I had a problem with addiction. Wow, I can’t believe I am saying this so easily.
The truth is that it feels so liberating to say it out loud, taking into account that I’ve spent years trying to run away from it and trying to deny it.
And it’s especially liberating to be able to talk about it in the past tense. To be able to say that I had this problem but that I don’t have it anymore.
But the truth is that I’ve had a problem with addiction for years.
And I know many people will judge me when they hear about this. I know that many will say that I had it coming and that my addiction was exclusively my fault.
And I’m not trying to deny it. I’m not trying to run away from responsibility—my addiction really was my fault and I shouldn’t blame anyone for it.
But nobody should judge me for it either. Because nobody knows everything I’ve been through in life.
Nobody knows what brought me to this and nobody knows what or who had an impact on me becoming an addict.
But I am not here to talk to you about that.
I am not here to tell you the story about how I became an addict or how I lived through my addiction. I am just going to tell you that luckily, this part of my life is behind me now.
I am not here to talk to you about me or about my life without you. I am here to talk to you about you.
Because I would never be the person I am today if it wasn’t for you. Because I probably wouldn’t even be alive if it wasn’t for you.
I am here to talk to you about the way you saved me, without ever trying to.
How you helped me rise from the ashes and how you are responsible for me starting my life all over again.
I am here to thank you, although no words could ever be enough for everything you did for me.
You might be surprised by these words because we never talked about this.
You might be surprised that you, of all the people who did their best to help me, are responsible for my recovery.
Well, the truth is that you are.
And what makes you stand out is the fact that you were the only one who saw past my addiction. The only one who saw past my crisis, past my depressions and anxiety.
I am not saying that you acted like I wasn’t an addict because you were very much aware of my problem. But you didn’t see me through only my addiction.
You were the only one who never defined me by my addiction and who didn’t see me as an addict, although that was exactly what I was.
Instead, you saw me as a person, with all of my qualities and imperfections. You saw me as a person who happened to have a problem with addiction.
And you were the only one who showed me that I was much more than an addict. That I had much more to offer and that I had my worth, which was in no way related to my addiction.
You were the only one who managed to wake up the person I was before my addiction took over me.
The only one who talked to me about other things besides my addiction—about my interests and about my future plans.
Now I realize you were doing it because you were the only one who believed I actually had a future.
Because you were the only one who believed in me, even when everyone else, including myself, gave up on the possibility that I’d ever recover.
Now I realize that you were the only one who was ready to accept me for who I really was, even if that meant accepting my addiction as a part of me.
Now I know that you were the only one who managed to change me, just because you never tried to do so.
Now I know that you were the only one who loved the real me. And that is something I’ll always be thankful for.