Tag Archives: addict

Addiction Has Changed Me

I’m not an addict but addiction has changed me.

I worked hard, as my parents did, and earned my way to my independence as a young adult. By the time I was 26, I purchased my own home, had a new car in the driveway, my bills were paid. I was gainfully employed and was well respected in my career. I did not live a life of luxury but I did not want for anything either. I had accomplished some goals in my life sooner than others and I was confident in my abilities. I was happy.

I grew up in a structured family environment, full of love and support. I was a successful adult, still, I found that I was ill prepared for some of what life had in store for me, most of which revolved around my failed relationships; more specifically, conflicts within those relationships. There was never any conflict in my childhood home – NONE. I never saw my parents fight. I only saw respect and honor and dignity.

After I married and began my own family, I would soon find out, however, that I had absolutely no idea how to deal with conflict. Furthermore, I had not the first notion about addiction and its cunning ability to destroy whatever it touched.

Addiction stole my independence in the physical form of my home, my car, my job, my financial freedom, and so much more. And it momentarily buried the strong, driven woman my parents did such a fine job creating. Addiction affected my life by kicking the door in like a thief in the night, pillaging everything sacred inside me, cheating me out of my peace of mind and my ability to trust.

One of my favorite quotes is from Maya Angelou; “I may be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it.” I tell myself that everyday. Where my self-esteem had dropped drastically in my marriage, I have been able to rebuild that self-image since my separation. Though I may seem hard to some now, those that know me well, and the home from which I came, can see beyond my protective layers. I am happy again and impervious to projections. That strength and purpose in character coupled with my unconditional love is what my daughter will benefit from most.

Addiction holds no bias. It knows no boundaries. It affects all races, classes, sexes, ages, sexual preferences, religious preferences, and so on. Addiction, at its best, will destroy families, jobs, incomes, and the physical and mental health of both the addict and that of their loved ones. At its worst, addiction is fatal. At its best, it destroys.

Addiction is a very real societal issue that requires understanding, consistency, and perseverance through the face of some individuals’ worst evils. It must be recognized and treated as such with as-necessary intervention and medical supervision.

But if you ask me how to treat addiction, you have to treat its root cause. No, I’m not an addict, but addiction has changed me.

Mental health matters.
Josie

The Grip Of Addiction

My thoughts and feelings on addiction have always been about my Dad, this time it’s someone else, someone I haven’t seen in many, many years, but have much love, care,  and concern for I am worried, for her, her family, her friends. I know what the grips of addiction on a loved one feels like but no two people’s addiction is the same.

Young

Beautiful

Energetic

Intelligent

Worthy

Happy

Ambitious

Those are all words I would use to describe her, her potential and who she is and should be…

Aged beyond her years.

Hardened

Desperate

Manipulative

Denial

Scared

Angry

Sad

Death

I imagine those are words that some would use to describe her now…

Addiction is a strange thing…deep in the moments with my Dad’s addiction I would know he was all these negative things to people on the “outside”.. he was those things to me. Yet, I would get so defensive of anyone whispering about him, making fun of him, judging him.

Addiction plays games with EVERY ONE. I have been told it’s a disease, a much larger issue for the addict, then those who are affected by and are around the addict. For those of us on the outside looking in on our family member, friend, our loved one. ..we see and hold on to who this person was BEFORE. The potential this person has if they would just quit, if they could see it for themselves.

There is a lot of debate, discussion and studies on whether addiction is a disease or whether it is not.  There are days I will agree that it is a disease….some days  I get frustrated with the why’s and how it can even be compared to a lethal illness that someone didn’t choose to get. Addiction is a lethal disease that started with a choice?….a choice. That’s hard for me to get past.

I have made the personal decision after knowing that I have done all that I can, to discontinue a relationship with my Dad. Doesn’t mean it makes every day any easier-I still wonder, worry, am saddened, angry, defeated, disappointed, exhausted, confused. So many emotions.

My Dad’s best friend for many, many years, starting with their childhood, passed away a few weeks back. My brother and I talked back and forth as to who was going to tell Dad-not something we want to tell him under normal circumstances and certainly not something either of us want to tell him under these circumstances.

My brother told him.

I received a voice mail from Dad that night, he thought he was leaving a message for his drug dealer, careless on his part-seems like a “rookie” mistake-which also tells me he is in deep again. I wonder how bad one has to be to confuse his daughter’s phone number with his dealer’s phone number.  That hurts..A LOT!  I still have the message. I have held on to it these past few weeks feeling like I need to, for a “in my defense” when someone wants to judge me for not speaking to him. Ridiculous, huh? Having to explain why I don’t want to be around a junkie, who lies, steals, takes advantage, is erratic and so on.

I know that this is not a choice everyone will make or even want to make. Addiction is not a cookie cutter situation from person to person and family to family.  The one thing that is constant and that I am for sure of is that addiction is evil. And hard, ever so hard. There are so many casualties of addiction. No one wins besides the addiction.

Much Love,

Kim