An addict is going to use no matter what. They have no willpower when it comes to whether or not they use that needle, smoking the crushed substance, or snorting the substance. None of it matters to them. All they ever care about is getting that next fix.
So for those of you out there that believe by having so much Narcan readily available, it’s going to enable our addicts, stop there. It will not increase the desire to use. If you believe that Narcan is an enabler and will keep them using, then you know nothing, nothing at all about addicts. Yes, it will enable them. It will allow them to remain alive. Yes, they will use again, but not for the same reason you believe. They are going to use because they feel they have to use. No one has shown them how to remain clean. Addicts don’t think about life or death. They don’t think period.
Those that have been to rehab, they will have learned tools to help manage their addictions. They too will not think about the consequences of using, not all the time. When they relapse, they relapse. They relapse for the sake of having forgotten why they stopped using in the first place. It has nothing to do with whether or not they will live or die. That thought never, or almost never crosses their mind.
Bottom Line – Addicts Don’t Care Whether They Live or Die
Rehabs should not be run by people who don’t understand addiction!
Ordinary people don’t get it. They don’t understand. They’ve never been there, at the bottom. Only addicts know how to help other users return from the bottom. They know what it’s like to fall, to get to the bottom and feel there is no return. Addicts know the fears of drug abusers. It’s not death.
That’s why it is so important to have rehabs run by responsible addicts. Only by those who have been in recovery for a given amount of time. They are the only ones who know the way to recovery.
Through experiences that they share, they teach strength and understanding. The things they’ve gone through, the stuff they’ve done, they’ve done it all. They know the tricks addicts have used to hide their problems with addiction. They know how users will try to play the system. Addicts are masters of deception. It takes one to know one.
A long term rehab becomes a community. The larger the population of recovered addicts, the stronger the support system to those in recovery. Being part of a community satisfies the need to belong to something. All users feel like outcasts. The stigma associated with addiction has made this more pronounced over the years.
Before New Hampshire closed the long-term rehab that my son had belonged to, he was happier than when he’d been using. He had support. There were people he could call when he needed to talk to someone who understood what he was going through. But, by closing that program sent an ominous message to the recovering addicts. The message said, “No one cares.”
If no one cares about a recovered addict, then who is going to care about the addict who needs to be in recovery? This message collapsed a fragile community. No wonder so many of our addicts have been dying from an overdose.
It takes years to build such a community and only minutes to collapse it.
The only way to cure addiction is to learn to make a stronger network of recovered addicts. Until then our addicts will continue to use and die.
Just when the chicks fly from the nest, there’s always that one that comes back home to roost. That one would be my son. He’s been living at home for the past three years. Maybe someday he’ll find a girl and make his own roost.
That’s right, I thought I was an empty nester several years ago, then the recession hit and he was in trouble. After spending a year in a residential rehab, he came home to live with us. He hadn’t lived with me since he was twelve. Those in-between years were spent living in his father’s house. I can’t say that had anything to do with his getting into trouble or needing to go to rehab. Nowadays, they would say, it happens, no matter what.
For those of you who have stumbled across my blog for the very first time, my name is Linda. I’ve been writing and blogging since 2008. I got my start at blogging on MySpace, that was back when MySpace was a space for everyone, not just music lovers.
When they changed the site, I had to go somewhere else. I think that was about the same time that WordPress started up. Though I didn’t quite know what I was doing when I first started out. The only thing I knew was that I needed to write and share my experiences with other parents of addicts.
There I said it. I’m a mother of an addict. That is the hardest thing a parent has to admit. From here on out, once the status is accepted, it gets easier to talk about to other people. I think when you learn that you’re not alone in the world, by being a parent of an addict, you get over the stigma. This is one of the most important steps in the recovery process. When our addict can’t embarrass us anymore, we can grow stronger by leaps and bounds.
