No one ever says “when I grow up, I want to become an addict”.
Addiction is a Family Disease, it affects everyone who loves the addicted person.
I grew up in a small town, a Catholic home, went to Church on Sundays, there was of course Sunday school. My parents worked very hard to raise me to become a successful member of society. I received all the love and care that a girl needed to achieve her dreams. Guidance, love, and affection. Private schooling, numerous cars, new clothes etc..As I grew older my parents even helped my buy my first home at 21 yrs old. They also instilled morals in me, to have love for other’s, basically everything to be an upstanding woman. I was never afraid to talk to them about anything. So, you can imagine their shock when their only daughter became an Addict!
Addiction is one thing that sticks out in my mind that my father sat me down and talked to me about, when addiction was on the rise in communities all over the United States. I remember him saying “you definitely do not want that monkey on your back”. Little did I know, “that monkey” was dangerous and takes everything from you, even your soul. I was so ashamed to tell them that their only daughter, who they raised and gave the world to, had become an Addict, but they already new what was slowly happening. My personality was changing, my friends were changing, I started calling and coming by their house less often, basically I was becoming someone they did not even know anymore.
As my addiction grew stronger, my family life, and my faith in God grew more distant. I started to just visit, not spend quality family time anymore. I started only to pray when I needed something from God. I became a selfish human being. Self will run riot. It wasn’t that I didn’t love my family or God any less ,but my addiction had taken over my thoughts and my focus. All I could think about was running back to what was destroying me. I know my family was heartbroken and scared for me, every time I walked back out their door, into the unknown streets of pure evil. Truthfully, I had numbed my feelings so much by then, I did not even stop to think of how bad they must have been hurting and worried. Days,sometimes weeks of not a call or visit from me at times must have consumed their hearts with worry and sadness. Where was the beautiful ,smart, intelligent, happy, girl they had raised? I was slowly drifting into a girl they did not even know anymore. Year’s went by, watching me destroy my life. Not only was I loosing myself, I had lost everything I owned, my condo, my belongings, my car and last..my Identity.
Addiction affects everyone who loves the addict, it’s a Family Disease. Some parent’s try Tough Love, cutting the addict off completely, some continue to Enable the addict by supporting their needs (when they decide to come around or even call).
So, the question is.. What is the best way to help an addict you love my from my experience?
Let them “ASK FOR HELP” on their own. You cannot force an addict into Recovery.
Recovery is for the one’s who “WANT IT” not “NEED IT”. So, I pray for the addicts, who are still out there sick and suffering. May they find their “Higher Power” and be saved, like I was from hell on earth as I knew it.
These are only my personal suggestions, based on my experience, strength, and hope.