Talbot Goes Purple

Talbot Goes Purple

I know what it’s like to worry yourself sick because of a loved one with a drug addiction.

To cry yourself to sleep. To stare at baby pictures & reminisce. To check on them while they sleep to make sure they are still breathing. I know to watch out for pinhole pupils and subtle changes in behavior. To listen to them talk and make excuses and pile on lie after lie.

I know what it’s like to pretend to believe them because you are just too mentally exhausted for an argument when you know they are lying straight to your face.

I know what it’s like to be confused all of the time; to see their potential, to know what they are throwing away.

I know what it’s like to want their recovery more than they do. To be the one doing research on rehabs and other outlets for recovery.

I know what it’s like to miss someone who is still standing right in front of you.

I know what it’s like to wonder if each unexpected phone call is “the” phone call. I know what it’s like to be hurt so bad and be made so sick that part of you wishes you would just get “the” phone call if nothing is going to change. You want that finality. You need the cycle to end. And I know what it’s like to hate yourself for even allowing yourself to find relief in that horrible thought.

I know what it’s like to get the worst news of your life, and still walk into the grocery store and run your errands and smile at the cashier.

I know what it’s like to become a part-time detective. To snoop through drawers and texts. You know you are going to find something, and you look until you do just so you feel less crazy. So, you can say to yourself, “I am not paranoid. This is happening again.”

Everything the outside world expected of me seemed frivolous if I couldn’t keep one of the most important people in my life out of harm’s way.

I know what it’s like to be really angry at my addicted love one and the dealers that provide the drugs!! Between the sadness there is a lot of anger. I know what it’s like to feel guilty for being so mad, even knowing all you know about addiction. You are allowed to be angry! This is not the life you signed up for (for your loved one or yourself).

I know the difference between enabling and empowering. I know there is a fine line between the two and the difference can mean life or death. I know what it’s like to feel the weight of each day on your shoulders trying to balance the two.

I have been through enough to know that things don’t just change for the worse overnight; they can change in a millisecond. In a blink of an eye. As quick as it takes two people to make a $10 exchange.

I know what it’s like to feel stigmatized. To be the “mother of a drug addict.” I know what it feels like to be handled with kid gloves because no one outside of your toxic bubble knows what to say to help.

I don’t know what the future holds for anyone who loves an addict today. One thing I know for sure is I am not alone.

Unpredictable. Never knowing when we’ll be blamed or accused. Not being able to dependably plan social events or vacations. As he becomes more irresponsible, we pick up the slack and do more. Meanwhile, we rescue him from disasters, medical emergencies, accidents, or jail, make excuses for no-shows at work and family gatherings, and patch up damaged property, relationships, and self-inflicted mishaps. We worry, feel angry, afraid, and alone. We hide our private lives from friends, co-workers, and even family to cover up the problems created by our addict. Our shame isn’t warranted; nonetheless, we feel responsible for the actions of the addict. Our self-esteem deteriorates from the addict’s lies, verbal abuse, and blame. Our sense of safety and trust erodes as our isolation and despair grow.

My focus on addiction is considered a disease. It’s a compulsion that worsens over time. They use to ease their emotional pain and emptiness. Some try to control their usage and may be able to stop for a while, but once dependency takes hold, most find it impossible to stop. No matter what they say, they aren’t using because of you, nor because they’re immoral or lack willpower. They use because they have a disease and an addiction. They deny this reality and rationalize or blame their usage on anything or anyone else. Denial is the hallmark of addiction.

I know what it’s like...

Signed, Mom of an addict

If you have a personal story and are willing to share (anonymously is fine) please email talbotgoespur ple@gmail.com. To find out more about Talbot Goes Purple, go online to www.talbotgoespurple.org.

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