Plus, I was doing them so frequently, I had a pretty good system for when I was in a hurry.

I think we even went to the beach, which was right down the street. It felt almost normal —like I was one of them. We take some pictures and head back home with sand everywhere. 7:00 p.m. finally arrives as we make our way to dinner.

Party of four —my mom, sister, brother-in-law, and me.

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At dinner, we have a nice time. We talk about life back in the day and life now. We talk about our hopes and dreams, which were probably made up since my only goal was to get as many pills as I could. And at that, I was winning. But it was about to catch up with me.

Remember how I said I thought I was a functioning addict? Well, I don’t think that had been true in a long time. Apparently, my eyes were rolling in the back of my head the entire time at dinner. I was nodding out mid-chew and everyone noticed. Time and time again, they all gave me the benefit of the doubt. I think because they didn’t want to admit to themselves that their daughter or sister was addicted.

I mean, I came from a rock-solid family and no one in my immediate circle struggled with substance abuse.

So this was all new and because of that, they didn’t know the cues or what to look out for. And boy was I showing all the signs. I go into the bathroom post-meal with my sis and proceed to fucking fall asleep on the toilet. Like 10 minutes later, my sis already went and washed her hands. She was now waiting for me.

I remember her saying, “Macey are you OK in there?” The truth was, I definitely wasn’t but at least her voice woke me up. I silently slap myself and open the door. I think I said I had to go number two and I apologized for the holdup. I was so GOD damn selfish. I was only concerned with myself.

But what about my family?

They were legit the only ones there when things came to a head. And maybe I didn’t appreciate it back then, but I’m definitely grateful right now. For, I don’t know where I’d be if they didn’t step in. And each one of my family members helped me in some way. I suppose that’s what families do.

I remember my mom, always so caring and understanding. I didn’t have to speak and she knew exactly what I was thinking. Why did I hide from these people? Why did I push everyone away? I don’t know.

“That was the thing about best friends. Like mothers, they could piss you off and make you cry, but in the end, when the chips were down, they were there, making you laugh even in your darkest hour.”

To my best friend, my mommy. I have no words that would be able to do justice for all that you have done to allow me to be the girl I am today. You have sacrificed so much for me and my happiness. You are the most selfless person I know. We have had our ups and down, which we can laugh about now, but no matter what, you were always there. I love you for loving me even in my gloomiest of days.

mickael-gresset-435332.jpgI remember my sister leading the charge. She made all the plans and everything come to life. And by that I mean, my intervention, medical detox, rehab and my stint in halfway. She did it all.

“You may be as different as the sun and the moon, but the same blood flows through both of your hearts. You need her, as much as she needs you.”

To my big sis, my role model. You’re the most beautiful person I’ve ever known, inside and out. I know it hasn’t always been sunshine and rainbows for us either, but at the end of the day, I love you for the unconditional love you have shown me. I love you equally and unconditionally back. I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be here today without you. Because of that and even despite it, I love you always.

My dad. This guy deserves a freaking medal. I haven’t always made his life easy but I think that’s what makes us so close today. He gets me. I feel comfortable talking to him about my struggles because I know he won’t judge. He says the same thing to me. And even if I don’t see my dad every day, I’m always thinking of him and how much he means to me.

“When my father didn’t have my hand; he had my back”

To my daddy, my hero. I remember laughter. I remember you being there when no one else was. All it took was one phone call from your little girl, and no matter what you were doing, you were there. No questions asked. Whether it was an hour or five-hour drive, you literally saved my life, which I can say without a doubt. In fact, you saved my life multiple times.

You picked me up when things were ugly and you made me feel safe. I love you to infinity and beyond. I love you all the numbers plus one and if necessary plus two. Guess what? It’s necessary.

“A cherished friend and personal cheerleader who will always see you through rose-colored glasses.”

My aunt and uncle, my personal cheer squad. The love I have for both of you is limitless. You were always there for me no matter what I did, no matter what I looked like and no matter how I felt. You both are two of the greatest people that I know. And I feel lucky to have you in my life.

It seems like my aunt and I are twins. Even though we look different, our insides are the same. I remember bonding with you when you’d visit me at rehab on the weekends. I remember looking forward and counting down to your visits. I remember you making me feel so good about myself. I love you for that —I love you both for that.

And anyone out there right now, struggling or fighting, please don’t forget how your actions or lack thereof, affect the people closet to you.

I can’t stress that enough. I learned a lot from them and because of them. Needless to say, I’ve learned a lot in general. I learned that things don’t always turn out the way you planned, or the way you think they should. I’ve learned that there are things that go wrong that don’t always get fixed or get put back together the way they were before.

I’ve learned that some broken things stay broken. I’ve learned that you can get through bad times and look forward to better ones, as long as you have people who love you. So, if you think it’s uncool to hang out with your family on the weekends, think again. I know I used to think it was lame or I’d miss the party of a century with my friends but when it’s all said in done, it still starts and ends with family.

xoxo,

macey bee

*names have been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals involved. 

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16 thoughts on “Because It Really is a Family Disease: How My Addiction Affected The People I Love Most

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