One reason I stay is that when I am with Lauren Elizabeth Kelley—my beloved Ellie, time flows slowly past—dim and diffuse as the pre-dawn light through early morning fog over the harbor—warmth and her love pour into me—a balm that heals the wounds I have borne for many years. When I am with her I realize how lonely and empty my life has been without her. She is my home, mi querencia, mo chuisle mo chroi and so much more. This has been the case for some time now, even though I did not realize it until this past summer.
This is one reason why I abide by my commitment to Lauren Elizabeth Kelley—why I am so steadfast to someone whose illness has caused me such pain and hurt for the past five-and-a-half months. I know she loves me and that it is her illness that has caused the pain and suffering I have seen and that her illness is the reason for the self-destructive behavior I have witnessed. I can not hold the actions caused by her illness against her—in reality, she has not done this by her choice, but was driven to do so by her illness. This is why I forgive her for what her addictions have made her do.
I have cared for her and loved her for nearly 20 years—her whole life—in some fashion. I will not—can not—let the actions her illness has caused destroy the relationship of love, devotion, trust and caring we have shared over so many years. I know she loves me, and believe that her love for me is one reason she has pushed me away as she has.
To be here for her when she asks for help in getting better is my duty, my responsibility, and part of my life-long commitment to the woman I love and care so much about. It isn’t easy, nor did I expect it to be…but it is what is right and what is necessary for me to do.