““I hope you never have to know addiction, I hope you never have to feel this pain. I hope you never know what its like to slowly go insane. And what its like to be an addict on the verge of pure catastrophe, losing all of lifes direction hoping for a tragedy.
I am not a very open person, but I am getting extremely personal in this post. I hope that this can help someone who is in this position.
Honestly, nobody every talks about the other side of addiction, the side that includes loving an addict. Nothing can prepare you for it. But yet, for every addict there is someone on the other side. The truth is when addiction enters in to your life, it comes in like a wrecking ball destroying everything in your path. There is nothing that can prepare you for the roller coaster of emotions, the doubt and questioning of your faith, and the ultimate heartbreak that is doomed to follow. You read every article inside out trying to explain why someone is addicted, you compare every story or every situation to your own. How did they get this way? And why can't they stop? Is it me? What is the reason? You can be there at the drop of a dime when someone needs you and it still won't be enough. You live off of fear of wondering every day if they will be just another one of those stories you read : someone with the world at their feet who lost everything, and ultimately had an untimely death. You live every day wondering if you will do something to make them use, and if one day you will be enough to make them stop. And although you don't become addicted to a drug yourself, you become addicted to saving them.
"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”
- 2 Timothy 1 : 7
Without realizing it, you stop living for yourself. You stop doing the things you love or focusing on things that will better your life. Your number one priority is getting them to stop. The hardest part about drugs is that the person who you fell in love with slowly fades into someone you don't even know. Your life rotates between the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. One day you will have the person you fell head over heels for, and the next day you want to run as far away from your relationship as possible. But you know that they are still in there somewhere. Holding on and believing in them is all you have. The beautiful memories fill your brain every time you want to give up. But the truth is that in the process, you are no longer you. Those memories are long in the past. You don't smile and you don't laugh, anxiety and worry consume you. You become so invested in saving them that they don't even know who you are anymore. You are no longer that girl that they fell in love with.......but after everything, how could you possibly be? You now take on the role of a mother or a care-taker. The fear of them losing their life eats you alive.
"For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world."
- John 2 :16
Addicts come in all different forms. There are addicts who are open about their problems, and there are ones who you would never know had an addiction from the outside. There are people who are prone to addiction. Some long for love and others are running from fear. Whether it is drugs, alcohol, sex, or even food, addiction stems from trying to cover how you actually feel. When they use they don't have to face their problems.....until of course that high goes away. But then they just use again. They use until they become numb to everything. They turn off their emotions, because that is the only way to get through the day without all of the regret and pain.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
- Psalm 23:4
But being on the other side, you constantly wonder.....Don't they understand what is at risk? They love you, but obviously not enough to stop for you. ......they are throwing away their life for a high........what about their career? they are fooling everyone into thinking they are normal and happy.....But you know better........ You see through all of the non-sense.........You can help them.......BUT guess what? You CAN'T. No matter how hard you try, someone will not stop until they are ready to. You could be the love of their life, their best friend, their mom, their pastor, but it will never be enough. You can show them as much love as humanly possible but it will NEVER be enough. YOU will never be enough, the high is what they want and that high is what they will get.
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
- Jeremiah 29 : 11
There is one word that come to mind when going through addiction with someone: failure. Everything you worked towards, every minute you spent researching, and every time you stopped in your tracks to be there feels like just one big failure. The most passionate love in the world was ripped from you. The plans of marriage and decorating your future house, and mostly your future kids are gone. Your hopes, and plans, and dreams all failed. The thought of them even taking a single sip of alcohol, taking a drug, or indulging in things that could harm them gives you anxiety like you have never felt. What happens if this is the time his heart will stop? What if he is alone? What if no one around him can tell? What if he ends up in trouble? I was his protector and now I feel like I failed to keep him safe. But the truth is I didn't. I did everything I could possibly do. As much as you love someone, you can’t live their life for them. You may become the center of their hate for holding them accountable, but deep down they do know how much you love them and care.
"Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.”
- Psalm 55:22
Obviously there are people who can become addicted and change right away. But majority have lengthy and dangerous struggles with it. My words of advise are, don’t let it consume your life. You can always believe in them and always pray for them. And always hold on to hope that they will be happy and healthy and the person you fell in love with one day. But instead of sacrificing yourself, give it all to God. Don’t fight the battle alone. In times like this I wonder how much more I would have been lost if it hadn't been for my faith. And trust me, I doubted, and I was angry. Heck I still am. But I have never not believed. I tell God how angry I am. I tell him how bad I am hurting. But I know there is a plan in everything he does. We may not see it and it may not be what we want at the time, and honestly it might be the most painful experience of our life, but he has a plan. To have hope that everything will get better is the only healthy way to get through it.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
- Philippians 4 : 6-7
Lastly, i want everyone to know that I commend anyone who is on the other side of addiction. You are strong. You are appreciated. You are brave. You felt every drop of the pain and you bear through every last bit of it. As much as if feels like you have failed, you haven’t. One day your tenacity and unconditional love will be appreciated more than you will ever know. It is okay to be selfish and let go of the anxiety and constant worry. Trust in God’s plan for YOUR life. I may not know what it is like to crave a drug, but I know what it is like to feel both physical and emotional pain. To feel that back and forth love-hate relationship. To feel like a failure. But I won’t run and I certainly won’t hide from it, I will get through it and eventually I will heal. Because with God I am strong, with God my fears no longer take over my life. Don’t let it take over yours as well.
"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
- James 1 : 2-4