1. Addiction isn’t a choice.
We didn’t desire the drug to consume our lives. We didn’t want the alcohol to dictate our every action. We didn’t think, “I would so love to spend all of my money, destroy what I hold dear and for my life to crumble around me”. That wasn’t our goal.
2. Addicts can’t “just quit”.
We hear those around us telling us that we should just discontinue using. When the addiction settles into our bodies and minds, we lose the will power you have in spades to drop the needle. You want us to shatter the bottle? You want us to simply throw away the pipe? It doesn’t work that way. Not for us.
3. There are different reasons we tried it the first time.
Although we all became dependent on whatever the substance was; each of us had a different reason for that first taste. Some of us wanted to feel numb to the pain we felt. Some of us might have been pressured into it. Some of us really just thought it would be a fun time. The end result was the same, but why we did it isn’t.
4. There is no sufficient reason to simply stop.
You tell us that there are a million reasons why we should quit. A family member lost their life to the addiction. We lost our job because some of us couldn’t hide what the addiction caused. So many doctors told us that we would die if we continued on this path. Trust us, we are fully aware of the consequences our addictions costs us. Still, all of those perfectly good reasons to quit aren’t enough. We came to a point in our addiction that will power was lost to us. And no one else could halt us in our tract.
5. We have only one solution, and it is so much harder than you think.
We tried to eradicate the addiction on our own. Some of us lasted a few hours; some of us lasted a few years. Eventually, we came running back to what destroyed us. Without exception, we always fell into the addiction’s grasp. Rehabs didn’t help, interventions did little. So what were we supposed to do? We needed to want it. We needed to accept the addiction and find our higher power. We needed to work those steps and help others. All that sounds fine and dandy to you, but to us it was a cliff we had to jump from. Do you really think it is easy to leap into the water we can’t see?
6. We don’t want or need your judgment.
Trust us, your judgment is NOT going to inspire a change in us. You think that if you hurl your harsh words at us, we suddenly sprint into a better life. Please don’t think that, we have judged ourselves plenty without your looking down at us.
7. Once the cravings end, we still live with our thinking.
The cravings will dissipate, but our thinking won’t. We are working towards a better life, and to do that we must change our thinking as well. Our behavior will alter if we really try and it will get better. That has been proven by so many.
8. It is a battle we fight for the rest of our lives.
Those who don’t suffer from addiction ask if we will ever be able to drink or use again. We won’t. We can’t. We understand that you will never be able to comprehend what we go through, and that’s okay. But we need you to know that if we fall back into that black hole we escaped from, we might never be able to climb out.
Addiction is complicated. Addiction is terrifying. Getting the help we need is even scarier because without the numbness the drink or drug brought, reality is what we are left with. We have to face our actions and we need you to know that we can do it, but we can’t do it alone.