Slow Suicide with Addiction: Walk Away or Stay?
Some might hear the harsh talk all too much labeling people in or even out of recovery as addicts, dope heads, junkies, tweakers. There is so much negative stigma and even harder to swallow if it is someone you love.
It is sort of like a catch 22 keeping you stuck in a spiral machine of hell because being around someone who has a drug problem can literally drain your life even though you are not the one with the addiction. Being addicted to drugs can seem like they have a sense of control over what they are doing and even though they know it may not be the best things for them, they do it anyway. It makes them feel good. It slows down their brain and as time goes on, creates a forgetfulness of why they started in the first place. It is when that forgetfulness of reality kicks in that they start to ignore the people around them and their responsibilities.
It may have begun as an experimental occurrence, just plain partying to have some fun, or even out of a hospital prescription, but for some, they have more addictive personalities that keep them in a place where they lose control. The partying gets so much more intense, maybe it was alcohol, then weed, and before they know it, they are snorting cocaine and shooting up.
For some people, this type of behavior can be controlled and cut off pretty easily and never get to the point of shooting needles or that deep physical pull.
Some people can regulate their partying self, never have it interfere with their responsibilities, and have awareness when they are going too far; however, for many, they end up in a position of not being able to feel good without it.
It is their previous trauma or mental state that has subconsciously anchored them down to a point of a perception of no return. It is their feeling of emptiness, lost identity, or unknown sense of purpose in life that can keep them in this spiral cycle of hell and it then becomes a physical disability intensified by a mental state of perception.
Uppers to wake up, downers to go to bed. A substance to feel good, a substance to take the pain away. Deep emotional feel becomes the beck and call to physical addiction. Even though they know what they are doing is not right and know they are hurting themselves and others, they become unable to feel the emotions, somewhat like sociopath type characteristics. How did life get to be too much to handle or too boring? A false sense of reality that their new place is a safe space, but turns out to be a ditch they cannot get out of or maybe....they don't want to get out of. They now need drugs to feel.
Unless you understand or been through events like these, how can you really connect and understand to help? For someone who has moved themselves to needles and physical addiction, it is so easy for them to separate themselves and nothing you say or do can help them. The person who you once knew before is no longer themselves. Their mind is not the same, their actions are not the same, and it's not like you can just force them to choose life. For the moment, they are choosing slow suicide.
The level of drugs is so great the risk of them dying rises drastically. It is difficult to watch someone you care about or love slowly kill themselves. When someone has children, he or she risks the chance of his or her children having a hard life the longer the addiction goes on. When a child loses their parent to addiction, even if they are not old enough, it will, in fact, haunt them for the rest of their entire lives. Even as time goes on, learning to cope will suppress the feeling of pain, but it will still be there and it can still bring tears no matter how old they are.
So how do you make the decision to walk away or stay? Do you have a responsibility to protect yourself or your family from further harm that can be created out of someone who has gone so deep into addiction?
Well, it depends……Where are they in their addiction? How much responsibility do you have at the moment, how many resources do you have, and how can you help without enabling. How do you know when to walk away or stay? Below I have listed some thoughts and these thoughts are in no way to be factual to make decisions as everyone’s situation is different, but these thoughts are to help you brainstorm to add perspective in your situation for your decision-making process.
Where are they on the scale. Are they smoking weed or shooting up needles?
Do they seem to have abnormal behavior, anger issues, or depression?
The more intense these two areas, the more they need professional help and the longer they stay away from professional help, the worse the situation can become.
Do you have children to care for?
How much time can you allocate and still manage your own life productivity?
Helping someone in addiction is time consuming physically and mentally. The more time you allocate away from your own responsibilities could have a negative impact on your own life. There has to be balance.
Does the person have insurance or money to spend on treatment?
If not, do you have money to spend on treatment?
Depending on your financial status, it will have a big factor in how much you are able to help.
Are they causing you harm physically or emotionally?
Are they stealing from you or manipulating you out of money?
The more intense this section, the more you may need to walk away.
When a loved one goes through something like this, there is no one recipe for a positive outcome or a way to predict success. Also, there is no guartentee they want to get help even if you offer. Just know, this part of their life could go away quickly and never return or it could go on for decades even leading to death. This is never an easy decision and should be well thought through. What I can absolutely tell you, is the higher these areas are in intensity, the more they need professional help by a licensed professional. Hope for the best.