Whether it is smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol often in large quantities or using hard drugs addiction affects everyone negatively. Over time I am sure someone met at least one person with some kind of an addiction. As for myself, I have met and known quite a few. Throughout this article I will be discussing how addiction has a negative affect on the addict and the people who witness their addiction. If this is a triggering topic for you I would recommend clicking off of this page now.
I have met many addicts in my life and over the years I have witnessed and experienced some heartbreaking things and have dealt with hurt. For instance, growing up I had an alcoholic father. I will not get into much detail about it but, he loved to drink whiskey. Once he started to drink, he would not stop. After he had one to many he became very belligerent and his behavior affected everyone around him. I saw him destroy relationships with family or friends he had known for years! With that being said, his behavior did affect myself and my siblings negatively but, my mother did help us through the pain. Wounds never do seem to entirely heal, especially after they are cut open again time after time.
As I grew older I witnessed one of my relatives suffer with heroin addiction. This addiction completely overtook them and thankfully they realized they needed help, received it and are having a great recovery. Before they received the help it was very hard to watch them struggle with their addiction. I recall one time we were at a family gathering and I tried having a conversation with them but, all they did was just sit there. It is something hard to imagine but, it was as if their body was there and their soul was not. It was just like the line from the popular Pink Floyd song 'Comfortably Numb', "Your lips move but, I can't hear what you're saying". Otherwise, they were just sitting on the couch nodding off. I never truly understood what that Pink Floyd song was trying to say until I saw them on that couch.
As I mentioned, I have known quite a few addicts throughout my life. I once was in a romantic relationship with a man who completely changed my life. I think he was actually the first man I ever truly loved. When him and I first met, we were deeply in love. We had amazing times and we both cared for each other very much. He was funny, adventurous, spontaneous, loving, down to earth and always had a smile on his face. Any room he walked into he lit it up with positive energy and always had the ability to make someone laugh and feel better.
Sadly, this sweet man got involved with the wrong crowd. He started abusing hard drugs and one of them was heroin. It was difficult to notice at first and the signs were there but, I didn't want to believe what was happening. I asked myself, "Why would something so terrible happen to me all over again?" I already witnessed a relative go through the same problem and thankfully at the end they overcame their addiction. I saw what was happening but, I just didn't want to believe it was true. My brain knew but, my heart kept denying it. By the time reality hit me of how serious of a problem he had, it was to late. The addiction had overtook him completely and getting his next fix became his number one priority above everything else. Heroin caused him to lose his life.
The week before this tragedy had happened no one knew where he was because, no one had spoken to him. A couple days went by and it started to become very serious. Everyone was worried and concerned because, no one had any idea where he was or why no one had been in contact with him. After about a week had passed I received a phone call from his Mother and she told me the authorities called her to come identify the body and it was sadly him. She told me he was just lying by the woods and that is where he overdosed. When I heard her tell me that it was as if someone just took my heart out of my chest and now there was an empty hole I couldn't fill. Tears began to run down my cheeks! I didn't want to believe it was true and I felt crushed to hear this news. I also cannot imagine how his Mother felt. Losing a child would be difficult enough but, the circumstances of how she lost him make it even worse.
As days began to pass reality hit me more and more. I knew the devastating news was true but, I continued to ask myself why this would happen. I became angry at whoever was supplying him the drugs and I myself even felt guilt. I felt guilty because at one point I was giving him money to get drugs. My brain saw what was happening but, I continued to listen to my heart and not believe it. After something like this happens you tend to wonder if there was something that you could have done but the truth is, whether you gave them money or not they would get the drugs if they wanted to. Once addiction overtakes a person it changes them and turns them into someone else. When and how they can get the drug again becomes all they think about.
As days turned into months and more time passed I felt less guilty about what happened because there truly isn't something I could have done. If he wanted to stop he would have gotten help. If someone doesn't want to do something you can't make them. It doesn't matter if you drag them to a rehab clinic because, if they don't want help then they won't get help. For instance, if your significant other snores at night in bed next to you and it keeps you awake you can't just make them stop snoring. Some things are just out of our control.
I personally know how hard it is to watch a loved one struggle with addiction. It is even harder to lose someone to an addiction. I hope that if someone in your life struggles with an addiction they choose to get help. Just remember, if a person wants help they will get it. If the addiction eventually takes their life, just try to remember them for who they were before the addiction. Losing someone is very hard but, they will always be in your heart. No matter how he died or how much he changed I will always hold him near and dear to my heart. I choose to remember the man I fell in love with and always think fondly on the good times.