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Drugs, it does a family wrong!

Updated on June 18, 2013
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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.

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    • wildove5 profile imageAUTHOR

      wildove5 

      6 years ago from Cumberland, R.I.

      Mary, she is doing better, has stopped smoking, ( or so she claims. ) It's hard to believe her at her word. However she hasn't showed up here looking high, nor has she sounded it on the phone. So I guess I just have to keep the faith and prayers going that she will find her way. She has a long road ahead of her and I would just like to see the pot holes far and few between!! Thanks for stopping by!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      6 years ago from Florida

      There are few families now a days who have been spared the problem of drug addiction. You did a very brave thing in writing this Hub, and I applaud you for that.

      I do hope your daughter is doing well now. It must be a terrible thing for a Mother to stand by helpless....

    • wildove5 profile imageAUTHOR

      wildove5 

      6 years ago from Cumberland, R.I.

      Lady, She does seem to be doing better, time will tell. We are starting group meetings this week. In the meantime her doctor has started her on Paxil which seems to be helping with her mood swings. I'm sorry to hear about your brother, but I guess if anything good came out of it, you have helped many because of your closeness to the disease! I'm glad you are at peace as well as your brother! Thanks for the prayers, they are greatly appreciated!!!

    • ladydeonne profile image

      Deonne Anderson 

      6 years ago from Florence, SC

      The good news is that she is aware that she needs help and is actively seeking it. You all can also explore the possibility of an in-patient treatment program......maybe a 15-30 day program offered by your community service board or other appropriate resource. Totally being out of one's stress filled environment... old people and places.... is more conducive to achieving sobriety. I get that "letting go" is difficult, it fact it sometimes seems like an impossible task, but it can be done. My little brother suffered from alcohol addiction for many years. Me and my entire family tried to help and support him. My family, our various churches, and his community were all supportive of and loved him. I entered the field of Substance hoping to learn something that I could do to benefit him. As I became more and more vested in his sobriety than he was able to be, I had to give him up to God. I had to "let go" for my own sanity and well being. My brother ended up in a nursing home at age 42 because of alcohol related symptoms. Not a day goes by that I don't miss and think about him. I am at peace and happy that he is now free. I did all that I could and I too am free. Never give up on your daughter. If you give up, she may follow your example. At the same time keep in mind that only when she is truly READY will change occur. God bless you and your family!

    • wildove5 profile imageAUTHOR

      wildove5 

      6 years ago from Cumberland, R.I.

      Ms, Deonne,

      My daughter was enrolled in an intensive outpatient rehab program yet missed two appointments due to her and her son having a cold, so they dropped her from the program, laying blame to her insurance, I was a little miffed that they tell us not to give up on her yet they did so easily. However, she is actively seeking out another counselor and appears to be clean at the moment. I have given her literature in the past on the 12 step program and I myself have attended ALANON meetings a few years ago to deal with another recovering addict in my life. Unfortunately, I have a hard time with letting go without not giving up, it's like a double edge sword! Thank you very much for your advice and blessings, all I have is prayer and my writings, thats the easy part!

    • ladydeonne profile image

      Deonne Anderson 

      6 years ago from Florence, SC

      I really do admire that you are reaching out as well as sharing your story. Addiction is indeed a family affair. Having worked extensively with teens as a drug court Substance Abuse Therapist and having lost a brother to alcoholism, I understand how difficult your daughter's addiction is for you and your family. Please encourage your daughter to follow through with a good Substance abuse Therapist and/or detox Program. Family involvement in the treatment process is crucial to her success. Just as those with addictions need to admit that they are powerless over their addictions,we, as parent, need to realize that we too are powerless....that we need and are dependent upon our higher power...the Universe, God, to help us to deal with the situation. we have to learn to "let go" because we, by ourselves are not strong or powerful enough to carry such a burden, AA's 12 steps are applicable for those with addictions as well as for those who care about them and desire to support and help them. I shall keep you and your family in my prayers.

    • MissJamieD profile image

      MissJamieD 

      6 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

      I was married to an addict for 15 years (technically over 16 now, divorce isn't final) and it's the most difficult thing you can imagine. For my extended family and his as well. The addicts have no idea what they're doing to everyone else, and unfortunately, they don't care. I've written alot about this as well, it hurts my heart. Good hub:)

    • wildove5 profile imageAUTHOR

      wildove5 

      6 years ago from Cumberland, R.I.

      Thank you vicki, we are just now beginning the counseling process. Fingers crossed and saying the rosary!

    • profile image

      Vickiw 

      6 years ago

      What a heartfelt account of your pain and struggle. Everything you say is true, and the hardest thing is not to enable the addiction of the person you love, but you know that of course. I hope you have access to good counseling, or a good support group. I shall think of you, and send my very best thoughts your way!

    • wildove5 profile imageAUTHOR

      wildove5 

      6 years ago from Cumberland, R.I.

      Thank you!,,,I will never give up!

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 

      6 years ago

      wildove5, I found your story very sad. Addiction runs strong in my family. I have seen it destroy lives and families.

      Thank God, that is one negative trait that I did not inherit.

      Stay strong and never give up. At the same time, try not to let it become the main focus in your life.

      Blessings to you.

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