An open letter to my friend struggling with addiction

Subject: An open letter to my friend struggling with addiction
Date: 9 Sep 2018

Right now you are walking on a tightrope. Above you is where you feel at ease, where you are high, where for just the moment you can take you mind off this world. Below you is where it all ends. Where each person you’ve known gets the phone call, where you’ve been removed from our lives in an instant, where we are left wondering what we could have done.

You have demons inside you. As you walk on this tightrope they pull from all sides. On the right they pull to being alone, and afraid, and they tell you “just one more time can’t hurt”.
These demons tell you things that were tucked back into the corners of your brain. They tell you right and up are the only directions you can go. They tell you must balance and walk this line until your feet are bleeding and blistered. Their voices get so loud they become the only thing you hear. You taste these voices, you feel them on your skin but you can always look left.

On the left of the tightrope is you growing old. It’s days in the sun with friends, coffee dates, and misty mornings on a beach. Sometimes the Demons pull you so tightly you forget this side of the tightrope exists.

Though most days it seems like the horizon is always the same distance away, and that you are too tired to pull the Demons off your arms just know that these demons come from inside you. You created them and you have all the power inside of yourself to overcome them. This world is so big, bigger than your Demons, bigger than your tightrope, and bigger than guilt and pain you have to step over.

Never forget to look left. We can pull at you but you have to be ready to jump.