Living with an addict that you love with all of your heart and soul can be a horrible experience. You want to help them and you pray every day that something will happen to make them leave their addiction behind. But when this is not to be, it can be horrifying. Watching an addict self-destruct can be one of the worst experiences a loved one can go through. The feelings and emotions a person goes through as they watch their family member or friend transform completely into the absolute opposite of what they used to be can be devastating.

It’s not that the addicted loved one doesn’t love you. It’s not that personal. Their need to get high is of greater importance to them than you are. They no longer have a conscience when it comes to hurting family or anyone else. All of a sudden this life of lies, manipulation, and abusiveness become the norm in your life as well as the addict’s life.

What You Feel While Watching an Addict Self-Destruct

When watching an addict self-destruct, you can feel a long range of emotions. One minute you are so angry with them you can’t stand it, then the next you just want to hug them and tell them everything is going to be alright. Loving and living with an addict can be a lonely place and a heartbreaking place. You feel you need to protect them from everyone else, yet you are angry at them for what they are doing to you. You dread seeing them not knowing what drama lies ahead but you need to see them so that you know they are okay.

You feel as if you are on a roller coaster ride with them and the end of the ride will not go well. They won’t stop the roller coaster and get off and you won’t get off of the roller coaster without them. It becomes a ride of crisis after crisis added to deception and pain. You know you should get off of the roller coaster with or without the addict, but you can’t bring yourself to do it. Have you turned into an enabler watching an addict self-destruct?

You tell yourself and your loved one that you cannot do this anymore. The lies, the theft (money and possessions stolen almost daily), and the tactics used to make you take sympathy on them as they continue to manipulate you have finally become too much. You feel as if you have been in battle fighting the good fight. However, you have been brought to your knees in heartbreak and yes, anger. You feel as if it is going to be you that dies from this drug addiction before the addict. You are physically, emotionally, and financially drained.

Love the Addict, Hate the Addiction

You may not like the addict right now but you will never stop loving them. You finally reach a point when you realize that no matter how hard you try, no matter how much you talk, no matter how much you encourage and “help” them (in your eyes anyway), you can’t be the one to fix them. If love alone could make them well, then maybe you could. But at this point, they have to want to get help for their own good and their own life.

Watching an addict self-destruct can be an agonizing experience and when it is someone you love with all of your heart, you will think that you can fix them. You will honestly tell yourself that you can get them through this. Then the day will come when you wake up and just know that you can’t. You will look around at all of the broken pieces of your relationship, you will feel the pain of heartbreak, and feel as if you cannot breathe. This is when you will finally admit defeat. You will feel that all of your words of encouragement and support have been in vain. You may feel foolish to have thought that you could help, and yes, you will probably feel guilty.

You Can’t Blame Yourself

Indeed, watching an addict self-destruct is a horrifying experience. However, you cannot blame yourself for the addiction. You can’t blame yourself for the fact that you can’t make everything okay again. Addiction changes our loved ones into people that we don’t know. If that roller coaster ride ends in a fatal overdose, you can’t blame yourself. Know that you tried to help and that you gave it all you could give.

If an addict doesn’t want to stop using drugs or alcohol, no one can force them. They can go to the finest rehabilitation facilities anywhere and if they are not ready to give up their lifestyle, they will go right back to it after rehab is complete. Try to catch the signs and symptoms of drug or alcohol abuse or addiction when they first start and convince your loved one to get professional help at that point before the addiction continues to grow.

Helping or Enabling?

There is a fine line between helping an addict and enabling an addict. What you feel is helping may look to others as enabling. You can’t stand the thoughts of your loved one being put out on the streets to survive on their own. You don’t want to imagine what may happen to them if you put them out. It’s a terrible position to be in and surely one that would take a strong person to actually do. However, when you know you can no longer go on as you have, the decision must be made.

Don’t feel guilty and don’t feel as if you are letting your loved one down. This may end up being the best help you can give them and yourself. There comes a time when you have to consider your own health and well-being. Don’t worry about what others may think. They have not walked in your shoes and experienced watching an addict self-destruct!

Treatment Centers for Alcohol or Drug Addiction

When and if your loved one wants to get help for their addiction, there are many treatment facilities where they can get a treatment program designed for their individual needs and preferences. They can learn ways to live a healthy, sober life of productivity again. They just have to want it for their self. For more information on different inpatient addiction treatment programs, call one of our informed representatives today. They can answer any questions you may have.