It’s going to be a long post, it’s not a light topic either. I have honestly debated on whether I should share it for the longest time. If you have comments please be kind.
I once lived with an addict. Yes you read that right. I used to live with an addict. It’s not something that’s easy for me to talk about. I think the most difficult thing about it was I had no idea. None. For months the person I lived with was hurting, struggling, becoming lost. I was so naive, they mask that they wore was so realistic. More than convincing. I would ask if something was wrong. The answers were usually the same, headache, feeling sick, tired from work.
All of that seemed like just regular aches. I’d never met anyone who used drugs before. I thought some of the behavior was odd, sure but thought it was part of their personality. Thought it was one of the quirks. Thought that they loved me. Looking back at certain moments where something felt off I can see the differences in behavior now. During the those moments I never thought twice. I never listened to my gut.
When the truth finally came out things got messy. I was beyond upset, I felt betrayed and I was hurting. The secret had been kept for almost a year. We hadn’t even been living together very long. Despite all of those emotions I had to look at the bigger picture. He came to me for help. He wanted to get better, be in rehab. I felt like if I broke up with him during this point he might not be able to get that help. There was guilt that I felt for not recognizing the signs. Guilt that I didn’t get him help sooner.
The detox period was just awful. There was a lot of getting sick. I got blamed for helping. Lashed out at on a constant basis. Told that I could never love the sober version. Made to feel guilty for being upset at the situation. The constant back and forth of emotions was wearing me out. The anger coming from him was making me so stressed I’d get sick. I got to the point where I could no longer take it. I could no longer take someone treating me like that.
I pulled away. I shrunk into myself. I was so ashamed of being in the situation. I felt like I couldn’t tell my parents. Couldn’t tell my friends. I was lying all the time about why he wasn’t with me. I knew that I could not stay with someone who was trying to drag me down. When it ended at first I was so worried that he would OD. I would somehow get blamed, or I would feel like it was my fault. It such an overwhelming feeling to be consumed with both relief and guilt.
When it all ended and I was able to look back and finally see how everything had gotten so mixed up. I was angry with myself for not seeing the signs sooner. To opening myself up to someone who broke my trust and letting a toxic situation into my life. I had so much anger and I don’t want to carry that around. Addicts don’t always recognize the pain that they cause others.
Whatever the addiction is it’s hurting them and they need help. My ex needed me at his lowest moment to help him. It was messy, painful and a literal emotional roller coaster. Yet it got him professional help, the help that he needed. It wasn’t a lighter chapter in my life. I didn’t share for sympathy. I shared in case someone is going through the same struggles. To help shed some light on what it’s like seeing someone go through their addiction. To hopefully help someone, anyone see that they are not alone.