Drugs, it does a family wrong!
I am not powerless over the addict in my life!
It’s difficult to imagine what it’s like to need something so badly that you’d lie, beg and steal in order to have it. It’s hard to understand how getting through the day is such a chore that you need and unhealthy drug to achieve even the simplest task of putting your two feet on the floor every morning or finding sleep every night. The hardest part to understanding drug addiction is the carnage and hurt it causes everyone involved.
I know it’s been drilled into our heads that addiction is a disease that affects a persons decision making process, mood and overall personality. It also deprives them of all the good things in their lives, jobs, relationships, housing, etc. It is a known debilitating disease that robs them of any kind of real success.
Mental Health experts and 12 step programs tell us the abuser is responsible for only themselves, and we the onlookers can only take care of ourselves. So what is a loved one to do when they are faced with the abuse of an abuser? In program one of the main messages is you are powerless. In the mental health field they also tell you not to try to manage the abuser. This information is to say the least very hard to swallow. The natural response of a loved one is to to protect, educate, beg, scream, deter and if possible eliminate the drug itself from the abusers environment, or at least make it extremely difficult to obtain. When all the above fails, which it usually does, you are now left understanding the true meaning of being powerless.
It is neither comforting nor feels natural. Being powerless means watching the one you love travel down a road of self destruction. Imagine watching someone drowning, your throwing them a life preserver and there fingers keep slipping away from it, so then you throw them a life raft yet they are too weak to swim to it and hoist themselves up onto it. You stand on the shore with your hands out stretched screaming, pleading and shouting directions. Your heart is filled with joy as they start to grab the preserver then quickly filled with despair as you watch them release it and sink under. You think to your self if they could only move a little to the left they’d be rescued and safe, but no matter how much you beg them to fight, the current is too strong and carries them farther away.
You turn and start to walk away, running over in your mind, was there anything else I could have done, maybe If I got to them quicker or saw the earlier signs of danger, then maybe I could have done more. Maybe I could have saved them.
I guess it’s the would of, could of, should of syndrome that afflicts us loved ones that makes the self destruction so difficult to witness. I can’t give up though, no matter how many experts tell me I am powerless, I refuse to believe it. Maybe one day I will grow so tired of fighting that I will have to succumb to the notion that I am powerless over the addict in my life. Until then, I will try everything in my power to save my loved one from drowning in the sea of addiction.