If you don’t have an addict in your life, then you’re lucky. They don’t have to be family either. The person only needs to be within your daily life Circle to qualify as having them in your life. Once they are in your circle, the drama and chaos are there. Then you only need to arm yourself with a decision to either cut them out of your life or grow stronger. Which will it be?
I chose to grow stronger. I may have let go of some things in my life to allow him to stay. Things like behaviors and attitudes can make a world of difference. Only you can decide what you need to let go of to make the necessary adjustment. Like the need to have expensive things. Are you afraid of them selling your items? How about stealing cash? Do you still keep cash on hand?
Those were the first few things I let go of. I don’t keep them so I can’t lose them. I only have what I need and learned to accept that it is enough. I learned to make myself happy and not wait on other people to comfort me. By putting my well being first, I hadn’t been disappointed, especially when I lowered my expectations of others, and kept my expectations of self in check. We tend to be the hardest on ourselves. Learn to say – Good enough. If it isn’t, you can always go and try again to make improvements.
Every year I try to make improvements to myself. Once again, I’m working on my blogging skills. I hope you will follow me through the year as I plunge through 2016. We can talk about our addicts, or what it’s like to be a parent of an addict. If you’re a writer that writes Young Adult or New Adult, we can talk about topics that are relevant to the development of our youth. I don’t know it all, your input would be greatly appreciated. Sometimes I feel out of touch with today’s youth now that my daughter left home and has a daughter of her own.
Did you lose a loved one to addiction? I would love to hear your story. If you don’t want to keep a blog, you can send me your article to post and share with others. Sharing helps us heal.
I’m hoping to keep my posts flowing throughout the year. I do hit dead zones from time to time. I think we all do. It is high time that I publish another book too, which I will as soon as I finish refilling my well. My Orgarlan Saga is starting to bubble. It is only a matter of time before I have to spill the words across the white screen for the next and most likely last book of the series. I want to move toward stand-alone stories. Maybe continue a series with stand alone, I’m not sure. There will be another contemporary story too. It is only a matter of when.
I’m probably as shy as you are, so there is no need to worry about what you post. I’d be happy with a simple hello. Maybe we will get acquainted. It is such a good feeling knowing you’re not alone in a world filled with addiction.
How do you explain what it’s like to have a family member who is an addict? I tried this the other day without any luck. People are so blind to addiction, and they can’t see past the stigma that has been attached to it all these years. They say nothing to the people who are alcoholics. It’s the addict that gets the bad rap instead. I guess everyone has accepted alcohol socially as being an acceptable disease.
So how do you explain addiction to someone who knows nothing about it but thinks they know it all? Us mothers, who’ve been battling it in our children for any length of time knows what it’s like to live a life of broken promises and constant conflict. We know that our kids are decent people we just can’t find them in that body of theirs. It’s as though someone has snatched that little boy/girl away from us in the blink of an eye. Everything we once knew about them is gone. Their personality changed. That has to be someone else possessing my child’s body because that’s not the child I once knew.
When the addict dies, how do you explain their death to those who don’t understand addiction? You didn’t do anything different as far as raising your child than they did. Why are you suddenly the bad parent? You made your child do the school work, disciplined them when they needed it, you were there for all their bumps and bruises, and when they were sick. Why are they suddenly looking down at you and saying such things about you behind your back?
How do you tell people that addiction is not fair? It knows no boundaries. It takes the lives of the poor and the wealthy. Even the families who are close to their children. Those who have taken part in sports, or other activities, just to keep them busy and out of trouble have fallen victim to addiction. Smart kids and slow kids, it doesn’t matter, addiction can find them regardless.
How do you change the stigma of addiction when so many people are ignorant about the facts? Many mothers are embarrassed by the fact that their child is an addict. They can’t believe that it has happened to them. Why would they deserve this? But, addiction doesn’t care about how you feel. It happens. When you let go of being embarrassed by your addict, you learn the feeling of hope. It doesn’t come to all; it dangles like a tiny thread before you when you hear the stories of recovery of other addicts. Hope can grow stronger with understanding what it’s like for the addict, why they do the things they do, why they think the things they think.
