Alone – By Jessica Donovan




Where were you when I was sitting alone in the parking lot of the motel we called home?

Where were you when I picked up that needle and stuck myself with it?

Where were you? You knew he had HIV/AIDS.

I used to cry and feel so lonely without you there. So I would go outside and play by myself. In the parking lot of the motel we lived in. Where the heroin needle lay. The one my HIV infected uncle likely dropped on his way in.

I never knew where you were but when you found me sitting on the asphalt with a needle sticking out of my thumb that got your attention. Crisis averted, I didn’t get infected. Lucky for me, not you.

All I ever wanted was you to be there but you always left me alone or sent me away. I didn’t understand.

I learned to emotionally eat because when I needed you I was usually left alone in a room with a TV and every snack you knew I liked. Because you felt guilty for wanting to be alone with your addictions.

You made your addiction your priority and your guilt my problem when all I wanted was you.

At 13, being at my abusive boyfriend’s house was not only ok with you but it felt so good to me because at least he was there. Had you known that he put his hands on me, would that have gotten your attention like the needle did? I don’t know. I learned to put on my make-up that year. No you didn’t teach me. The bruises on my face did. I finally came to my senses and ran away from him. Lucky for me, not you.

Sending me out to the movies by myself on a weeknight was fun at first. Then it just became destructive to my comfort and educational growth. You rejected my presence when all I wanted was you. Despite you I had good grades and obtained my own educational opportunities. Lucky for me, not you.

I worked and helped pay the bills. I figured that’s how I could keep you. You were there for me when you needed me. Now I don’t know what it means to accept love without someone wanting something in return.

I quit college to work full time because I needed you. The more I made, the more you could depend on me. The more you were there for me. Becoming certified in pharmacy and making good money at 17 got your attention. I could steal pills for you and pay the bills you couldn’t. All I wanted was you.

I learned to sell pills to pay my own bills when I had given you too much money. I stopped before I got caught. Lucky for me, not you.

At 18 I moved away from you because I realized I couldn’t have you without a price. I couldn’t live your life. It hurt too much and ruined me when it didn’t. All you wanted was me. You gave me the guilt trip, took my money and sobbed. I got away from you with 90 dollars in my pocket. Lucky for me, not you.

Like your disease tagged along wherever you went, you followed me to my new home state. All I truly wanted was you. So I started living your life again. I was nearly arrested while on a run with your drug dealer. Lying to the cops got me out of it. Lucky for me, not you.

You each isolated yourselves one last time in 2004. Up until then I took care of you. In January and in February that year you ripped the band-aid off. You left me for good. I didn’t know it then but I do now, your deaths were lucky for me, not you.

Something else had you but still to this day, all I ever wanted was you.


About Jessica Donovan

As a New Jersey native, Jessica is a banker turned stay at home mom to 2 girls. Growing up as an only child, both of her parents were functioning drug addicts until they lost the ability to function. Their untimely demise came in 2004. As a result, Jessica is no stranger to anxiety and depression. With a love of writing since her early teens, putting pen to paper has always been a source of therapy and comfort. She believes talking about addiction and mental illness is important for removing stigma. Her hope is that sharing her story will empower others to get the help they need to stop the cycles of addiction. Jessica is also a pretty badass cook and even though she doesn't have the space to garden, she loves growing vegetables and keeping house plants alive. She runs her own blog at and is a contributor for Should you want to have deep conversations about addiction, share a recipe, trade tips on gardening or just say hi, you can contact her at
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  1. Thank you for sharing X

  2. Thank you all for taking the time to read.

  3. That was powerful. I admire you for expressing yourself and putting your pain into words.

  4. All I can say is WOW!!

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