“Addicts who drag friends and family through attempts at sobriety time and again are nothing but a drain and the friends and family eventually wish the addict would just die.”
Someone wrote that in the Marriage and LTR forum on Craigslist. I’d just finished my third sip of coffee, and was looking for the garage sale section. I wasn’t awake. I felt like I’d been sucker punched.
I snorted hot coffee through my nose, sneezed, and reread the post. Anger and sympathy coursed through me like cold fire, and for the next two hours I tried, unsuccessfully, to communicate with the author of that post. I was terribly disappointed that I had failed to write one insightful sentence. I couldn’t do it – I had too much information, and not enough space to share it. I knew/know all about addiction, recovery, and what families go through when they have to witness someone self destruct, and their feelings of powerlessness to help. I’ve been to inpatient treatment for alcohol abuse five times in just under four years. I grew up with an alcoholic mother, and most members on both sides of my family fancy a cocktail or two.
And then between sniffles I had an epiphany. Just like that. The only things missing were several deafening cracks of flashing lightening and some rolling thunder as a fade out.
“I need to write a book.” I said in awe of my revelation.
“Who are you talking to?” My Messy T asked.
“No one. I‘m talking to myself again.”
I looked up to watch my son walk past me through the living room wearing his blue navy comforter over his head and clutching it under his chin. He looked like a 14 year old lanky Mother Superior with a brown wispy mustache.
“You’re going to write a book?” He asked, falling heavily on the couch.
“Yeah. I think I am.”
“Can I be in it?”
“I don’t know. Have you cleaned your room?
****I’ll say this – Addicts want to live. Sometimes we think we want to die, but I believe we really just want our addiction and suffering to die. For some of us it’s near unbearable living sober and/or drunk sometimes. Our realities are different from others, even when we’re sober. We’re wired differently and sometimes everything hurts, and the pressure is crushing. We need our loved ones to do two things – be courageous enough to learn about our problem, and continue to encourage us to find and apply our strengths.