Everyone has some sort of addiction. I genuinely believe that. Most people won’t admit to it, but I think it’s just because they’re afraid to or they don’t know what it is that they’re addicted to. Though some addictions can be beneficial, the most common ones tend to be harmful in one way or another, and I think these addictions are often in place to mask an underlying problem that may or may not be recognized by the individual.
I think at this point in my story, you should have gathered that my addiction to sadness stemmed from problems in my family that began early in my life. Up until now I have only talked about my childhood, but those days were far from the worst. In fact, the trauma I experienced in my childhood was what made the past 10 years of my life the most difficult ones to get through.
It was around this time of the year in 2002 that I experienced my very first heartbreak. Not only was I broken from falling out of my first relationship, I also felt abandoned by the one I had fallen in love with. At the time, I felt like he was my only escape from my messed up world at home. It was him who made me feel loved at a time when I didn’t feel loved by my parents; he had this way of bringing happiness into my life – a life that was completely depleted of joy. It was his optimistic personality and always smiling face that made every day easier to get through. His words, an entire shoebox full of them amongst the many letters he had written me, encouraged me to believe that things could be better. And it was him who made me feel abandoned when he suddenly took everything away.
High school friends comforted me and helped me get through that break-up, but not one of them understood my pain. It wasn’t just about a break-up or a boy. I lost the only thing that kept me standing. It was the only thing I had, and that was everything to me. He was like a drug I had become addicted to in order to numb the pain caused at home, and the pain of losing him was so great that, as I recall those memories and feelings of that pain while I write this, I actually find myself crying just thinking about it again.
Everyone was busy blaming him for hurting me, perhaps even himself, but nobody realized where the real pain came from. Everyone including me. In retrospect, it could have been anyone. But that break-up did indeed set off a series of emotions that, without a doubt, changed the way I behaved in the few years that followed.