How do you explain how to see life through an addict’s eyes? Your child is gone. Dead or alive, they are gone just the same. You either learn to see life through your dead child’s eyes as a memory to keep their spirit alive, or you learn to see life through your living addict eyes. But remember that little child is no longer the one you see. They are gone forever. Alive or Dead – living with an addict is a complicated thing to explain. Until you’ve been there, you’ll never understand what it’s like to love an addict.
“Everybody has a secret world inside of them. I mean everybody. All of the people in the whole world, I mean everybody — no matter how dull and boring they are on the outside. Inside them they’ve all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds… Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands, maybe.”
― Neil Gaiman,
I have met so many people who can’t fathom how a person could spend so much time writing a book. Others believe it is a natural thing to do until they give it a try. Most likely, they forgot how hard it was to write that essay or short story back in elementary school. Back then, it was a feat to be able to write a 150-word short story for the Halloween contest.
Neil Gaiman is right. I do believe everyone does have at least one story to tell in their lifetime. It doesn’t matter whether it is a fictional story or a memoir. It’s still a story. Some of those real stories are the best ones to tell. Take for instance a drug addict. They each have a story not only to tell but needs to share. This is one of the ways they work toward their recovery. They build a bridge to the next person who needs help by sharing how they know what it’s like to be in such a predicament.
Their stories bring hope. That hope gives others another chance at life. Just the thought of knowing that they are not alone in such a big world that has been filled with craziness that they’ve experienced helps. Not only does these stories help the addicts, but they can also help bring hope and recovery to the families and friends of the addicts. They learn that their loved ones are still human, after all the ugliness they’ve gone through.
So don’t ever let someone tell you that you don’t have a story to tell. Your life is a story and no one can tell it as you can.
Help save a life, reach out and make that bridge by telling your life story. It has more meaning than you could imagine.
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Winter is coming! Oh, wait, it’s already here.
It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years has come and gone. I hope your holiday was filled with cheer and good nature. Sometimes this can be an impossible task during the holidays when things happen. Things that are on the other side of the spectrum. I’m talking about the loss of a loved one.
It’s such a sad thing to lose a loved one and even sadder still when it happens around the holidays. A feeling of hopelessness comes over them instead.
I know of a couple of ladies who have lost a loved one during the holiday season. Theirs is a tragic story of addiction taking its toll once again. Both ladies were high school classmates and each lost a child during the holidays, each a year apart from the other.
Addicts are nothing more than a ticking time bomb that can trip at any given time for any reason what so ever. It isn’t a matter of self-control. That was lost a long time ago. All it takes is just a second to lose all that was gained in recovery. Someone could offer a free sample or just place the substance in front of them, even though they’ve been clean for over 30 years.
Imagine how hard it is for someone recent to recovery. Their bodies had built up a tolerance to their chosen substance over time. They knew what they could tolerate and forget how long it took to get that way. 30 days or 90 days have passed and they use again. Fallen as angels, and so sad, they never stood a chance.
As parents, they will ponder on whether there was something more they could have done. When in actuality there was not one thing they could have done to save their child. Now they must be careful their child doesn’t pull them over the edge of the cliff with them.
I know all this, because I’m the mother of an addict. I’ve come to accept that the inevitable may happen someday to my own son. I have no choice but to remind myself that he lives on borrowed time.
These ladies that I know, are my stepping stones. I watch them from a distance and see how they fare in surviving after losing their addict child. They have shown strength during a time of festivities.
Yes, I’m filled with fear of what is to come. I learned a long time ago how to find my comfort zone. I’m not sure how secure the zone is for me, but it does exist. It’s only a faint memory of how I was, and what I felt before my son ever existed, before he was even a thought or the planted seed in the womb.
I would have to go back to that time and remember how I was happy before he existed, happy when he existed, and hopefully to find comfort when he is gone.
For now he survives, a thin line is what he walks, that can break at any given moment, and I accept him as he is, was and will be.