This Is How It Hurts To Love An Addict

Addiction is an infection.

It infects not only those who rely on drugs, but those who love the drug-users. We are all infected.

Addiction is an infection. I am not an addict. I cannot imagine entirely what it feels like to be addicted to drugs. To have your life dictated by drugs. You wake up, drugs lead the way.

I have inadvertently learned that drugs trump all people, places, and things when you are addicted. Birthday parties, jobs, graduations, bills, hygiene—it’s all an afterthought. Something you will probably get around to dealing with after you get your prescription filled.

That is a burden that I can offer my compassion to. I have, however, earned somewhat of a kit after years of witnessing addiction.

I am not infected with addiction, but I am infected with worry.

I’m worried. All of the time. I’m worried that today is the day that you’ll dabble with meth. Worried that today is that cocaine shit that happened to Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction is about to happen to you. I am worried all of the time.

I am worried for you, myself, and my poor dog that I in no way want to leave you alone with. If my dog died as a result of ingesting one of your illicit drugs, I think a part of me would die along with her.

I am worried all of the time.

I’m not infected with addiction, but I’m infected with anger.

I’m angry which is weird because at the age of 21, I once sat as a counselor told me that I needed to “find my anger”. I’ve never been an angry gal. I’m much more of a “WAH. That made me sad. (Guttural sobbing)” kind of person.

Lately, I’m angry; I’m also resentful.

It’s strange. Resentment and I never used to be pals. Now I am a sighing and eye-rolling veteran which is apparent when family members or family friends talk to me about how great you are and/or how I have to look after you.

See, the talk always seems to be about you. The focus is always on you. How are you doing? How are you feeling?

Well, I have myself to ask how I am doing, how I’m feeling.

To be honest, I don’t feel too fucking spectacular. I don’t even think people notice.

I’m not infected with addiction, but I am infected with self-deprecation.

Self-deprecation and I have always been friends, to the dismay of my mother. I’m sorry, but sometimes nothing gets quite the chuckle like a “I looked like a round Harry Potter when I was in middle school” joke. Ya feel me?

Well, self-deprecation is no longer for me anymore. It’s just shying away from self-hatred these days.

Lately, I hate myself for even sort of believing you. You’re so convincing. It’s horrifying. You’re a phenomenal liar. If only your outrageously dilated pupils followed suit.

I still hear you, up all night, walking around the apartment like a human Tic Tac container. The sounds of lights being turned on, the microwave beeping incessantly, your ginger ale exploding out of its two liter bottle, fizzling everywhere. The sounds of spills, speakerphone, and smoking sizzling my eardrums.

I do not forget.

I am not infected with addiction, but I am infected with hopelessness.

I keep fighting the feeling that it’s not going to get better. I am fighting the feeling that it will all end in heartbreak. But it creeps up and lives in the bottom of my throat, and I’m trying my best to suppress it as I would a genuine and powerful sob.

I want to believe that everything is going to be okay, but I am terrified that it won’t be. I want to live my own life, and my greatest fear is falling into a pattern of self-pity and an inability to forgive.

I am always going to love you but you’re breaking my heart.

Addiction is something I would not wish on anyone. Addiction is an infection. An infection unpredictable, consuming, and widespread.

We are all infected. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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