To Love An Addict

Most articles about addiction that I’ve read are aimed towards the substance abuser. I’ve read the usual “Addiction is hereditary,”  “it is a disease,” “the addict does not want to be this way.” and so on. I won’t say what I agree with or what I don’t agree with, but if there is one thing I do know, it’s an addict.

An addict is very difficult to love. The pain and suffering are unbelievable. You live in fear every day, waiting for a phone call.

Over the years I have had some intense experiences in dealing with an addict’s behaviors. When a person becomes an addict, they lose sight of who they are. They do not see anything except for the next time they get to use. Their family, friends, children, and job mean nothing. Their entire world has been taken over by something so lethal.

I spent my life growing up watching alcoholism. This year I had experienced the difference between an alcoholic and an opiate user. An opiate users mind is so far gone; they can’t see how they look on the outside. They will take everything from you, and they won’t blink an eye. They are ruthless, they lie, and they will manipulate you given the chance.

When you love an addict, none of that matters. I enabled, I apologized to them for questioning their character, I did anything they asked. Why? Because having a pretend relationship with an addict seemed better than nothing at all.

That eventually came to an end. One day something finally happened, and enough was enough. You can only take so much abuse from an addict before you need to walk away. Then you live in fear that you might regret it if they die.

You mourn their loss, but they are still alive. You miss the relationship that existed before the addiction. You hold onto anything trying to convince yourself that they love you. It is one of the saddest and painful things to endure in my opinion.

It is easier said than done to let go of an addict. I understand enabling them, and I understand cutting them off. My only advice is to focus on yourself. Do not get lost in the life of an addict, and live a healthy life for yourself. Sometimes you need to love people from a distance in order to save yourself.

 

Meghan Farr

Meghan has an Associates Degree in Human Services, Bachelor's in Human Development and Family Studies, and a Minor in Psychology.

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