I don't know why I have always had this hole in the middle of me. I also got emails from people who love an alcoholic, saying: I don't understand. A sixty year old male cocaine addict feels the same on the inside as I do. We seek validation from the outside in when we're actively drinking/using. And as long as we don't ignite our disease by drinking or using, we heal. We find peace of mind and learn to face the hard stuff like fear. They have to admit that they are powerless against drugs/alcohol and that their life is unmanageable.But if you love an active alcoholic or addict, what do you do? This can be astonishingly hard for an addict to do. We take advantage of love and support, turning into evidence that we can't be that bad. We behave in ways the sober us would never, ever behave.Addiction is an insidious disease, and it destroys lives.It doesn't simply effect the life of the addict/alcoholic, it seeps into the lives of everyone who cares about them. People search madly for a reason why - why is this person destroying their life?We point madly about, blaming our job (or lack thereof), money (or lack thereof), heartbreak, grief, depression, anxiety. Very often the only thing that gets an alcoholic to get help is for them to have a moment of lucidity and realize that everyone is gone, and that they are the common denominator of their own misery.I heard a line on the show Intervention, and it has stuck with me.We can lose jobs, our license, the love of our family and friends, and we still refuse to see that it is alcohol that is at the root of it all. Because we think the thing that is actually destroying us is holding us together. All too often, the only way to help an alcoholic is to start shutting doors.
Why do they continue to drink/use when nothing but misery follows?
This isn't a post about the disease of addiction and the myriad of reasons someone continues on a path of self-destruction when all the evidence points to an obvious solution ... It boils down to the frustrating fact that an addict in the throes of their addiction can no more stop on their own than a diabetic can force their body to produce insulin, or a cancer patient can will rogue cells to stop multiplying.