Two symbols of commitment—the wedding band that Gee gave me and the turkshead bracelet I made for Ellie.
I wear them both to honor the memories of these two amazing women and to show the life-long commitment I made to each of them. Last summer, before I realized the extent of Ellie’s addictions, I promised to wear the turkshead bracelet until I could give it to her—the person it was intended for. While I doubt I will ever have a chance to give it to my beloved Ellie—I will still wear it as a symbol of what we once shared and of how much I love her and care for her.
I was looking forward to spending this Valentine’s Day with Ellie, but that I doubt that will be possible. I don’t even know if the beautiful young woman I love even exists any more. As far as I can tell, she has become a victim of her addictions and nothing is left of the feisty, stubborn, smart, strong and confident woman I love. I could not stand to see what her addictions have made her do—how they have destroyed everything I love about her—how her drug use and drinking is destroying her health, her mind, and her beauty.
I hope she realizes what her addictions are doing to her soon, while there is still a chance for her to save herself and the bright future she had lying before her last summer. I hope she acts in time to save all the hopes and dreams she had once told me about.
If she does as badly at school as I have predicted, it is very likely that she will be forced to drop out of the college she is at after this semester. I doubt, given her declining grades and erratic, drug-addicted, alcohol-induced behavior, that the school will give her a second chance at keeping her scholarship.
I am guessing that she will need to hit rock bottom before she ever admits she has a problem. The fact that she didn’t make Dean’s List last semester, that she didn’t even come close to making Dean’s List even though she was only taking four classes instead of the five she had been taking each semester her freshman year, doesn’t seem to have made it clear to her that she has a problem.
It is a sad fact that the staff at her college cares little or nothing for the students there. I had reached out to them to try and get help for Ellie and several of her friends, who are also in serious trouble with drugs and alcohol, to no avail. One of these friends I was concerned about has apparently dropped out of school and gotten a full-time job and an apartment, and is continuing to drink heavily and do drugs, much as Ellie has been doing.
Of all the people in Ellie’s life, I think I am the only one who hasn’t given up on her. Even though I have walked away, it doesn’t mean that I have given up on her. I have realized that she must make her decisions and live with the consequences of them. This is something she has to do for herself. I trust Ellie and believe in the woman I love, and I know she will do the right thing if she is capable of doing so.
But, when all is said and done, it is her life—and she can choose to live it or to destroy it. It is her choice to seek help or remain an drug-addicted alcoholic. She can choose to fight her addictions and try to save herself, her health, and the bright future she had before her last summer or she can choose to remain a pale shadow of her true self—limited by drugs and alcohol. Whatever she decides—I have honored my commitment to her—I have done all I can for her. I have tried to protect Ellie, even from herself. I can not help her or do anything more for her until she realizes she needs help and asks for it.
I hope Ellie knows that when I said I love her, I meant for forever and a day, because forever just isn’t long enough. I have loved her in some form for all of her life, and I always will love her. Love is eternal.
I have no regrets about making the decision to move on. I am moving on—for my own good and because it is what I think she would have wanted for me. If she wants me back in her life and decides she needs my help—Ellie knows how to reach me. She still has my e-mail addresses, cell phone number, and knows where I live. She has almost every possible way to contact me.
Just because I am moving on, it does not mean I have broken my vow to her or the promises I made her—if she should ever return to being the person I made those vows and commitments to I will keep them. She knows what she must do to make amends and that she needs to show me that she is serious about wanting me in her life. I will not settle for being anything less than being first and foremost in her life and sharing our lives together.
May God watch over her, bless her and protect her, even from herself. May God grant her the strength, courage, and will to fight her illness and return to being her true self. May God grant her the wisdom to see the truth—both about her illness and about us.