What if it never gets better? I bet that is a question every parent of an addict has ask themselves, probably more than once.
I admit I no longer struggle day to day. Most of my time in dealing with addiction issues involves reflection. Playing Monday morning quarterback is my best position in sports so I have adapted it to life.
What if it never gets any better is that question of frustration. It's usually followed by a statement like, "I've done everything I know to do."
Lately I have been thinking about this question and it is still troubling. For a fixer like me what does that really mean, I failed? I'm not one to accept defeat. There is a fix, I just haven't gotten the right formula. That was always my answer. I always seemed to disregard the real answer because I never really accepted the premise of the question. My failure to accept reality that some never do get better caused me much heartache and much grief for my son.
The last few parents I have spoke with I have ask this difficult question. It's a hard question for me to ask because I know by the time someone would write me, a stranger, an e-mail based solely on this blog there is a desperation and hopelessness that I do personally understand very well. They aren't writing or calling to find someone to tell them give up, they are looking for an answer and sometimes just someone to talk too.
Not until the last six months of Alex's active using did I learn what I needed to know and understand the first six weeks. Understanding and dealing with addiction isn't about the addict.
Understanding and dealing with addiction is about dealing with a disease and yourself.
Granted I can't ask this question to someone that has been dealing with this six weeks but it is something we all need to answer. Put aside the anger, the fixer, the disappointment, the guilt, put aside the past. Don't try to analyze and understand ideas like powerless and acceptance. Make it simple, go off by yourself or with a close loved one.
What if it never gets better?
What type of relationship do I want to have with my son/daughter/brother/sister/mother/ father/friend or whoever your addicted loved one happens to be?
When you get to that answer it is easier to begin working on making your own life better despite the heartache you feel for your loved one.
Sometimes it is OK to have a one sided relationship. Life is give and take. Sometimes the scales do not balance no matter how hard you try. (thanks dad, you still speak to me even after 32 years gone.)