The other side of the coin
Addiction. For many of the afflicted it seems that the only way forward is to focus on your recovery and try to become functional once again. This may be true, but as you work through those steps, and you come upon that infamous step of making amends(which is step 9 for those of you wondering) You will need to be willing to make those amends, and you need to be understanding of the fact that the damage you have done, may and most likely will never be able to be undone.
I think life is a constant test. It is a series of events in which you will need to decide one way or another. Think back to those choose your own adventure books from when you were a kid. Although a funny comparison, what isn’t funny is that once you make a decision in life, and it become clear it was the wrong decision, you cannot turn the pages backward and choose again. There are no do overs.
I think what most addicts do not realize is the fact of the unimaginable carnage they leave in their wake. From endless trips to the hospital, being found in dirty motel rooms, waking up in jail cells and sadly ending up in the grave. We are so consumed with self-hatred and selfishness we cannot see the damage that we are inevitably causing. For some, they may never see it, and many may never get that opportunity to see it.
Being involved in recovery I have to constantly learn. I learn that I do not know anything, and the moment I think I know everything is the moment I am doomed to repeat my mistakes. I need to be a sponge and absorb everything, this is my only path to true recovery. Seeing people you love suffer from addiction is life altering, you will move mountains and traverse the sea to try and help save them. And a sad realization is some people may not want to be saved. I have heard this saying before “addicted to the addiction”. Didn’t really make sense when I first heard it, but it makes sense now. Those people who are so opposed to treatment or to getting help are constantly manipulating the situations around them even if they don’t realize it.Many people can become addicted to the addiction, addicted to going into treatment, to detoxing, to the watchful eye of concerned loved ones. Selfishness, manipulation, mental torture. It is all toxic. Addiction is more than a physical disease, it is mental. Your capabilities for rational thoughts and actions are diminished the longer you are active in addiction. The constant thoughts of loved ones of “why cant they just stay sober?” “Cant they see they are killing themselves, killing me?” The sad truth, they cant see any of it, they don’t have the capability. Even if they want to.
I have seen firsthand from both sides of what addiction does to people. It will make you angry, sad, apologetic, and remorseful. It does nothing but destroy. There is no hope for anyone without some sort of recovery, for both the addicted and those affected by them. The hardest thing to do is to walk away. Be mindful though,this does not mean your feelings disappear, it doesn’t mean you stop caring or stop loving that person. When you are thoughtlessly affected by people with addiction, you must believe you can choose to be no longer intertwined in the destruction, and know that walking away is not giving up. Walking away is love. It is truth. Love does not mean destroying yourself. The most powerful gift anyone affected by addiction can receive, is the power of truth.
Having maintained sobriety for almost 2 years I have learned that the people who walked away from my destruction had every right, and what I also realize is that I no longer have the right to try and bring them back into my life, no matter how I feel now. I work tirelessly on a daily basis on making sure I am accountable for my own actions, and I know to some that will never be enough, and that is ok because they deserve peace. Just knowing that you have found recovery may be enough to heal. No amount of apologies can take away the pain suffered at your own accord. No amount of amend making will take away pain already suffered. The truth….the only way for healing is to allow it time to heal. Allow yourself to grieve. Be completely honest. No one wants to be reminded of doing horrible things, but then again no one wants to relive horrible things done to them. A truthful apology, a real amend is allowing someone who walked away, stay away. Why? Because they deserve at least that. If they choose to come back, or not, it was their choice alone.
It’s a whirlwind, I know.