March 31 - Fixing Others
This is about to get super real, super fast. I don't have time to be super witty or use a ton of rad pictures tonight, so here it is:
If someone you care about is struggling with addiction, there is absolutely nothing you can do to fix that person. There, I said it.
I get to say that with total conviction, because I was the person struggling. My parents tried to confront me, my friends told me I need to chill, and my girlfriend told me on several occasions that I needed help. I was given ultimatums, and things were taken from me. I was handed money, food, shelter, jobs, and love, and I still threw it away. It's not that I wasn't grateful, I just preferred to get drunk and do drugs. I preferred it over anything else. It made me feel ok in a way that no human being could.
Recovery begins at rock bottom. I thought rock bottom was getting fired from 3 jobs on the same day - it wasn't. I thought rock bottom was facing jail time - it wasn't. I thought rock bottom was when my girlfriend had to leave me - it wasn't. No...I still had way more to lose. I had to lose my dignity, my pride, and my self-worth. And I had to do that on my own. I'm very grateful that I lost everything (including my will to live). I'm convinced, that's why I was able to be receptive to help, and it's why I'm still sober today.
Now, I know exactly what rock bottom feels like. I know what it's like to be completely destitute, broken, and spiritually bankrupt. It brings me great pain to accept the reality that one must hit that level of nothingness in order to get better. Perception is a powerful thing - what we see as the end, rarely is. If you or your loved one can't seem to get it together, it's because there's more to lose. And I don't mean "stuff", I mean dignity and pride. Until that's gone, long-term recovery cannot happen.
My rule has become this: I cannot fix others. Only God can do that. All I can do is love them. And sometimes loving someone means letting them go.