I published Part 1/2 of this series a few days ago. Thank you for taking in an interest in the story of my personal journey on loving an addict. Writing this series is a form of healing for me and is also very cathartic. I hope that in sharing my pain I can help someone else whose gone/going through it or an addict who doesn’t truly understand the impact and extent of the hurt they are causing their loved ones.
I’ve talked about addiction, the lies, the manipulation, the hurt, the impact – what next? How about I skip forward to recovery and the process and the fall out impact on the people who love you/them?
Addict, Get Help … We’re Not ALL Wrong!
The ONE thing that IS certain in this shit show is that that an addict needs to WANT to change their situation – on their own. No amount of talking, begging, pleading, negotiating, arguing, coddling, interventions or tough love is going to change this – it will only change when THEY want it to change – when they have hit their proverbial “rock bottom”. That looks different for everyone I imagine, what may be someone’s bottom, may not be someone else’s. Or some may need to hit “bottom” more than once to finally wake the hell up! Getting to that point is a real struggle and isn’t always successful.
What Have You Done?
Ok addict, now, lets talk a bit about how your addiction has impacted those closest to you – those who love you, care for you … your significant other, children, parents and friends.
Addicts lie and they are good at it. It’s scary to watch an addict lie right to your face, so convincingly, that you start to believe them, so much so that we question our own perception of the situation. And then, after a while, shit doesn’t mesh and we realize they are not being truthful and call them out on it. It’s a constant, daily, emotionally draining battle that we will never win.
When your euphoric state has worn off – we are left with mood swings which as you can imagine have a devastating effect on the people living with an addict. We never know from one moment to the next where they stand – I was always staying to myself “Hello are you Dr. Jekyll today, or Mr. Hyde”?
Your addiction has become the most fucked up obsession. Your thinking and behaviour revolves completely around your addiction: when you’ll be able to take it/drink, how you’ll feel when they get your next fix/next drink.
I would often ask myself “why do addicts treat their loved ones this way?” Logically I know why- they are not in control of their behaviours when they are drunk/high – but a lot of it occurs when they are not drunk/high because they are so fixated on their next “fix or drink”. I drew the conclusion that it’s also because they don’t care if they hurt themselves. And if they don’t care that they hurt themselves, then why would they care about hurting those they love?
I remember when I went to see Tony Robbins a bit ago, he was talking about relationships – and how two people affect one another. He was talking about if you’re both feeling low – you’re both gonna live a low quality life. If you’re both living good quality lives – chances are you’re both gonna flourish and live higher quality lives. But, what about the relationships where there’s one who is high and one who is low? Ding, ding, ding – this was ME — usually the person who is high – gets brought down to the person whose level is low (and not vice versa not matter how hard the person tries) and that started happening to me – I was feeling sad, depressed, angry, resentful. I ate poorly, cried all of the time, was feeling tired, had anxiety, felt like I was walking on eggshells and frankly I was emotionally spent. In both instances, I was starting to withdraw, to not talk to people and I LIED to everyone around me – because I couldn’t admit that the person I loved was an addict and I was in a constant battle every day and night. Their addiction was taking its toll on me, my wellbeing and my life. The daily reality for co-addicts is centered on fear, sadness, pain, and worry.
Thankfully, what these years of experience have shown me is that IF the addict in your life chooses to get help, they can change and become even better people than they were. I’ve seen it first hand on a few separate occasions.
Please take a moment to watch the Ted Talk below. Its really powerful and interesting!
Addict, you were never created to live depressed, defeated, guilty, condemned, ashamed or unworthy. You were create to be victorious!
Namaste and thank you for reading my journey.
TED – Published on Jul 9, 2015