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Loving an addict

Posted by Helenjh on 3 February 2016.

If you have never found yourself in the unfortunate circumstances of loving an addict then I do not expect you to understand how I feel - some choose to judge yet have no experience of what we have been through but believe they could have done better 

For those starting their journey of watching a loved one with an addiction my heart breaks for I know the pain they will endure 

Loving an addict consumes you every day!
Watching the person whom you love physically deteriorate and emotionally detach themselves from everybody and everything exhausts you in ways you never imagined possible
If you watch the person you love and adore disappear in front of your own eyes for long enough - you start to dissolve too!

I wonder how normal people would feel if they woke up every day wondering if today was going to be the day their child would die.....they have no idea they don't understand how that feels and worse than that they have no idea how lucky they are to not know or understand! 
Loving an addict means I fear a late night knock on the door or the phone ringing every day!

Addiction is an illness - it is not caused by somebody else it does not discriminate it does not care if you come from a loving home or a broken one - addiction is caused by a lapse in judgement by the addict that alters the course of not only their life but everybody in their life 

If you're lucky they will recover if you're really lucky they'll recover and still be there for you as you have been there for them 

You learn to hate the demons but still love the addict - you learn to separate who they were with who they are - it's not the person who steals it's the addict, it's not the person who screams obscenities at their family it's the addict and it's not the person who lies it's the addict but  all too often the addiction wins and the person dies

The journey of watching your child become an addict is a terrible one from which my wounds are deep and open! The pain caused when facing decisions to try and get help, begging for help but nobody listening, then to rehab, incarceration and removing them from the family home is indescribable and unimaginable for anybody who has not been through it! 

I raised my children the same way loved them the same way and yet somewhere along the way he made the decision to go down this road - I can only support him when ever possible and encourage him to make better decisions - nobody loves my addict like I do but I do know now after years of trying that I cannot fix this nobody can except him

For me life will never be the same again a young boy he played games with his brother learnt to ride a bike without stabilisers loved dressing up as a cowboy and playing Cowboys and Indians with his brother .... When I see him now I mourn the loss of my beautiful boy - somewhere along the way I lost him - those that are lost sometimes find their way back but most don't! I do not grieve this loss for it will not help him nor me! An addict does not live in the past or the future they live in the here and now! 

Through all the years and all the pain and heartache I have learnt to accept these things - I fought hard to save him and I lost and nobody knows how crushing that is - to feel like you failed like you didn't protect them you couldn't protect them that there was nothing you could do to stop it - you were powerless

I have learnt to accept that I did everything I could but there was nothing I could do to change the path he chose and continues to choose! This has enabled me to focus on helping him when and where I can but also make sure I give the best to the rest of our family! 

I do not hate or resent my child for putting himself and all of us through this pain - I do hate the things he does I hate the lying the stealing and the using but I love him very much - I have just found a way to separate the two! 

My child is an addict it's an illness the worst kind that means I cannot hope for his future I can only hope for one day at a time that I don't get that dreaded phone call or knock on the door .... People who have never loved an addict usually fall into those who think you didn't try hard enough to save the 
Addict and those who don't know why your still trying not expect these people to understand only people who have experience of loving an addict would!!


8 Feb 2016

This could be me my son to is an addict &I I don't know how to deal with this no one understands thank u for your story I don't feel so alone

16 Feb 2016

Nobody who hasn't been through it can understand - some try most just don't get it. 

I still dont actually know anybody else with a child that is an addict and that makes you feel like you are alone going through this .... how long has he been an addict?  My son is once again trying to get clean but its a rollercoaster ..... right now he is in his 2nd week clean and dry again - he is such a sweet kind person when he is clean but when the addiction takes over i no longer recognise who he becomes :'(

20 Feb 2016

Addiction consumes the addict and everyone around them that cares and loves them. My son has been clean, then he relapses, then he's clean again...just before xmas he OD and ended up on life support..being led to the relatives room, is something I had envisaged would happen, surreal, and with every inch of me, I wanted to turn and run...he was lasting damage..I wanted to shout And scream at him, but knew it wouldn't make a jot of difference...this is his fight...I will champion him when he is trying to help himself, but I'm damned if I will watch him kill himself....his fight continues...I hope he and others make it

Icarus Trust
2 Mar 2016

I really feel for you and admire your strength that keeps you going. The Icarus Trust is a charity that supports family and friends of addicts - people like yourself. Please get in touch if you think talking to one of our experienced trained volunteers would be of any help to you.
You can contact us on or visit the website
Good luck and hoping for things to improve for you and your son.

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