Happiness Lost

Posted on Saturday 3 March 2012

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.”

—Denis Waitley

I guess this explains why Gee was such a happy person, in spite of all that she went through. Brad was right when he said, “There are some days you realize what a lousy human being you truly are”…especially when you’ve seen someone like Gee just being herself in her final days…

For a brief week last summer, I thought I knew someone else that was capable of that kind of grace, love and gratitude. I asked this amazing woman to marry me, and it was pretty clear that she was considering it for a week. Then, not knowing she was an alcoholic and a drug addict, I confronted her about her drinking. We haven’t spoken since.

“It is always the false that makes you suffer, the false desires and fears, the false values and ideas, the false relationships between people. Abandon the false and you are free of pain; truth makes happy, truth liberates.”

―Nisargadatta Maharaj

It turns out that if she ever was capable of that kind of grace, love and gratitude—her addictions have destroyed her chance of achieving it. In fact, her addictions have basically all but destroyed the hopes, dreams and goals that this beautiful woman told me of. All that is left is a selfish, drug-addicted alcoholic that doesn’t mind lying about people she loves to get what her addictions want.

Somehow, she mistakenly believes that she can find happiness in the bottom of a bottle of alcohol or by smoking a handful of marijuana. There is no happiness there—except for the inner demons that drive her addictions. She has become a slave to her addictions in so many ways.

Up until last month, it seemed pretty clear that her addictions were likely going to drive her into an early grave. The toll they had taken on her body, mind, and health were enormous. I just hope that she has finally listened to the warnings I’ve been telling her and her mother for months and tried to get some help for herself.

Alcohol and marijuana have been slowly destroying her health, her mind and her body. While it appears that she has cut back on the drug use and drinking—it is pretty certain that she has not stopped. Nor does it seem that has she admitted she has a problem with either alcohol or drugs.

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”

―Aldous Huxley

At least, her reduced drinking and drug use seems to have allowed her body to heal itself a bit, and it seems that it has recovered a bit from how badly off she was at the beginning of the year, from what I saw earlier this week. While she still doesn’t have the confidence I used to see in her when she was younger—she doesn’t look as gaunt, tired or sickly as she did in a photo she posted in early January.

Apparently, she has started seeing a counselor. That is something I had hoped she would do, because I felt that her drinking and drug use were forms of self-medication for an underlying anxiety or self-esteem issue. I still believe that to be the case.

I hope that she speaks to her counselor about her insecurities and self-doubts, for those are what I believe were the underlying causes that drove her to abuse alcohol and marijuana in the first place last summer. I hope she talks about the dysfunctional nature of her family and how much harm her emotionally abusive and controlling father has done.

“I guess if you live a lie LONG ENOUGH.. You will start living your OWN LIES…”

—Tyrese Gibson

Her lies are another reason I had to walk away. If her addictions could make her lie about me, about us for so long… then there really isn’t anything left of her. Her denial of her illness and her father’s denial of his illness are both so strong that they’ve taken her family down the rabbit hole with them. If the truth of my actions over nearly 30 years of friendship isn’t proof enough for them of who I am; what I believe; and how I care for her and her family—then nothing will be.

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.”

―Mahatma Gandhi

I believe that her father coerced her into lying about so many things. I believe that she felt she had no choice—that he would not pay for her tuition if she did not lie as he asked.

“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”

―Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The longer she lives with the lies she has been telling for the past eight months, the deeper the layers of deception will become and the harder it will be for her to tell the truth from the lies. This is very sad when you consider that she was one of the most honest people I have ever known before her illness took hold of her life. She and I trusted each other with everything—we shared our hopes, dreams and goals—and that is one reason I love her so very much.

“Honesty consists of the unwillingness to lie to others; maturity, which is equally hard to attain, consists of the unwillingness to lie to oneself.”

—Sydney J. Harris

I guess she still needs to gain some more maturity. I never stopped being her friend, or caring about her, or loving her—whether she chose to recognize the truth of that or not. I still want to spend the rest of my life with her as I told her on June 22nd. My choice to walk away was not because I do not love her, but because I do love her and could not bear to see her addictions slowly destroy the woman I love.

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”

—Martin Luther King

If she ever returns to being the woman that loves me—smart, beautiful, confident, strong, feisty-tempered, compassionate and gracious—and I know she did love meI hope she will seek me out to make her amends and ask me to be a part of her life once again. I believe that she is strong enough, smart enough and stubborn enough to return to being her true self, if she would only love herself enough to do so. I do not believe God meant for her to be a drug-addicted alcoholic.

I will always love her, as I have all of her life. I have tried to protect her, even from herself, as I have all her life. I have cared for her all of her life, and always will. However, right now, there is nothing more I can do for her—and I have walked out of her life. Right now, whatever happens to her is her own responsibility. Until she is willing to admit she has a problem—no one can help her. Besides me, I don’t think there is anyone else who cares enough to still try.

If she does not ever return to my life, then I hope my part in her life helped her get the help she needs to become healthy. All I have ever wished for her was to be healthy, happy and successful, even if it was not with me as part of her life. I have told her family that, but they did not listen.

I’d leave her with this last thought:

“To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow—this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.”

―Elizabeth Gilbert

This is what I have offered her—my gift to the woman I love above all others. I still believe that she is and always has been a good person at heart, and a honest one at that—in spite of the lies her addictions have made her tell. I would not love her if she weren’t a good woman at heart. I love her unconditionally—whether she chooses to see it or not—I always have.

I still hope that God will grant her the strength, courage and will to fight her addictions and become her true self once again. I keep praying that she will grow into being the amazing woman that I she should be—the one I told her about in the Palanca letter her mother asked me to write several years ago. She is mi querencia, mo chuisle mo chroi, and my true north.

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