The irony of having a loved on in addiction, is that their addiction can become yours. Their highest become your highs, and their lows become your lows. During the calm before the inevitable storm, you enter in to the never-ended game of self-rationalization. You remind yourself of the bright spots in the storm of addiction: "They said they are back to focusing on their studies." "They haven't haven't called me with any crises in a month. And they are talking about how excited they are to be going back to school."
By virtue of necessity, the addict gets really, really good at doing one thing: manipulating. When someone descends into the throes of addiction, the social etiquette and decorum that we expect from family members and friends disappears. The unspoken laws that we all live by disappear.
We go through live expecting that most people aren't liars, and if they are, they are guilty of an occasional white lie. We don't expect deception. We don't expect theft.
BUT, when you are living with an addict, all of these rules get thrown out the window. And why wouldn't they? The path to the addict's next hit is sitting right there in your purse. All they need to do is reach in and pull out the cash. The path to their next hit is on the shelves of target. Why wouldn't they "boost" a cheap consumer good out the front door when it means that that they can sell it and dose immediately afterwards? Why wouldn't they drive through town pulling copper wiring from buildings that they can later resell? Why wouldn't they steal your catalytic converter? For those hard up enough for cash, the truth is that they'd be crazy NOT to do these things. But you don't expect it, because you are a law-abiding member society who plays by a set of rules that they don't.
The addict lives in a state of insanity, but the key is to not let their insanity become yours. This is the tough love approach that has saved many lives in the long-run.
It's hard to call the police on your son.
It's hard to kick your daughter into the streets.
It's hard to tell your husband that he can't return home until he is prepared to seek treatment.
But these tough love decisions can be life and death ones.
If you let your son or daughter or husband stay at home while you know he is using, you are cushioning them from the consequences of their actions. They are unlikely to know true rock bottom until he hit the ultimate rock bottom: a heroin overdose from the comfort of their bed.
This post was written by David at Haven House Sober Living LA (havenhouseaddictiontreatment.com/)