Everyone talks about how hard addiction is for the addict but nobody wants to talk about the tragedy it leaves on people who love/loved the addict. If you've never seen the devil face to face or witnessed his chains of addiction consume your entire life without actually suffering from addiction within yourself, you don't know how lucky you truly are. If you do happen to know this know struggle personally (if your an addict) you probably didn't take notice in the trauma your addiction created in the people around you who did nothing but fight and pray for your recovery. As hard as addiction is, the raw truth is being an addict isn't nearly as hard as being sober and loving an addict. Finding love in this life is rare, to find extraordinary love in this life is a pure blessing. But finding that once upon a time, extraordinary love and then watching it turn into everything dark, disturbed and soulless is an absolute nightmare. Being someones only hope is a lot of pressure and stress to take on so before you decide to pull them out from the darkness understand the truth of whats hiding in that darkness and make damn sure the "addict" your saving is worth the shadows that follow the light..Being the bright fire of light at the end of the tunnel will burn you to ashes if you arent careful. Don't be their saving grace – teach them to save themselves, be their “inspiration, not their aspiration”. You’ll loose your mind trying to understand theirs. You will loose yourself in process of trying the save them. The horrible truth is you can't save an addict, but they can destroy you and they absolutely will if you allow them too. Most of the time its not even intentional they cant see past their addiction so they truly have no idea how much just one of their choices can make or break you. This type of support will create a serious issue of "co-dependency" within you and it takes a tremendous amount of strength and focus to come back from it. For addicts there is recovery and rehab but you dont have that option after all your not the "addict." After years of battling for sobriety with an addict, I realized an addict must first learn and understand addiction for themselves, you can't carry the weight of the addict and allow them to feed off of your intention, passion and ambition of their recovery. Recovery isnt just a choice its a lifestyle! As much as you want to see the addict in your life come back to themselves and ultimately succeed, you have to allow their own process despite how agonizing it is. If you don't then when its all said and done the addicts mindset hasn't obtained any knowledge or understanding of their own inner demons and the struggle will continue, the drug of choice will probably change but the internal battle will never come to rest.
“People at war within themselves will always cause collateral damage in the lives of those around them.” -John Mark Greene
The first year after rehab was the hardest most stressful year I experienced even through the three emotional, heartbreaking years of hard "active addiction". We constantly fought, argued about gateway use, every now and then decisions and lifestyle choices that quickly and surely became "current new habits". It made no sense to me as to why it always had to be a knock down drag out fight and argument over the choices that he, "the freaking recovering addict" should have already understood, I couldnt wrap my mind around the fact we finally made it through rehab and recovery yet his mind didn't comprehend the power of his choices. It takes 21 days to form a habit, and no matter how much i argued against him being blind to his daily choices, every single day he made the same ones. Our thoughts create choices, our choices create our habits, our habits create actions and our actions create character. Recovery isnt a simple process. Its long, and its hard on everyone involved. I sat through ALL the counseling classes, went to every NA / AA meeting, I drove 3 hours 3 times a week for 5 weeks and i am the one who gave up a school scholarship all to support the "recovery process" of an addict that never once understood the word addiction. Its like he barley even showed up, i mean yeah, he was there but being "present" isnt the same as being in "active" in recovery. They say there is noone in this world fighting a harder battle then an addict in recovery, if that was true then how was it possible that i was the one left with the battle wounds of that entire war? The hardest battle I witnessed damn sure wasnt the "addict" fighting for recovery, It was me desperately fighting and finding the courage and strength to make peace with letting the "addict" go. After it all i finally realized i was wanting him sober far more then he ever wanted it. They can fake it till they make it but they wont make it but so far without understanding the "truth" in addiction. I am able to understand the reasoning of this now because through every hopeful, heartwrenching minute of the "recovery process" the “recovering addict” didn't understand the truth of “addiction" nor did he actually want too. Its so easy to get caught up in the excitement, happiness and blessing of an addicts recovery that we easily overlook every sign telling us what we deep down already know. As joyful as recovery can be you have to remember its their recovery, you cannot do it for them and you cannot want more for them then what they want for themselves. There will come a time where you have no choice but to reflect on why your the one thats felt the weight from the chains of addiction when your not the addict and the addiction isnt yours to fight and when you do, you'll look and see the sacrifices you made, the devastating choices of hurt that leave emotional triggers within you, ones that are impossible for you to forget yet they cant even remember them, you'll see the effort you put in, you will realize it was you that went out bought and read the books, researched ways to “live sober”, your the one who is writing stories of the struggle and the unfair power it holds, you will see all the time you wasted and at first you'll feel angered by this but find a way to forgive them certainly not because they deserve it, simply because after all the hell you’ve experienced through someone else's addiction you deserve peace within your beautiful soul. Eventually, it will all make sense, you cant force someone to see the destruction in their choices nor can you force them to change even when its for the greater good. Sometimes the potential you see within someone is sadly never going to be embraced. Forgiveness is the key to happier days and no matter the amount of time you've wasted or the loses you've taken dont hold their inability to be sober against them, find a way to let it all go and know its okay to let go without feeling guilty. There is no half way with something as powerful as "addiction" its all or its nothing. Its painful, its tragic and ultimately its hopeless unless they understand the "truth in something as complicated as addiction." You have to understand as hard as it is to fully comprehend you CANNOT fix something that doesnt want to be fixed. You can push, pull, fight and stand at every corner blocking the way back to destruction, despite all your desperate efforts they will find their way back to rock bottom even after being at the top of the mountain. You dont owe the addict in your life anything, meanwhile you owe yourself everything. That mountain youve been carrying (getting the addict in your life clean) you were only suppose to climb. Dont ever loose yourself inside of the "illusion" of saving an addict. You cant save them, save yourself walk away better yet, run and never look back..There's beauty, strength and wisdom in all of lifes tragedies, embrace them, learn from them, grow from them. Search the world, find your passion and let it change your entire life. The hardest thing you will ever have to do is conquer the ability to walk away from an addict that doesnt understand their own addiction, without understanding there is no knowledge and without knowledge theres no growth. The truth is you cant continue to dance with devil and then wonder why your feeling the wrath of hell.
"You can fan the flames with hate or stroke the fire with love but either way its going to burn" -Nicole Lyons
When you've done all you can do, do no more.
-The Authentic Truth