While you grow up, you’re taught to stay away from drugs. You’re taught why they’re bad. You’re taught to say no. But what they never teach you, is the hell you’ll go through loving someone who is addicted to drugs.
They never teach you that at first, you will think it will be okay. That this is just one small thing in your life that will simply go away. You’re never given a text-book about what addiction is. You don’t tell your friends about your loved one that’s addicted, you tell no one. Because the first stage of loving an addict?
You think it will all go away. They never tell you that they simply cannot just stop.
They won’t hand you homework on how to handle the manipulation and lies. You will believe them because that is what happens when you first love an addict. They won’t give you a quiz on how to slow down the anxiety, how to go with your gut instinct, or how to not obsess on what they’re doing at all times.
They won’t tell you that one day, someone you love will be able to completely control you in ways you never knew possible. They don’t teach you that you’ll become a slave to the addict, a detective, and a babysitter that has to know at all times where they are, what they’re doing, who they’re with.
They never explain to you that even if they get through recovery, they are never cured of addiction and that it can come back and haunt you, changing your entire perfect world upside down again. They don’t give you tips on what to do when you realize they will never be themselves again.
They don’t tell you the feeling you’ll get, when your heart feels like it’s being ripped in half, or the twisting in your stomach you get when you find another needle. They don’t tell you that you’ll probably once again give the addict the benefit of the doubt.
They never teach you that even though your loved one is still with you, you will grieve as though they are dead. They don’t explain to you there is nothing more you can do for them, that ultimatums don’t always work, and that it has to be their own choice. They don’t tell you that even after three or four rehabs, they may use again, and you’ll be back where you started.
They don’t give you lessons on how not to take the blame – how to shut your brain off so you’re not going over every little detail and wondering how your life got here with them. They don’t teach you that your entire life can change because you got in a car crash with a loved one and that it won’t be the accident that injures or ruins your entire life, but the Percocet they were given for a whiplash.
They don’t tell you that ‘I can stop anytime I want,’ means ‘I can’t stop, I really need help.’ They don’t tell you that eventually, they will do whatever it takes to wake up feeling ‘normal,’ which means you have to suffer through their lying, stealing and cheating ways.
They don’t tell you that you’ll find yourself screaming for help on the inside, but you’re too afraid that people will judge your loved one, so you keep it to yourself to protect their identity.
They won’t tell you what it’s like to see the first overdose. They won’t tell you how scary it is to watch someone nod off, itch and be in slow motion. They won’t tell you what it’s like when you get the first phone call stating they’re unconscious.
They don’t tell you how hard the day is that you decide to finally walk away. They don’t tell you how many tears fall, when you force yourself to stop enabling, even if it means they’re homeless — even if it means that’s the last time you may ever see them alive again.
They don’t tell you about the fears that come rushing in your head after the moment you leave them. They don’t tell you you’ll scare yourself wondering if they owe money and if someone could come after you for revenge. They don’t tell you of all the innocent people you fear for knowing they could be driving under the influence.
They don’t explain that every day you love a drug addict, you know you may get that phone call. They don’t tell you that once you see that missed call, you immediately know what it’s about. They don’t tell you that you will be mad and confused at the same, as you are happy they are finally at peace but know it never had to come to this.
They don’t teach you that going forward, it will still find ways to hinder your life. They don’t teach you that you may need help getting over the betrayal and that you may have to learn how to trust and love again.
They don’t teach you that even if you never try a drug in your life, drugs can still kill you.