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You Can't Fix Someone Who Won't Fix Themselves

The Truth About Addicts and Those that Refuse to Change

By Kathy LesterPublished 7 years ago 3 min read

Over the years, I have seen this through the eyes of a little child and onward as an adult. I have watched individuals abuse alcohol, narcotics, and other types of drugs on an ongoing basis for weeks, months, and even years on end. It never stopped nor ended and the pattern of the individual(s) never changed. I always wondered was it the substance or substances that held them back from moving forward or was it them? Did they have an enabler behind them cheering them on or condoning what they were doing by providing them money for the substance or providing the substance themselves?

As the years passed, some never stopped abusing substances until it took their lives, some got depressed and committed suicide, and some continue on today with the pattern of going in and out of jail over a period of time, getting clean in jail but going right back out into the streets and doing the same thing over and over again.

I have come to the point and have realized that no matter how hard you try, you cannot fix someone who will not fix themselves. You can't change someone who is refusing to change and wants to remain the same. You might think you are the one that can change them, but you can’t no matter who you are or how you relate to them. They have to make the decision and have the desire to change and stay changed.

There was a loved one I was really close to in my life when I was very little and for a very short time, I was the apple of his eye. I wasn’t aware of it, but he was in a lot of physical pain and the only thing that would help him ease that pain was drinking alcohol. There weren't any medications or anything that the doctors could give him to help him through, and I think it had something to do with his liver. I’m not sure because I was only four years old at the time back in the late 1970s. It got to the point where his wife refused to have him continue to drink and took the bottle along with his money away. He would beg in tears and plead for just one more drop but I believe his wife was so concerned for his failing health, she thought that ‘drop’ would kill him.

Well, it didn’t. On a warm summer day, his wife left to go attend a little girl’s birthday party and he told her he wasn’t feeling well that day so he decided to stay home. He went outside, stood behind his truck in the side yard, put a gun to his head and killed himself.

When his wife got home, she walked into the farmhouse and couldn’t find her husband. She panicked with her heart in her throat and called her son-in-law from the rotary phone. She told him that she could not find him and feared the worst and asked him to quickly come over to investigate. Sure enough, her son-in-law found the body behind the truck. He was dead.

The news had spread throughout the family and funeral preparations were being prepared. I was not allowed to attend it and being so little, I didn’t even know what was going on. I had asked numerous times where he went and asked if he was coming back. The response was ‘he went away and he’s not ever coming back.’

I felt sick to my stomach. What could I have done as a little girl that made him want to go away? Was I not good enough? Was I bad and did something wrong? Did he not love me anymore? Why would he leave?

This haunted me for many years until I found out the answers as an adult.

This man I loved with all of my heart was my grandfather.


About the Creator

Kathy Lester

I'm a published author with two major publishers, a graphic designer, co-founder of Madcap Toys, a mom to three adult sons and a Nana to five grandchildren. If you like what you are reading, send me a gift or tip.

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    Kathy LesterWritten by Kathy Lester

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