I feel terrible for those who suffer from addiction. I think it is such a terribly sad and painful thing to go through and my heart breaks for those who have to walk that road every single day. I wish addiction wasn’t a thing.
My heart also breaks for people like me as well. Those who have to walk a road without a brother, sister, mom, dad, cousin, best friend, etc. I could go on and on because everyone is touched by addiction in some way no matter how close to home it is. I will say that the closer to home it is, the more it hurts. The addict might be somewhere far away, still managing to cause you panic, fear and anxiety or the addict could be in your very own home just not present because of the substance abuse. No matter where he/she is, you will still think about them every single day. Worry about them on the reg. The worst part is, you are the one feeling everything. The addict is numb. The addict doesn’t give a fuck because the only thing that consumes their mind is themselves. You know it isn’t who they really are which makes you sad, lonely, and helpless. Not being able to sleep because you are not sure where the addict is ruins your whole next day (sometimes week). You’ll probably find yourself driving around town to locate the addict and make sure he/she is still alive. Haven’t received a text back in days … is he/she dead? Are they alone somewhere? Is it my fault he/she relapsed?
This to me is where the inner conflict comes in. You want to grab them and punch them in the face but you know this isn’t really them. “Do you know what you are doing to me???!” This is not your dad. This is not your brother. Your mom would never do this if she was sober. How can we abandon someone we love? When is enough, enough? How many chances can I give before I throw in the towel and cut this person off? I honestly do not know the answers. I really wish I did but I don’t think there are any. I attend Al-Anon often which helps me out a ton. I also go to therapy. It helps me to realize that there really isn’t a right or wrong way to handle the addict and the terrible sleepless nights, the tears, the pain and anxiety that come along with it. I wanted to scream when I learned that. My mind is so black and white/matter of fact that I really wanted someone to tell me exactly how to handle this. I wanted someone to tell me it is okay to not answer this persons phone call. There are times I find myself irritated that I even have to go to Al-Anon or therapy because of this person. The truth is, everyone has their own ways of handling this nightmare.
Through all of these tangled emotions that come along with addiction, please don’t forget yourself.
While we want to give all that we can we have to leave some for ourselves. You have to protect yourself. I am currently pregnant making some pretty tough decisions that are good for me and my baby. Becoming a mom has changed my whole way of thinking and I think it has hardened me a bit to the bullshit life (and people) brings. Life is short and I think my standards have heightened. If something is causing me anxiety/depression it has to go. No matter who/what it is. Again, these decisions are not easy but I make them to protect myself and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. I wish so badly that things were different but they aren’t and life isn’t perfect. I have given a lot. So, so much. I feel like it’s time to give back to me. This is how I feel today and I might not feel this way tomorrow or even next year but right now I am going with it.