to love an addict by Meryl McDougall

you need twelve hands to love an addict

to carry the complexity

to cradle the pain

two hands fend off demons

the writhing shadowed foe

spitting toxin to wilt succession

coiled to spring and suck you in

two hands measure distance

cautious of drug fuelled rage

seeing craving loathing craving

as merciless dealers lie in wait

two hands connect in prayer

whatever religion gaia or god

whatever school science or art

open to guidance and strength

two hands offer assistance

trembling with expectancy

free of reproach or judgement

touching an untouchable void

two hands shield my heart

and clutch the heaving gut

slipping slipping away to risk

the agony that gnaws within

two hands hold the child

to embrace virtue astray

to keep the flesh and mind

to say I’m here I care I love

you need twelve hands to love an addict

and another two yes another pair

to stretch beyond the lonely tears

to penury

to accept



to cipher despair beyond comprehension

by Meryl McDougall (c)

This is a writing post

to love an addict by Meryl McDougall

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6 Responses to “to love an addict by Meryl McDougall”

  1. Meryl
    June 26, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    It is nearly three years since we spoke – and we parted with so much pain and rage. We had shared some joy – and hope – some closeness – but that night, all that time ago, fear gripped and tore at vulnerabilities. I have no control over what happens now – I can only continue to hope that time and change have healed. I can only hope that ‘To Love and Addict’ is a reflection on the past, no longer relevant in the present.
    I am truly sorry – and ask for forgiveness.
    And I forgive…
    You are a child of The Universe, and, as such, will have your own way… you are smart and good, may you find that strength within yourself to be yourself.
    My love is a constant you can be sure of.
    I post this respectfully – putting it out there – with faith in the ‘butterfly effect’, that my love will somehow reach you, where-ever you are…

    • June 26, 2012 at 11:47 pm

      I really hope you find some resolution in this journey of yours, Meryl. xxx

      • Meryl
        June 27, 2012 at 10:37 am

        Thank you, Christine. I give it up to the Universe to manage, as it will – in its own way, its own time. I cannot know now what any future ‘resolution’ will look like – maybe this is it… living with love and hope but realising that I have no control over how things pan out. Living well in the moment (no regrets for the past, no worries about the future) is a difficult lesson to learn – especially faced with the reality of substance abuse / addiction. This journey is an opportunity to make positive changes.
        I hope my words also find a way of supporting others, too. The journey with substance abuse / addiction – whether the user or a loved one – is tough. People are in pain. I hope that some other people, too, find ‘resolution’ in the sharing of the experience.

  2. Meryl
    June 26, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    ‘To love an Addict’ was written at a time of absolute anguish – guilt, anger, shame, fear… every negative emotion possible as an overwhelming deluge. Writing it out was a way of trying to make sense of the senseless – and to try to find a place where I could start to feel safe. Simultaneously loving and letting go (in hope), when the risks are so high, that is the hardest… As I’ve recently read – a Mother holds her child by the hand for a short time but holds them in their heart forever. I try to remember the good times – the beautiful, talented, intelligent girl who wanted to work with animals (be a vet) or children – the made-up songs to the rhythm of the swing – the pictures with ‘I love you Mum’ on the bottom. The pre-school princess in soft pink in a silver frame – and the eighties fluorescent colours of her earliest ‘special’ clothes. Those memories are precious.

  3. Meryl
    June 26, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Thank you, Christine.

  4. June 25, 2012 at 10:41 am


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