I can’t adequately explain this battle. Watching a loved one attach the shackles and lock the key to their prison cell. Frantic to escape, yet comfortable in their addiction zone. They believe they are paralyzed in this place forever. However, the entire time they hold the key to a lock that is latched from the inside.
We scream, “Unlock it and walk away! Leave that life, choose you, choose hope, choose to end abusing yourself.“
But they don’t hear. Our loved ones are deaf and blind to the idea of stopping their substance use. Crack, cocaine, meth, heroine, fentanyl, and the one that near took my loved one’s life a week ago, alcohol. They cannot stop, that is what addiction does. It throws you down so hard that leaving it behind seems impossible. The evil of addiction is the loss of ones mind. You give up your will and power to an internal weakness you never see coming. It hits with the speed of a freight train once it entices and embeds itself.
I fought for so long and so hard to make her see her light. The inner beauty that a mother witnesses from day one. A gentle spirit is replaced with a hardened heart, vulgarities, obscenities, hate, threats, and immoral behavior. They toss those painful words out to those who love them most, but never comprehend they are speaking to themselves. The disgust, guilt, and shame piled high, as evil intends. One day, they are buried in the waste of their addict mind, and while they could dig their way out, they see prison bars that aren’t there. They see an illusion of what addiction has convinced them to believe.
My words no longer matter. My heart never mattered in active addiction. I knew that long ago. You cannot love others when evil requires you to not love yourself. If you loved you, this fight would be over; you’d beat the life out of addiction and run mad to freedom.
I have watched so many put effort into a fight they don’t own. Out of love and concern, they show up with great intentions.
“I wish I could help.”
I know sweet child, I know.
Alas, we are powerless in this war. The other side has taken ground and we are currently defenseless and beaten down. Holidays have been wrecked, hearts broken, but still there is hope that one person can say one thing, and in one moment the tide would turn. The waves are battering us, and we have no choice but to back up to safer and higher ground.
You are not their life raft; you do not float.
From our vantage point, we see the horizon and the sunrise. We breathe in hope of a new day and second, third, or fourth opportunities of change. If only we could reach in and make our loved ones see.
Today, we surrender. We have not lost because this fight was never ours to bare. We came equipped and willing, but have no power or control of the one who holds the key. Their escape is tethered to a will power they do not know they possess. Our prayer, “Wake up, and see your light, your Creator, your strength, hope, ability, worth. Wake up, and look in your hand. The key is right there.”
And we wait. The silence hurts. The cycle continues.
With love, Lisa
3 Replies to “Their Addiction~My Journey, “You Don’t Float””
Hi Lisa, I am an addict in recovery named Danielle. My heart and my prayers go out to you and the one that still suffers.
I have had the gift of being clean for 11 years now and I have now witnessed the insanity from the other side. Wanting and trying to help addicts to stay clean.
Your writing shows amazing understanding that it’s not up to us – we surrender it to the correct place – a higher power. It’s nobody’s fault its all part of some journey back to god.
Honestly though Lisa, I think the families and loved ones suffer far more than the person in active addiction. I say this through my experience- I was numb when I was active – barely felt a thing. It was my son and mom who loved me so that got hurt the most.
I admire you for your hope and strength 💜❤️💜take care of YOU so you can shine and help the others be strong 💜
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I agree. We keep fighting to hold on to our sanity and belief in recovery. It’s not easy but hope remains. Thank you so much for your encouragement. It’s needed today!
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PS. Congratulations and thank you for sharing your recovery with me!!!
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