Addiction is so powerful, so multi-faceted…so insanely illogical and stunningly dark…simple on its surface but filled with ripples of complication just beneath the surface. It’s the ultimate destroyer, the wreaker of havoc on all things. It’s like a mythical siren… Luring you in with the false seeming beauty of its song, then slowly but surely dragging you beneath the surface and drowning you in the depths of its hellish hold.
The stealer of all joy, happiness, and hope… It spreads like a poisonous plant across any barrier and twists its toxic leaves around all those you hold dear. Baffling, cunning, powerful… Oh so powerful! It easily severs what are supposed to be the most sacred of bonds- parent and child, husband and wife, brother and sister, best friends, lovers.
While the addiction is intent on killing the addict, we are just as intent on saving them. And with that comes so much chaos, so much heartbreak, so much confusion. There’s a fine line between genuinely helping and enabling… Which is which? What about tough love versus compassion and empathy? The innate and overwhelming need to hold them close and tell them it’s going to be okay, versus the repeated advice from others around you to push them away.
Knowing in the depths of your soul that this shell of a human is not the person you know and love and trust… That they are being fueled by their addiction like a puppet on a string, yet not being able to separate the two. Loving the person so much it physically hurts but hating the disease even more. Struggling with society and stigma and other people’s judgments and assumptions…
How do you balance holding someone responsible for their behaviors, when it isn’t even really them that’s doing them? Understanding and accepting that addiction is a serious sickness-one which affects the mind, body, and soul – yet still holding this person accountable for their choices and their doings. Wanting them so badly to get help, yet being told to refuse any pleas they may offer you. Trying to balance your morals and self-worth and self-care with your belief in treating others the way you would want to be treated. Everyone deserves a second chance versus one strike and you’re out.
On this constant seesaw of hopefulness versus hopelessness. Wanting to believe in change while witnessing the same behaviors again and again and again and again and again. Wanting to make it through this, and wanting it to end at the same time. Wanting so badly to stay, and dying to go all at the same time. I’ve never known anything else that can cause such a huge array of thoughts, feelings, and emotions. That can creep up so silently and stealthily, and within a matter of pure seconds turn your world upside down and sideways and everything in between. That can invoke every emotion imaginable, from paralyzing fear to explosive anger to sadness and heartache so intense that you want to just rip yours right out of your own body.
But despite it all, your heart keeps beating, no matter how broken or shattered it is. The world keeps on turning even when yours seems to be spinning out of control. Time marches on even when you feel as though you’re at a stand-still. Work is still expecting you, your child/children still need a mom, bills need to be paid, doctors appointments scheduled, responsibilities managed. Life. Goes. On. And somehow, so do you.
If there’s one thing I know about addiction, it’s that nothing is predetermined. There is no one outcome, no universal answer or solution, no miracle cure, no single treatment or fix all. You can’t will it, wish it, or order it away, can’t chant any magic words or beg it to reason. Can’t reason with it, bargain with it, compromise or make deals. But the addict CAN conquer it. With faith, determination, sacrifice, and action. Change. Self-awareness, honesty, insight, and humbleness. And you, you can love the person, and hate the addict. They are not one in the same. Love them, but remember to love yourself more. Remember that true compassion can seem cold at times. That enablement only prolongs suffering. That sometimes most times, honestly speaking- an addict has to hit rock bottom, has to reach the lowest of the low, before they can catch their footing and begin climbing back up.
Remember that nothing worth fighting for is free or comes easy. Don’t take for granted addictions power and strength… But don’t underestimate yours either. Remember that you can fly free again above these chains, but you have to be willing to spread those wings and jump out of the nest. Be vulnerable. Be afraid. Let your emotions encourage you, instead of defining you. Think of the people in your life that you love and cherish…
Those who you have lost, and those yet to come. Because they love you,
I love you, always have and always will. But at some point, l’ll need to love you enough to let you go. Addiction… So many things to so many people. Marker of the past, destroyer of the present. Time to decide: what role will it play in your future. Overcome, or overpower. The choice is yours.
#justmythoughts #venting #truth