Addiction: From The Users Loved Ones Eyes
An individual, who will be referred to as Joyce due to the request to stay anonymous, was able to tell us her relationship to alcohol. You see, it wasn’t what she was addicted to, but rather whom she saw that was an addict. Joyce ends with words of advice that you don’t want to miss!
Joyce is 67 with three kids and seven grandchildren. She believes that God doesn’t make mistakes when choosing a mother for a child. Yet, growing up she question that. “My mom was an addict. It started out with the drug valium and then the alcohol took over. When she drank, she told me that I was a bad person all the time. She said she was going to write a book to tell my story on how bad of a person I was. I know it was the alcohol talking but coming from my own mom, it made me feel worthless.”
The way Joyce described her mom when she was drunk involved several vivid memories that were well articulated. Her family would receive several calls a day from her mom when she was under the influence and leave horrible messages. These messages were verbal abusive statement and threats to her family; it became extremely unhealthy. “Technology was not like it was today. We didn’t have cell phones where we could block the calls, and we needed the answering machine,” explained Joyce. It got so bad that she called the police to see what they could do about the phone calls.
After over 30 years of the verbal abusive messages, she still has the messages today. “I have to keep them to prove to myself that she really did that. Or, it makes you feel crazy.”
“I took the stress out on my oldest child, so that’s why I feel I struggle with him today because I feel I made him a nervous wreck. The yelling was a way of me overreacting to my own family. I would try extra hard to make sure I would never be like my mother. I was an overprotective mom,” Joyce says with tears in her eyes.
Joyce gave us a mere glimpse of her reality of years seeing people who she loved go through this pain, and being affected by it as well. Her experience, pain, suffering, and hurt answered this question, “What do you want society to know about addiction?”
“Addiction needs to be recognized as an illness. Get rid of the shame and break the cycle – it most likely was a family illness to begin with. It’s not easy to get out of addiction, but it’s easy to slip back into it.
Go to God first, and then seek out the help in the area. You cannot do it on your own.
It scares me for these young people. We need to find a way to get help for our youth because once they are caught in the trap of abusing substances; it is hard to get them out as an adult. Instead of shutting the door, we need to find more ways to get them healthy again.
If you are reading this and you have a love one who is an addict, I want you to know that shame is there for the non-user as well because of the stigma attached to it, and I’m sorry you are going through this.
If you are an addict yourself, it is as serious to me as death. It leads to death. The end to addiction is death. You are slowly killing yourself.
Lastly, for those who are either watching, supporting, or are the addict, someday you will be the biggest advocates because you have been there.”