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Open Collection of Student Writing (OCSW)

Open Letter

September 23, 2019

Dear heroin,

I wish that he would never have found you and let you into his life- every single part of his beautiful and amazing life. And believe me, even when he was too overwhelmed and sad to see it, his was a beautiful and amazing life.

But you were there. You tricked him. You seeped into every crevice of his being. You wrapped yourself around his loneliness and filled his emptiness. You became everything.

You crept in like a disease, gradually bringing every thread of his existence under your control. You duplicated—and then replaced—the chemicals in his brain with your toxic lies. You colonized his mind and, once you were in, you replaced his family and friends and even food.

You taunted him with a false sense of peace and happiness that he’d never known before and would never again be able to replicate. You promised that he would always feel good as long as he didn’t turn on you; as long as he kept you close. He must have listened because you earned your place on the pillow right next to his- the pillow that had belonged to his wife.

Night after night, you whispered in his ear until your voice, gentle yet murderous, trickled into his dreams and gradually reconstructed them into nightmares. You planted seeds of disillusion deep inside his cells- seeds that rooted themselves in his soul and grew so vigorously that he could no longer recall what it was like to live without you. You convinced him that you were everything he would ever need.

But were you everything? Or were you just a thin, rotting veil tangled around him blurring his vision and hiding him from who he used to be?

Dear heroin, for four years, you infiltrated every facet of my son’s reality. You were his job, you were his warmth, you were his therapist, you were his car registration, his daily chores, his brothers, and his Sunday dinners with family. You were all that mattered to him… at least for a while.

Finally, as if shaken back to life by a jolt of clarity, a frightened and pale, hollowed-out version of my son came to me and asked for help. Now, I’m here, and I’m pissed! I know all about you- I know that you are not love; you are not family, or food, or security. You are nothing but a careless choice made in a moment of hopelessness; and when someone chooses to see through you, you are nothing but evil.

I am onto you, heroin. You can no longer replace what’s real. I am stepping in to begin the decolonization process, so consider yourself warned. You have no place in my son’s life anymore.


A mom who will never give up

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