Love is not always easy; there will be times where it seems daunting to make a relationship work. Loving an addict however, can be one of the hardest relationships you will ever experience. While they are addicted to getting high, you become addicted to trying to stop them.
There are moments when you feel as though it is your duty to track their every step to ensure they are not using. While you feel as though you are supporting them, you will lose touch with yourself completely.
Your world will revolve around them.
It’s a wickedly toxic cycle to be thrown into. You will watch someone morph into a stranger right before your eyes. The trauma from the experience will haunt you for years to come, but you can someday pull yourself out of the hole you sank into with them. I am not an addict, I do not have an addictive personality, and I have never relied on any substance to cause me to feel like anyone other than myself.
I have however, watched a beautiful person wither away in their addiction.
It was hard for me to understand why they could not just simply put down the drugs. It also wasn’t just one drug they were addicted to, they would engulf themselves in to any new habit or hobby they could find. They would obsess over something for weeks or months, then move on to the next thing. That was somewhat how I interpreted the relationships I would watch him have with myself, and other women.
I spent half of my high-school career in a codependent relationship with a drug addict, which a female that young should ever have to deal with. I had real life experiences with things that most people only read about in books or watched in movies. I was offered a spot on homecoming court by a close friend of mine, but only if I brokeup with my abusive boyfriend. No one really new the extent of heart ache I was going through, and why it was so hard for me to abandon him.
After I graduated high-school I began to realize I had missed out on so many things that normal girls got to be a part of. It had such an effect on my academic life that getting into a university was so far out of my reach, I didn’t even think of it as an option, and no one else really did either.
I was spending my days succumbed by stress that I was nowhere near equipped to handle. He had always told me I was better than what he was putting me through, he gave me so many chances to walk away but I just could not bring myself to give up on him. It all didn’t really hit me, how much it was tearing my life apart, until I received a phone call from him while shopping with my mother.
The call brought me to my knees in public; he was using, again, fresh out of rehab. It was all out of my control, and it was spiraling, he was spiraling down. To make a long story (that I could write a novel about) short: Just like a drug addict, I had to hit rock bottom to realize it was time to change my life. To finally find out who I was again, I had to go through a few years of ups and downs.
I was angry at the hand I was dealt and needed to get it all out of my system. This led me to a slew of unsuccessful relationships, resentment, and rebellion.
A few years of darkness finally brought me to a screeching halt where I decided to spend time on myself. I spent time rebuilding my faith, my self-image, and working hard to not let my lack of a bachelor’s degree stop me from being a strong woman. I used everything that I learned at a young age of trying to cure an addict to my benefit.
I transformed my angst towards him into love for everything I was able to learn from him. I had so many opportunities to let myself fall into a pit of failure and I never went down that road. I just had to realize that it was time to stop blaming myself and I had to accept the fact that I deserved love. The only way I could do that was by breaking out from my comfort zone and really getting to know myself.
I had to start from scratch, because what little bit of spark I saw in myself was burnt out before I even had time to appreciate it.
It’s crucial to take advantage of moments in your life that really push you to the edge. I was pushed so many times that I was able to learn an abundance of lessons. Although they were painful, I would never be as strong as I am today if I did not go through it all. If you are struggling with a codependent relationship that you can’t see your way out of, there are many resources at your disposal if you need to seek advice.
Never be afraid to accept help from people that have been through similar situations.
I never knew Nar Anon existed until I was already out of the relationship and in the healing process. Addiction causes pain on more than just the addict, but it causes pain to everyone that cares about them. It is beyond their control and beyond your control to fix them, it is a disease. No matter how much an addict loves you, they have to stop using for themselves, not you. It is a hard reality to face and it will cause you to question everything about yourself.
Knowing that you will never be as good as their next high is something crucial for you to understand in order to realize you must move on. Just like they have to recognize they have a problem, you have to recognize when it is time to walk away.