Never Thought I Would Be Here!
I never thought I would find myself here…. in this space in this place in life. NOBODY ever really plans on being here… finding themselves in love with an addict!
Truth is noone ever wakes up; with the life goal or dream of becoming a addict. A person of addiction; substance use disorder…. A disease that reaks havoc on not only the person; the family, loved one, the community, literally impacts everyone and everything around them! The ripple effect is neverending…
There comes a point when you find yourself in so deep; torn between loving them and trying to love yourself that you feel so isolated. You feel you have noone to turn to, to open up to, to talk to! Everyone has an opinion! Often filled with judgement and negative feedback of the addict. The term addict alone has a negative implication! It dehumanizes the person of addiction…. It’s how we use the word! Our friends words; OUR words, carry weight!
I have been to a few support groups; AlaNon, I have openly shared in a few. Some in my own family support group SFAMI sometimes… I found myself gaurded. Limiting myself to what I said, so careful to protect the person I love’s identity. Always so mindful of his family…. so concerned about their welfare… never thinking really about my own! My own mental health, that is… I was however; mindful of my own, position. As someone working in the field of addiction. How will this look? What will; clients think? Let’s be honest… those thoughts did and do run through my head…
But reality is… 1 in 5 are affected by mental illness or addiction! That is reality! There is NO social economic limitation on who or when or what age or race this falls to. So truth is; Why not me?… Right?
I reached out to many when I struggled carrying the burden alone. The words for help sometimes fell flat in my throat! It was too painful to speak of. I felt, if I talked… I myself… would break! (Starting to feel a little too familiar… I think I just went through the mother of all melt downs 17 years in the making… for kot speaking out! On my daughter Summer’s illness her brain surgeries)
I did over the last 3 years reach out to his family for help… 3 different times…
Truth is… THEY weren’t dealing with his behaviors; they had and have no clue! He hasn’t been in contact with them really and has done a good job avoiding them at all costs…. for several years now!
He is great a cloak and dagger! Masking his addiction when neccessary. He has learned over the years; his pride has taught him this!
I actually tried reaching out a few times to his family in several different ways over the last 3 years reaching out for help! All efforts failed!… I felt truth be told… defeated myself!
I don’t blame anyone… I do this for a living… And I myself am lost as how to reach him!
Waiting…. for someone; to be ready for treatment. That is the most painful, gut wrenching thing you will ever do loving some with a Substance use disorder! It will break you in ways, you never knew existed. I have felt pain, deeper than anything I have ever known. I realize this in largely due to the realization that he is my true love! To watch the light that once shined so brightly inside him fade so quickly over the last 3 years!
I can not tell you the last time I saw that sparkle in his eyes! That charm in his grin…. it all faded so fast. Replaced with torment and disparity…. stress and anguish!
I have seen things I can never unsee! Images of him; i thought once were unimaginable! I was never naive to the nature of this disease…. i know it all to well!
I have seen what damage it causes. I grew up watching it destroy homes, marriages, families, sons, daughters, communities… I know this disease!
I was so careful to never get caught up in a relationship with anyone struggling with it! I knew it would win over me every time! If I ever saw a hint of it… I walked away!
You… He! Was… is… my *kryptonite* I was never able to let him fall. I never saw him coming… I never saw the disease attached! He hide it so well…
It smacked me in the face! I thought, I can fix this! I can guide him… lead him back to where he needs to be!
He just needs encouraging, reminding, to be loved… unconditionally!!!
None of that mattered!
None of that changed a thing!
If anything…. it seemed to have added to his sense of shame, guilt
It created a wedge between us;
That never existed before!
My confidant, my lover, my best friend…
A stranger… to me!
I see people in his life;
I have never seen before…
People I know are not *friends*
I see the worry and growing stress
On his face…
Time and time again.
His once well built frame…
I see multitude of women flowing in and out…
Freely using words of LOVE without any thought or regard!
I think to myself…
They don’t even know what LOVE is!?!
I find myself going through such a range of emotions…
From anger, to rage…. to trying to understand, to pity for these individuals…. to empathy for them as human beings….
But I still find myself digging in… soo protective over him!
Noone understands this of course!
You can’t vent or talk to anyone about this. They don’t seem to relate; or connect to what you are dealing with. In fact they become frustrated, they become uncomfortable, they start changing the conversation, or cutting you off. Worse case… they start trashing him!
Don’t they understand… you still love him? You still feel the way you feel? You have no control over who you love? Did they not listen when you said you have prayed to God about this? Daily? Begging for a resolution?
Did they not hear you say you felt God place this in your heart?
It’s a weight that burns in your chest and on your soul?… I can literally feel when he isn’t doing well! I just know in my gut … like I know my child is in trouble!
We are connected… for whatever reason….. we have that bond!
I know him… I know him better than he knows himself… I see through him; completely… I see through all the chaos… the drugs.. the women… I see his pain! I see his self destruction…. I can almost predict it..
It’s like he is trying to prove a point; but doesn’t even connect the dots to realize it! His self loathing! His sabotaging behavior; how he pushes away anything that truly loves him! Or anything he truly loves! His way of protecting them… His way of protecting himself!
What he does not see… Is how it destroys me! How it kills me inside! How it kills his family… how it hurts them! Not protect any of us! Especially not protecting him!
He try’s to numb and self medicate with drugs and women… trying so desperately to fill empty voids inside himself. He will never be able to fill… Not this way! Not with those women…. not with those drugs! He knows this!!!
Try talking to someone about that! Try opening up to someone about that! It’s not easy…. saying those words outloud…. are not easy!
They cut through you like a jagged knife! That wound; just bleeds…. it never seems to close!
Try holding it together; working in the addiction field! Seeing others grow and get better, try being able to help others…. but NOT the man you love!
That’s a hard pill to swallow!
There’s no class to prepare you for that!
What do you do?
Keep it bottled up inside?
Go to AlaNon? (I did that!)
Helps … some!
They are all still here!
Is he safe?
Has he got food? Shelter?
Are those *people* *women* feeding him drugs? Is he getting high?
He is… alive?
I tell family members all the time in the SFAMI group…. you have the power! You can take back control. You set the boundaries!
Two days ago…. I finally, found the courage to block some of the social media access I had to him. I had to, for my own mental health. It was causing me too much anxiety and worry….. seeing the people he was hanging out with. Knowing what they were about!
I don’t know what the answers are… in fact, I know very little! I struggle daily if I am doing the right thing or not. I weigh if I am being fair.
I often find myself praying… For God’s protection of him, to wrap him in his hands… to fill him with his love, to make him feel whole and loved to take away his pain. I often pray… that God’s will is done and not my own, that I have the grace and humility and understanding to accept the outcome of things.
But… for now! God has placed this in my heart… I don’t understand God’s timing…. why he would bring him back into my life … to have me watch him self destruct.
At times… I am not sure my heart can bare it… to be honest!
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