Another dead friend. I feel like when I talk about the past those are the first words that are used. The list is getting so long now, I actually lose count. Aaron and I met during his stay at the rehabilitation program I completed in 1998. I had about 18 months clean at the time, he had six that he had acquired in jail. We met at a 12 step meeting. Instantly, we were drawn to each other. I am not sure if it was my recovery or my tattoos but we shared a similar history. We liked the same kind of music. We liked tattoos. We both had a history of violence. We had hopes for a future without heroin.
I met Aaron during a time when I had sworn to myself to a life of celibacy. I wanted to focus on my step work. I needed time to focus on myself. For whatever reason, he convinced me to go out on a date with him. Or at least I think it was a date. We went out to the movies, we hung out together more than once. Finally, he kissed me. In that moment, I realized we were completely incompatible in the romantic sense. Some times, a girl just knows. But at the core, we did have recovery in common. That was much more important. He shared the intimate details of his life with me. I was part of his support system. I helped him stay clean through the death of his mother. As a thank you sort of gift, he gave me one of her rings. I still have it in a keepsake box with my other prized possessions.
Aaron and I drifted apart over time. I saw him many times and we did not speak. The silence made it clear what was going on. He had made huge changes in his life, he evolved into another person who wanted to help others. That is never enough. Recovery has to be at the core of our being for people like us. He reminds me that in any given moment, we must celebrate out time with our friends if they are addicts. Our predisposition to self harm makes the future tenuous. The time I spent with Aaron was an innocent time when recovery and relationships were new. I am sorry I never said goodbye to him. I would have reminded him I cared if I would have known it might have made a difference.
I totally stole this pic from someone until I can get mine up here. Sorry.