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!