Behind the eyes that lie is the person you remember and love.
Looking into my dad’s eyes while he was high was the hardest part of witnessing his addiction. Glossy, incoherent. His eyes shut in slow motion with a blank stare. They were my dads beautiful eyes, but they were tainted with an evil varnish. Tarnished in his voice as well, but nothing was more painful than looking into those eyes that used to sparkle so bright.
If he were able to hold his composure for a minute he would look at me. Often I would ask him what he was doing.
“What is wrong with you?!” I would say.
“Nothing. Im tired,” he’d say as he began to lean forward and his head began to sink.
“Nothing? What is wrong with you?!”
The answer was never anything truthful or anything I wanted to hear. In fact, there’s nothing I would have liked to have heard.
But I think that was the problem. I was searching and begging for an answer that would make everything better, but in reality it would never happen.
There is nothing an addict can say while they are high that will make it better. We will always search for something to hold onto, however, because we will always love that person more than they’ll ever know.
My dad would never admit he was high. Whether he was denying it or making excuses it was an unbearable pain. Why are you lying to my face? Why are you hurting me? Why do I want to believe your excuses? Why can’t you change? Why can’t I change?
It’s a bad habit to get into thinking these questions all the time.
As much as we wish our loved one could answer these questions truthfully, optimistically, or promisingly, we must be honest with ourselves. You will see the eyes you love and have known, and then you will see that thick plexiglass blocking all the trust, faith, and strength that they are trying to let break through.
The lies will spill from the mouth and you will want to believe but the eyes do not lie.
The best thing you can do is refocus your energy. Take the truth that you learn from the eyes and remember that these aren’t the same eyes that see you as a friend, a loved one, or family. It’s distorted in their mind because of a vicious disease that is blocking them from processing your pain and desire for the truth. This disease has the unjustified power to distort any sort of love and faith that person wants to give. Stay strong.