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Loving an Addict
Loving an addict can be difficult at times, and it is easy to feel lost along the way. Trying to be what you need to help the person you love is hard to do when substance abuse is ruling your loved ones life.
"Addiction is a family disease," so the old story goes, and it is very easy to feel overwhelmed when loving an addict. It is impossible to know exactly how your loved one's addiction will effect you on a daily basis. It depends greatly on the addict in your life, and the intensity of their addiction.
Addictions come in many shapes and sizes. Even the smallest things can become addicting to the right person. Naturally, when we hear the word addiction - the first that typically comes to mind is drugs. However, drug addictions are very similar to that of all addictions.
Being an addict will likely cause many disruptions. A good majority of addicts find it hard to maintain a quality of life that is normal to someone who is not dealing when an active addiction. Addiction is a tough road to walk, and it is filled with a haze that reaches out and fogs the lives of everyone close to those who are suffering.
Some addicts have trouble just keeping their day on schedule. It has a strong hold on it's victims, and can literally dictate the life of an addict if their problem is severe.
My experience with addicts began young, as I'm sure a lot of us can say. My parents were borderline alcoholics, and my brother began using drugs in his teenage years. As a thirty year old man - addiction still riddles his life, and has currently led him to a dark place. Also, my long-time boyfriend suffers from an addiction to prescription pain killers. He struggles regularly to maintain his sobriety.
Whether it is money, love, time, patience, or heart - an addict is sure to wear you thin. It can be exhausting trying to love someone who is suffering from an addiction. The hardest part for me has been finding a way to say no to an addict. Which can oftentimes be the most challenging, loving, and helpful thing you can do.
If an addict is unhappy with you,
You are probably doing something right."— unknown
To Enable. It's a tricky word when speaking in terms of addiction. When someone we love ask us for help, it is hard to say no. Especially when there is always a good reason, and an even better excuse. However, enabling an addict is one of the worst things you can do. This is especially true if you're end goal is to help your love one live without being riddled by such a disease.
An active addict is almost always in need, and sadly many of them will drain you dry if you let them. Whether it's saying no to a ride or letting your loved one's utilities get shut off - sometimes saying no can be hard and make you feel really bad, but it can also work wonders in the long run.
Keep in mind, I never said it was easy. Especially when it causes someone you love to feel hurt, neglected, and oftentimes angry. There are times when an addict will use every excuse in the book, and throw their selves a big pity party.
Addictions are either expensive or time consuming. It is important you don't get caught up wasting your time and money enabling an addict.
If you are in a relationship with someone who is suffering from addiction, then it may even more challenging. Living with someone who is clinging to addiction while you are clinging to their sobriety is tough. Something I personally have dealt with and continue to deal with, without notice.
The best advice I have is as follows..
Do your best to not give up. I know it's difficult in all circumstances. Sometimes it's a fight, but a lot of times it is bliss. As hard as it may be, make sure your loved one knows that you are here for them. Explain to them as best as you can that sometimes it hard to find a way to love them, while hating their addiction.
Anger can get the best of us all, and an addiction is very powerful and misleading. Since addictions can lead people to act and say things that they otherwise would never engage in, it can be hard to see through the addiction to the true colors of the person you love.
Addicts are also living in a time where their addiction is read wrong. Society views addiction as a behavior that deserves punishment. However, an addict is not a criminal. Thieves, murderers, and rapists are criminals. Addicts need a way out. They need treatment, and they need to know that they are loved and accepted. Their addiction may seem to define them at it's strongest, but they are bigger than the craving and with dedicated, love, treatment, support, and a society that offers help instead of judgement they CAN overcome their addiction and learn to live in recovery.
Sadly, I don't believe drugs are ever going away, and what we are doing to discourage drug use is not working. Click Here to read how the War On Drugs may be hurting your family more than it is helping.
When entertainment, music, media, law, and government are all constantly telling a different story and often fully contradicting the other it is easy to consider that maybe the American public are right to feel misled and confused. Click Here To Read more about what I believe is wreaking havoc in America.