The Other Side of Addiction

 I wondered if I should have written this blog, I mean, I wanted to, but I was feeling some resistance. Maybe I am afraid of my feelings, fearful of my truth on this subject matter, or perhaps I am just angry.

“For the sake of this blog, I will be writing about Alcoholics as that is the area I have the most experience in.”

My Fathers addiction took away my sisters having a father and me, and we were just left with an addict. No daddy, No Father, No Papa !!!!

While I am a huge fan of anyone getting Sober/Clean, there is another side that not many people talk about or write books about.

In recent years, we have had groups that support family members and loved ones with Alcoholics. One group that is known to the community is AL anon. You can also find support groups online via Facebook and other online outlets.

I could not stand the support groups I was exposed to as they made me feel like more shit, and the pain, worry or stress I was feeling was not going away.

 I either felt sorry for these people, felt like crap because my situation wasn’t as “BAD” as theirs, and I was shouting at the computer screen, “LEAVE HIM. He’s a dead beat, and he’ll never change; you deserve so much better.”

Shouting at the screen was a short-lived scenario and one that told me to get the F*ck Off the internet FAST!.

What I was shouting was my pain, disappointment, and cry for help as I didn’t know how to deal with my anger as a child of an alcoholic and as a woman who kept attracting men who were addicts themselves.  

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN “They call it, Co-Dependency.”

The word CO-Dependancy comes up in self-help books often.

If you are familiar with the term, I am sure you must have come across the book called Co-dependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself by Melody Beattie.

I want to tell you the book is a lifesaver, that being co-dependant is a bad thing, and you should seek help right away.

I can never tell you that because we are not meant to do life alone.

We are all co-dependent on something in one form or the other.

 Not all but some of us like myself have a hard time dealing with being left behind, we have a hard time setting boundaries, and we want to feel F*cking safe in our world. Nothing is wrong with you for liking and needing those things.

Being on the other side of addiction makes me feel unsafe.

I am not sure if my father will die with this binge is what goes through my head. I wonder if he would fall down the stairs, what if he drinks all the money away, I wonder if he makes it home safe, I wonder if he’s trying to kill himself this way, I wonder why he’s so unhappy, I wonder why I can’t help his addiction, I wonder why he left rehab, why, why, why?.

These questions play out in my mind. Over and over again.

The eight year old girl who prays that he won’t drink so much is now a 39-year-old woman who prays he doesn’t drink too much this time, but my prays are feeling less effective.

YOUR ROLE DOESN’T CHANGE UNTIL YOU DO

With an addictive spouse, you become the F*cking FBI agent for spotting “The Bag” (the bag that the liquor store gives you when you purchase Alcohol, in Trinidad, it’s a F*cking Black Bag)

You have been promoted to detective, and the father you couldn’t fix, you are now unconsciously trying to improve your dam spouse.

You become fixed on solving the problem, and you now have a punching bag for all your childhood issues; you now tell your spouse everything you wish you said to your addictive father, you have no idea where this rage is coming from, you are now left alone feeling lonelier then you have ever felt before.

Your spouse can care-less if you are hurt, in need of help, need a hug or even if you need a F*cking doctor. The addict doesn’t care. He’s fixed on his drug, and you can never make him feel the way a bottle of Rum can.

You have to learn how to step away focus on your healing. When you start to heal parts of you, even an addict you know might turn around and seek help for themselves, but trust me, there is no way you can be helpful to anyone if you don’t attend to your own needs and wounds.

IT STILL HURTS

It took me a while to see my patterns with men, to see my rage and how, still to this day, I am angry at my father’s addiction for taking so much away from my sisters and me.

We all have kids now, and they pretty much don’t have a grandpa when it comes to my father due to his addiction.

I know in his drunken state he’s helpless, regretting so many things from the past and the present. Little does he know that now we are moving through life, with the adverse effects of his addiction, we are now guarded, sometimes overly sensitive, and now our kids are getting sometimes overprotective mothers due to our father’s addiction. Addiction doesn’t stop with the addict.

Addiction trickles down to generations.

It still hurts to know that Daddy is never physically there for me, that I can’t call him if I have a flat tire, I can’t call him to help me move into a new place, I can’t call him to meet up for lunch or dinner, that I can’t depend on him to show my sisters a good time when they visit, that I can’t even call him for a leak in my apartment 

While most women my age have a healthy relationship with their father, mine is stained with disgust and exhaustion.

 No one tells you that they will be verbally and emotionally abusive to you, and you don’t have to take their shit.

No one tells you it’s okay. I know it’s hard to keep trying.

I don’t get “you’re doing a fantastic job for being an adult child of an alcoholic for 39 years. Woohoo, you get a fucking  gold coin”.

When you decide to take care of yourself, you get called names, told that you are a horrible child, that you’re ungrateful.

IT’s MY ADDICTION TOO

I think what many don’t see is that addiction runs in and ruins families.

If you don’t know how to self-soothe and take active steps in your healing, someone else addiction would suck you in and ruin your life.

We so often take the addict’s word as truth. We look up to them, and we want them to be healed.

But we sometimes have to take a step back and look inward for this comfort, learn how to reparent.

When I started to write this post, I had much anger built up. Someone told me the other day while I was crying, “You should have more empathy for this man; he has a drinking problem.” That person could not have been more wrong in their advice.

Empathy is not something I lack.

What I lack is understanding.

Understand that for me; it’s hard to watch my father drink his life away, that its hard to be told how awful I am all the dam time when I do get to speak with him, it’s hard when my ex-spouse made me feel like utter shit for calling him out on his drinking, it’s hard when your stomach is in knots all the time when you live a life expecting that 3 am call saying “they found him dead,” it’s hard wondering if he goes broke will I be able to support him, it’s hard ignoring his calls for the sake of my sanity, it’s just hard sometimes.

Note: I am not hating on any addicts in recovery or not; I am simply purging my feelings here to express a bit of built-up frustration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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