Tell me if this sounds familiar.
It is physically painful, intense, overwhelming, confusing, and even frightening-frightening because it’s so dark, so unknown, and so powerful a force
I’m reading a book that I borrowed from a book share at my support group. The group is for parents who lost children to addiction. It’s called ”When the Bough Breaks” by Judith R Bernstein Ph.D. She’s describing anticipatory grief, which she describes as ”what happens when we’re hit with the possibility of losing someone we love.”
This is the description of the feelings of everyone loving an addict who is actively using or not living a true life of recovery. And it’s daily, this overwhelming fear. We live in a life filled with anticipating the worst.
Anxiety is an emotion characterized by an unpleasant state of inner turmoil, often accompanied by nervous behavior, such as pacing back and forth, somatic complaints, and rumination. It is the subjectively unpleasant feelings of dread over anticipated events, such as the feeling of imminent death. Anxiety is not the same as fear, which is a response to a real or perceived immediate threat, whereas anxiety is the expectation of future threat. Anxiety is a feeling of uneasiness and worry, usually generalized and unfocused as an overreaction to a situation that is only subjectively seen as menacing. It is often accompanied by muscular tension, restlessness, fatigue and problems in concentration. Anxiety can be appropriate, but when experienced regularly the individual may suffer from an anxiety disorder.[
Sound familiar? These feelings?
Addiction is never safe, be it substance, gambling, sex etc. There is always danger lurking in the back of our minds. It changes us which is why most of us can’t shut up when we’re talking to someone living the same life. We can talk to a hundred people who also love an addict and at the end of the conversation we basically have the exact stories with differences in names, locations and other specifics, but the feelings, they are all the same. Anxiety- fear of the unknown. It can paralyze us, socially, emotionally, physically unless we realize that we are powerless over anyone. Giving up that innate desire to save our loved one is probably the most difficult emotion for us to take action on but it also the most important to our self-preservation.
I was talking with some people today about addiction. A mutual friend was hospitalized after relapsing, in ICU still five days later. Nowadays, especially, using heroin is literally like playing Russian Roulette. Who in their right mind would put a gun to their head knowing there’s a chance it’s loaded? No one would, in their right mind. That’s why addiction is a brain disease. Physiologically, mentally, and physically it’s a need so strong that people will literally do it knowing they could die immediately. This person didn’t agree, he was saying he would never want to hurt his mother and risk every thing. ADDICTS do not want to hurt anyone. Not themselves, their enablers, friends and partners. You can’t take your addicts behavior personally. It’s not personal. Addicts are so self absorbed with their desperate need, we may be a fleeting thought but their desire clouds their thinking. All they want is the drug. How desperate must a person be to risk every thing, especially their life, without the control to stop themselves? What are your feelings on addiction? Do you believe it’s a choice?