I just got called to the front desk of my office with the words "Daniel Santa Maria" is here to see you, and my heart sunk. I wanted to puke and cry and beat my head against the wall. You see, Daniel is the ex-boyfriend of my best friend Bird, and the only reason he would come to see me would be extremely bad news about Bird.

Bird is a heroin addict. She kicked it for about 3 years, in which time she got her family back, built relationships with her kids, established a household, got a job, and began a new life that didn't involve drugs and walking the streets for money. But...Bird is a heroin addict. People who have worked with addicts and alcoholics know that the pull is always there to go back to the very thing that turned your life into hell before. Inexplicable, yes....but very very real, and stronger than many people's resolve to stick to the new life.

About 2 months ago, I called Bird because I had her daughter at my house, and she was ready to go home (Bird lives 5 hours from me). Bird was high. Right after that she cleaned up, went through the hell of heroin withdrawals, and kept clean for a couple of weeks. But her problems, and her inability to deal with the emotions and the guilt and the pressures of life caught up with her, and she went back out. Daniel called her house Saturday, and her oldest daughter said she hadn't been home for a week, and they were out of food. This girl, who was left in charge of 4 kids is 13. Heroin addiction sucks.

My friend Bird is a wonderful person. She loves her kids very very much. She's a moral person, she's a spiritual person and she's a strong person and I love her very much. I know how much this tears her up, I know how much doing this to her kids kills her. Right now she's at her mom's house going through withdrawals. Her kids are safe there, but my heart aches for my friend and her kids. Someday she won't come back.