Knowing Your Worth: On Loving the Addicted


Know your worth

“I had finally succumbed to the exhaustion of loving someone who struggled with a major flaw that I could no longer overlook.”

Written by Nabeela Washington

The sun had began to wane and so did my heart

I held my phone, hands slimy with sweat, trembling

My lip quivered, and I felt my breathing waver

The room began to grow smaller as my fingers typed the words that I had struggled to form for over a year

“I don’t think we should be together anymore… I’m sorry”

It was a depressing early evening in March, but I had finally had enough.

I had finally succumbed to the exhaustion of loving someone who struggled with a major flaw that I could no longer overlook. The medications tucked around my apartment had started to erode, much like my feelings, and insomnia, the darkness that preyed on my sanity, and that sharp bitter feeling inside of me had just become too much to bear. Even in the end, I still longed for your touch and the glimmer of hope that the future provided. I even retracted my earlier statement, but I knew this was our fate after all. My belly would never be plump with your child. I would never know the weight of your engagement ring.

And I was perfectly okay with that. I was painfully relieved.

Before anyone enters a relationship exclusively, they already know that there are skeletons waiting to be discovered. We prepare our heart for the possibility of breaking, yet we cannot prepare for the darkness that some lovers harbor.

Your toxicity was too intense for me

My anxiety was at its worst and I didn’t recognize the person staring back

I thought loving someone meant brushing countless lies under the rug, taking you back when no one else would; I thought it meant pulling my hair out when I discovered you’d given into your demons, yet again. I thought loving you would be enough to save you. 

But I was dead wrong

There isn’t enough love in the world to change someone when they are not committed to getting better.

You can expect that loving someone so fragile would be a difficult task. The constant struggle to balance smothering and indecent isolation. The difference between vibrating with anger, and beaming with love, all in one breath, becomes an all too familiar game. There isn’t a person strong enough to bear the weight of a loved one’s addiction.

I felt as though many of my prayers went to the wrong person

Maybe ending up at Hell’s address. I felt as though I was to blame

For your illness and insensitivity. Even though I no longer loved you

I fought for your attention. I became needy, a pestering mess, and after countless attempts I knew then that I needed a way out.

Because the person I was with you, was not the person I knew.

Know your worth.

Get out while you can. Take back the rod because there are too many fish in the sea. Never be afraid to leave someone because of the amount of history you share, the future ahead, or fear of their relapse. Loving the addicted is a path many choose in silence, but love does not equate suffering.

You are not Hercules, and these labors are not your fight.