Addiction is a disease. Its progressive, prolonged, potentially fatal, and positively treatable. If you are addicted to drugs and alcohol you may feel:
Every day is groundhogs day. There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. Something needs to change… everything needs to change. It’s overwhelming. You have no idea where to even begin.
No where to turn to
Too many people have turned their backs. You can’t ask again, even this one last time. Or, if people found out, your world would feel like it’s caving in. What would they think? Secrets feel safe, even when they keep you sick.
Physically dependent on drugs and alcohol
When you have run out of money and drugs, or it’s been several hours or even a day or two since your last drink or drug, you feel awful. Everything from shakes to sweating to muscle aches to constipation to vomiting; you know why it’s happening.
Use substances when we are bored, alone, sad, and angry
Honestly, you probably use in response to every emotion. You can’t make feelings suddenly disappear. They have to go somewhere; they have to come out. Maybe in the beginning it felt like alcohol and drugs made the emotions easier… maybe now the emotions are bigger… maybe now the emotions got so big that its just too much and you feel hollow.
Also use in excess to celebrate and because you “deserve it”
Has there ever been a “bad” time to use? You use when things are good or bad, happy or sad, up or down. You use to punish yourself and praise yourself. You use to punish others and praise others
Never been to treatment or have gone too many times to count
You question if therapy works; if therapy will work for you. Maybe you only know rehabs and group therapy from the movies; maybe you could sketch the meditation garden perfectly from memory from your last inpatient program.
Feeling like this cycle will
The stops and starts have been going on for so long it feels almost hopeless. You wonder what could possibly be different this time. What else needs to change?
Don’t know where to start, how to get help or who to tell
Everything is urgent and everything is important. How can you possibly know which first step is going to be the right one?
Watching a loved one battle the disease of addiction is life changing. You never thought this would happen or perhaps you hoped this one would be different. Being a part of this destructive disease can leave you feeling:
If you could take the pain away, you would. If you could stop the cycle, you would. If there was anything you could do to make this all go away, you would. But time and time again you feel like there is nothing you can do.
Can’t do enough for them yet can’t do anything for them
Just like one drink is too many and a thousand is never enough, all of your efforts to help are unsuccessful. You try to set boundaries but it seems like it pushes them away. You try to reach out and help and now you are being called an enabler. Every move feels like a no win situation.
Also feel trapped
Because every move feels like a no win situation, you feel paralyzed. You second guess yourself, your decisions, your friends and family and their advice.
Being in a relationship
With an addict can be the most difficult relationship to navigate. Turning your back, or setting healthy boundaries, may feel like it could lead to irreversible consequences. As long as you are connected, you feel like there is some hope, some sense of control.
Don’t know how to help them hear what we are saying
It seems like no matter what you say or do, you can’t get through to them. You scream, cry, plead, beg, talk calmly and rationally, send emails and texts. Nothing works.
Love them more than they could ever know
If your love could save them, they would live forever.
Frustrated that things aren’t changing
You’ve followed all the expert advice. They’ve done the rehabs and treatment and therapy and medication. The consequences of their addiction are endless. What is it going to take to turn things around? How much longer do you have to wait?
Can’t trust them
You have lost all trust and question everything they say or do. Even in times of sobriety and recovery it can still be so hard. You don’t trust them to make good decisions, to be honest with you, to manage money, to keep a job, to tell you when they are feeling down. This lack of trust only fuels your need for control.
Don’t want to lose them
Losing them can look different for everyone. It doesn’t always mean death. It’s hard to admit death is even a possibility, even a word that would come out of your mouth. Other losses can be cutting ties, not having any more communication or contact. Losing them can mean having them sit right next to you but feel like they are a million miles away.
Unsure how to keep my sanity
You literally feel like you are going crazy. All your efforts to control this cunning and baffling disease leaves you feeling confused and exhausted. You don’t know what is real anymore, what is the truth. You don’t know how to stop yourself from unraveling