In a basement somewhere, a man eats dinner alone after another hard day of work. This is his life now. He has virtually no friends. He does what he needs to do – what he needs to do to ensure he can pay his bills and have enough money to feed his addiction.
This has been his life for two years.
He did the sobriety thing for a while, and life improved. But this latest relapse has been bad. Not because he’s lost everything – that actually hasn’t happened – but because he’s become adept at having just enough to teeter on the edge.
The only thing worse than teetering on the edge is actually going over the edge.
His family is out of his life. Not by choice. They’ve just grown apart.
This is what addiction does – duh.
Perpetual edge-teetering and hoping that your life doesn’t fall apart. But, at the same time, you sort of hope that it does fall apart. At least, then, you’ll actually make some changes.
He sees the person who sells him his poison every day. Not by choice.
No one likes seeing the drug dealer, who they deeply resent, every single day of their life.
He sees the damn dealer every day because every time he picks up it’s the last time he’s doing it.
“One last time”
The rotten words that become the rallying cry for all too many addicts. One last time!
But it’s almost never the last time. Telling ourselves that it’s the last time is a form of self-appeasement.
We don’t feel good about spending all our money on drugs and alcohol. It hurts to work a full day of work and spend half of your income on something that you know you’re addicted to.
You feel like you’re stuck on a hamster wheel. Rinse and repeat – running on that damned wheel every single day.
No one chooses this.
Eventually, after weeks, months, years or decades, eventually something has to give. It might be an accident, layoff, death or some other form of traumatic experience.
It might be a chance encounter. Perhaps you’ll even get caught – hopefully not by the police though.
Even the addict who has completely given up on everything knows, deep down, that there is a better life.
The further in the rearview mirror a better life gets, the more foreign it seems.
You start wondering things – weird things.
“Am I worth it?”
“Is it possible for a guy like me to change?”
“Does anyone even care?”
“Should I give up?”
To a sober mind, the answers to these questions are self-evident. The problem is that for the individual who is deep in despair, the answers are less clear.
Too often, external society, who perhaps doesn’t understand addiction, assumes that the person who is down and out is suffering from some sort of moral issue. The concept of addiction as a disease has only recently been acknowledged society-wide.
Stigma largely originates from the idea that the addict has some sort of character flaw. We are starting to recognize that no one chooses a life of addiction.
How To Get Out?
The bottom line is that once you’re in long term addiction, you’re going to need assistance getting out.
So how do you make that happen?
If you’re the addict, it’s time to summon your courage and tell someone exactly what’s going on. Once you get honest, you’ll be amazed what happens.
If you’re a friend of the addict, it’s time to summon your courage and tell them exactly what you see. Being non-judgemental is absolutely vital.
Everyone must remember that an addict always feels judged.
That’s why they’re the Anonymous Addict.
When you’re worried about being judged, it seems easier to just suffer in silence.
Together We Can has a program that meets the needs of people from every demographic. Seriously.
Reach out today and find out what would work best for you or the person you care about.
TWC provides the path to a Recovery Life. A real life that we guarantee is worth living.