Addiction is so very cunning and whether you are struggling with it yourself or with a family member or loved one, it can be a nightmare of a roller-coaster ride that won’t seem to end. I’ve found myself yet again in a similar battle this last week and find myself asking the same old questions; if only he were sober; would it really make a difference? Because the worry remains.
Sobriety; we walk and talk about it as if it’s a taboo. According to the http://www.alcoholaddiction.info “National Institutes of Health reports that 15% of the people living in the United States are considered “problem drinkers.” Of this 15%, 5%-10% of the males and 3%-5% of the females could be labeled as alcoholics. Another study found that approximately 30% of people in the U.S. report experiencing an alcohol disorder at one point in their lifetime.” Ok… not entirely startling numbers, but for my family it is. We are facing this right now. And it is rocking our world (and not in a good way).
A very close loved one of mine is an alcoholic, and has been for a few decades. He was finally sober; but has since relapsed and has been a ‘practicing alcoholic’ (as I call it) ever since. To look at him, he looks as though he won’t make it to Christmas – it’s what, the end of June? I’ve been trying to get him into a facility; which he said he wanted. Only now, when the time came, so too came the excuses. I know I know… what should I expect?
I just lost one sibling, I don’t need this too. We didn’t want to bury another so the plan was that if there was anything we could do to help him, anything at all, we were going to do it. However, it really is up to him. But I fear it won’t happen; one more excuse, which, up until now, I’ve been really good about flinging back at him, and after about 150 calls back and forth he kept coming up with more and more and more… I will have had it; I’m exhausted!
I’m to the point of saying, “by all means, drink yourself to death you miserable ass! After all it’s only your family! We aren’t going through ANY pain, NO Sir! It is a bowl of cherries for us to watch as you drink your swill.” I want to but I don’t (though I’m to the point I just might).
This was all up until yesterday when I got the call that all is a go, yet another hill in this roller-coaster of a ride called ‘dealing with an addict’ and one that I am asking to stop. As much as I love roller-coaster’s, I can’t take this one; not anymore. So, I’ve decided to keep myself distracted with my life and all that is good in it.
This whole process can get a person wrapped up and in knots; to the point that they’ve literally placed their life on hold all for the hope that the addict will get better. While all the while the addict continues in their narcissistic, alcoholic hazed world with their accusations, then their acceptance turned accusations, turned acceptance (this can go on and on… you can see the exhaustion). And you can see how easy it is to think to yourself, “I know I can fix this if only he would [fill in the blank].” But there is not a chance in hell of fixing a person. That person must fix themselves.
And so, I will wait these days as they are to be up here on Sunday and ‘the day’ he starts treatment is Monday morning. We shall see. He says he is ready and now has accepted this. I will feel so much better knowing he is getting the help he needs. Truth? I will feel better knowing he ‘gets it’ and is sober 6 mos/1 year from now… working the program… servicing others in the program… working his gifts… enjoying the life God gave him and being truly happy.
No more saying how “misery is his friend”; because the truth of the matter is that though we may have our ‘miserable’ moments, we don’t have to like it. We merely have to make it through. Find another way. I love this individual with my whole heart, body and soul. To say otherwise would be a lie. He was there for me when others deserted me. I simply can’t desert him; but I will if he continues down such a destructive path as I can no longer watch him do this.
Addiction is such an ugly thing and it involves EVERYONE around the individual. It has broken up marriages, families, friendships; even souls. It is a miserable, horrible seductress and often wins more hearts than not. Take heed my friends that you not succumb to its seductions; for it is so very cunning indeed.
Alcoholism: Love At First Sight
I’m sorry Mom.
I did not listen.
I did not heed your warning.
I saw this coming.
I saw the pain.
I was in too deep before I ever began.
The pain we all felt,
The perfection we all portrayed,
Too weak too challenge the addiction of our loved one.
I could not keep pretending.
Nothing could stop the feelings that overwhelmed me.
I fell for the trap.
Addicted by my first sip,
Never to look back at the pain.
I was to be numb forever,
Living a dream,
At least that was my plan.
I’m sorry Mom.
I took the wrong path.
I took your concerns lightly.
The addiction lured me in,
At my most vulnerable point.
I became the person I knew I one day would.
I continued the cycle into another generation.
I became just another statistic.
Source: Alcoholism: Love At First Sight, Addiction Poem about Family http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/alcoholism-love-at-first-sight#ixzz1zCyJscOA
- Alcoholics are not powerless over alcohol (psychologytoday.com)