A mother knows pain like no one else could ever know it. She sees your every pain. It starts with skinned knees, graduates to broken hearts, and sometimes it goes to a level that is unbearable for the parent as well as the child. It hurts more than anything else in this world to see your child continually go through something that you have no control over. It might happen when they are a teenager and carry on through adulthood. The pain is called drug addiction and it spreads like cancer throughout the family and friends of the addict. It is not one person experiencing the pain of addiction, EVER!
We have all heard the spiel about how it affects families, takes lives, leaves children without parents and leaves grandparents to raise grandchildren. It leads to lying, then theft, then to overdoses, then to emotional blackmail. It is a roller coaster ride except much scarier, at least for the parent it is. There is no way around that.
It leads to family members being mad at other family members for helping. The helpers, commonly referred to as enablers, are berated because they think they are doing the only thing they can do. It leads to jail time, court hearings, felony charges, closed doors, and losing the trust that you have built up with the people who care about you most. And as I know, although it was under different circumstances that have nothing to do with substance abuse, it is hard or impossible to gain back that trust. Plain and simple, people get tired of fighting against a drug addiction. They get tired of that person trying to make them feel guilty. As if the parent, brother or sister is the cause of the addiction, it is simply not true. Your bad childhood, spankings, bad grades, and being grounded are rooted in one place. Your own actions cause those things to happen. The same holds true with your addiction.
It is hard to hold on to hope for a person who is addicted when they constantly let you down, hurt you to the core, put you and others in danger. It is hard because you are most often the victim of the addicts mind. Maybe it isn’t possible to help an addict get and stay clean. Actually, I know it is. It’s hard to deal with the constant ups and downs. It gets tiring calling the ambulance, administering CPR, feeling the cold body about to take its last breath if something isn’t done immediately. It’s hard to feel the pain of knowing the moment the addict walks out the door, it may be the last time you see them.
Then there’s the trying. Trying to get clean, trying to stay clean, trying to gain back trust, trying to convince everyone else that everything is fine when they know for damn sure everything is not fine. Eventually those who have had to deal with the fallout that addiction certainly brings have learned all the tricks, all the lies, all the attempts to cover up the fact that the addict is using.
People who have dealt with being on the outside looking in know when the addict is using long, long before the addict will admit that the problem currently exists. Loss of jobs, lack of sleep, sickness that occurs some 24 hours after using with no way of getting more except to find a way to pay for it. The sallow skin appearance, the loss of appetite and weight, the inability to stay coherent, the nodding out, the avoidance of people, and worse of all is the treacherous, nasty person that an addicts becomes when confronted with the problem.
So, families and friends are told it’s a disease. I can deal with that “reason”. Fine, if it is like cancer, diabetes, or heart problems, there is often a cure or a treatment for that disease. People who have those diseases would and do get the treatment they need to cure or at the very least slow the disease down as much as possible. To not do so is not only ridiculous and unacceptable under any circumstances. If you have one of those diseases and the treatment isn’t successful the first time, the patient most likely attempts again and again as long as there is a chance. The same with addiction and there is ALWAYS a chance to get clean and stay clean from the disease, but only for those willing to seek that treatment, only for those who are still alive, and only for people who care enough about themselves or their family to want to stop it. Maybe you won’t win the fight against the disease. Maybe the disease will get the better of you and take you under like a strong current in the sea that constantly pulls you down. It is unrelenting; therefore, you have to be unrelenting. When you give up fighting the disease, you eventually become a statistic with your first name and last initial on some corkboard in a rehab center.
The first step is to take responsibility for your actions and get rid of the idea that it’s everyone else’s fault that you lost everything you had and loved prior to the addiction. Understand that it is your unwillingness to get the help you need that keeps you from your loved ones and can end in homelessness, further searching for a way to get the drug because you get so sick when detoxing that you will do anything and everything to stop getting sick. Well, anything short of seeking the treatment that you need.
You have the chance to stop your pain and the heart pain parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, children, friends are subjected to. You have the opportunity to stop the tenderness and caring of others and changing it to a callous and uncaring society that simply cannot handle dealing with it anymore.
How could you blame a mother for protecting her small children from your actions by keeping clear of you? It’s not their fault and it’s dangerous for them to be in such a situation. It is insanity and trust me; a mental problem is no easier than a drug addiction. Yes, you can compare bipolar to substance abuse because the ups and downs are quite the same. The terrible decision-making is the same. The heartache to yourself and others is just the same. Don’t fool yourself into believing that drug addiction can’t lead to a mental incompetent state of mind that stays with you forever. Snapping out of it isn’t going to happen. Getting the necessary treatment to go from drug dependency to completely turning your back on the drugs. Stop trying to be a statistic and start living your life. That’s the answer and I hope that you learn that lesson early enough that you do get the opportunity to live that life to the fullest extent possible.
A Broken Hearted, Disillusioned Mother