Has addiction affected your life? I’m guessing that in some way, it has. Everywhere I turn, addiction is breaking hearts and homes. Talking about it more, offering more love and support, can only be a good thing. So, that’s what I’m doing today and that’s what I hope you’ll do with me. Together, let’s support addiction recovery.
Addiction is real.
In preparing for this post, I asked my Facebook friends who had been affected by addiction (practically, everyone?) to send me a paragraph about their experience. Here’s a handful of responses. All heartbreaking, all real. “I had alcoholic parents. Undoubtedly born with fetal alcohol syndrome. I have five siblings who are all addicted to drugs/alcohol. I have one son who is a drug/alcohol addicted person who cannot rise above it to be a contributing member of society. I have a husband who is addicted to pornography. My life is affected in every aspect…..I live in fear of the phone ringing in the middle of the night…..I have worried for the last 20 years that my son would become so overwhelmed that he would take his own life. I live in a loveless relationship that is both sad and strange!!! I never talk to anyone about it all, but sometimes my heart feels like it will most certainly break.”
“My soon to be ex- husband for over 9 years has had sexual thoughts about women at first he said it was celebrity ones but after a couple of years it became any attractive women he would see he would have sexual thoughts about them. Well as time went on he had a texting affair with fellow teacher and it so happened to be our child’s 1st grade teacher. Anyway long story short, after that he came to me about a year later and said he was having sexual thoughts again. It had gotten worse because he now was having thoughts about children, not just girls, and mine were some he had thoughts about. Anyway I’m going threw a divorce right now due to this horrible addiction. Porn is a horrible, horrible thing that breaks up families and ruins lives. I know because that’s what got my soon-to-be-ex hooked on these thoughts.”
“I was married to an alcoholic for 15 years. Forced to play a game that I had no chance of winning. It was like a dripping faucet, at first it’s ok, then you get annoyed, anger sets in and before you know it you’re drowning. Don’t know you can leave because all you know is the fight. Its amazing how addiction can shred someone apart. I remember who I was before the drinking and fight to become her again. I don’t like the memories, the tears come way too easy, it is a war between remembering and forgetting. Our story isn’t calm, it is chaotic, sometimes maddening. I don’t want my pain and struggle to make me a victim.”
“Addiction has greatly affected my life. My dad is addicted to alchohol and tobacco (snuff). I don’t remember a lot about my childhood concerning my dad except that he was ALWAYS drinking and had a spit cup. Living in the country- people don’t give ot a second thought. He’d drive us around town after having a couple beers, my mom too mousey of a woman to speak up. One time he got so drunk that he hit my mom. We spent a week at my grandma’s while they discussed divorce. My dad stayed alchohol free for a full year to get my mom to stay. He slowly hit the bottle again. Nothing hard- always beer. He went through colorectal cancer (now in remission) and had to be put on a permanent colostomy bag. They told my dad no beer- he kept drinking. He almost lost his remaining kidney-they told him an occasional beer was ok- he goes through a 6 pack a day. My mom had to sneak his snuff into the hospital because he was throwing such a tantrum. Addiction has caused me to lean so close to the edge of hating him that I am afraid I will soon fall over the precipice… the only reason I hang in there is for my mom and knowing she shouldn’t have to do this alone.”
“Addiction shaped my childhood. My mother was an alcoholic and a drug addict. From a very young age, I learned to care for my siblings, keep us fed, and depend on myself….at the age of 6. I remember the men. I remember being hungry. I recall the beatings. I knew where she kept her drugs. I remember being alone. But, for some reason, I was not afraid. Through her addictions and bad choices, the time she was sent to jail was the best time of my early years. We went to live with our grandparents. There, we were safe. That’s where we always ended up when my mother made bad decisions. And when she left for good, we went with our grandparents for good. I never really had the opportunity to ‘be a kid’….but I know for sure that I’m better for her poor choices. I have a great life, a great family, and children who will never know what it feels like to have their parents taken away by addiction.”
Addiction is real, but so is recovery.
September is National Recovery Month and starting on the 1st, a series of 12 raw and emotional videos will be released, exhibiting not only the struggles of addiction, but the triumphs… the triumphs of REAL PEOPLE over their addictions. I think I cried through every one. They’re truly remarkable and I hope you’ll share them, as a means to offer hope and inspiration. Find them all HERE, one a day, for the first 12 days of September. For social media sharing, please use hashtag #12stepstochange.
For more information visit addictionrecovery.lds.org