I did not sign up for this, this craziness surrounding me. This addiction of his, which has somehow become mine too in a way.
I could not tell you when it actually began, Maybe before I knew him. I think it began right around the same time or shortly after. That was years ago, so talk about a way of living your life. Time just slips by and the next thing you know it is 35 years later and you are past your prime.
You have hoped for so long that he will change. That it will change. That there is a cure out there for that which you know there really is none. You have prayed, cried, cussed, screamed, thrown things and put your arm through a window in frustration. You have tried reasoning. Others have tried.
You have done an intervention and supported him through recovery. You have learned that there is no cure for addiction. You have learned that when an addict’s mouth is moving, he is lying. You have learned and accepted that it is out of your hands. You have learned to let him fall. You have had to harden your heart.
There is admission. There is recovery. There is relapse. There are lies. There is theft. There is hurt. There is extreme grief and more and more and more. There is something close to madness at times. There is deep regret for the years you wasted, the time it took you away from your son, the damage done.
You give up, but not really. You stop caring, but of course you still do. You wish you did not care. You wish he were a totally rotten person, it would be easier to turn your back, to begin a new life, to just walk away.
I found myself wishing I could turn back the clock. We were barely out of our teens and he told me, “I have to tell you something. I like to smoke a little marijuana now and then”. Knowing what I know now, I wish I would have walked away. I did not.
I was shocked, had only heard bad things about pot. I was scared, but eventually learned to inhale it. I learned to like it sometimes, in the evening when you did not have to go anywhere, when kids were put to bed. It was never as important in my life as his.
Later on it was crank, meth whatever you want to call it. I did that with him also, recreationally for about 7 years off and on. I grew to hate it, to hate the way you felt coming off of it. I hated the paranoia, the way it made you jerk when you tried to relax and sleep, the way your internal organs ached. I told him, don’t even offer it to me anymore, I don’t want it. He would offer, and I would usually accept.
I begged God, over and over to take this demon drug from me. Eventually, I stopped and have been happy that I did ever since. I never craved it, it was easy for me. But if you have the addictive gene, it is not the same. I know that now.
There is much rejoicing by loved ones of the addict when he decides to finally, finally, get help and go to treatement or rehab. I hate the word rehab. I hate to hear people say, “when I was in rehab……..” I don’t know why. Maybe if it was the last time, or the one and only time that person had been there, maybe it would not bother me? Maybe it is the people who seem to toss that phrase out there so lightly, like it is nothing….. To me it sounds as bad as “come on honey, we need to hurry, Daddy needs to get to his P.O.”. This shit is not light stuff, like “how’s the weather” kind of stuff.
This shit should be taken seriously, as it is a life or death matter and not just for the addict. It is also the difference from feeling alive or dead to emotions, for those connected to that addict. It makes all the difference in the world to the addict’s children. You can never get or give back what you have missed with your children.
It seems like the addict is almost “rewarded” for trying to get clean. I mean they go to rehab and everyone is so relieved and full of newfound hope, that they bring him gifts, cards, candy, cigarettes, new clothes, books, anything to keep his mind off of the drug. Usually the people that are doing the giving and supporting of the addict, are the ones that he has hurt over and over. Is there something wrong with this picture? The addict steals your gold hoop earrings that your father gave you when you were 12 years old, pawns them to buy dope and you go and buy him gifts. Who the hell is the smart one and who is the dumb one, I ask you?
The smart one really is not the addict, at least not in the long run. Unless he makes the choice to stop and do whatever it takes to achieve that goal. Then he will be the smart one. The smart one is is not really the addict’s spouse either, as far as the spouse chooses to stay for more pain. Unless, the spouse stops enabling the addict, to let the addict fall, so that he might get help. If that is the case, then the spouse also becomes the smart one.
CHOICES, comes into play big time. No matter, what. No matter that the addict didn’t have a choice in inheriting the disease. No matter that the spouse didn’t have a choice if they unknowingly married an addict. Even after all of that, after all of the hurt and pain and the progression of the disease, there still is CHOICE. Not choice to become an ex-addict. There is no cure. But choice to recover, everyday that choice is there, just depends on how bad you want it.
No I am not an addict, but I as a spouse, still have CHOICE. My choice is to not support that spouse in his addiction anymore. Recovery is totally his option and I will fully support him in his recovery efforts, but that is where I draw my line. No more. I hope and pray that he makes the right choice for himself. I know that I have…………