When It Comes To Substance Abuse, Sometimes Love Is All You Have Left To Give
When nothing else can be given because of substance abuse, you can still offer your love
Give love to those suffering from substance abuse
A friend of mine, that I love and care about dearly, recently completed a rehabilitation program for his substance abuse. He was moderately successful at acknowledging his problems with drugs and alcohol and after thirty days of therapy, has recently hopped a plane down south to further his drug and alcohol rehab.
When I saw him the night before he left he was visibly sad and looked maybe even a little angry. When I asked, "How are you doing?"
He responded with, "I'm OK, I'm sorry if I don't look so good, I've got a lot going through my mind right now."
The flight down south would be his first time on a plane, and he would be going there to start a whole new routine of working and living. This would bear anyone down with stress and anxiety, couple that with a month of withdrawal from the usual trappings of substances used and you have one anguished individual.
After years of talks between my friend and I, between my friend and the other members of our group, we have all tried giving him our two cents, or bits of advice. None of it worked, my friend's symptoms of abuse only got worse. He had physical fights, run-ins with the law and various other failures in his career and academics that were unaffected by our best intentions.
Some of my friends, along with a new friend he had recently made who went through a similar time in his life, convinced him to get real help. He did and we are all praying for him now. I am so thankful to the friends and family that had more of the means to get him the help he needed.
On the night before he left I was so afraid to say something stupid. My wife told me to just keep it positive which I figured was great advice. I wanted to say, this is your reckoning! This is your bid for a second chance at life! And, you get to get out of this freezing winter we endure and head down south you lucky dog! But of course I chose not to say these bold, philosophical and maybe a bit envious, things to my brother. Better to let him be.
All I said was, "This is a really positive thing happening. I'm really happy for you. I love you."
To which he responded, "I know it is, it is positive. I love you too Ben."
That was enough. I pined all night wondering if I should have said more, but I realize after sleeping on it, that was enough. He's a big boy. He needs to own this decision. No one can share what he's gone through exactly or what he's going through. But I wanted him to know I loved him and that was enough.