Talking with someone struggling with an addiction can be frustrating. Not for the reasons that you might think, but because they’re so mired in self-hate that almost every thought he or she utters is a projection of that self-hate. So, as I’m talking with someone I remind myself of two (2) things that I think we all should know: 1) An addict has no real clue as to how to change; and, 2) we all tend to apply rational thought to a situation that is anything but rational.
An addict has no real clue as to how to change
One of the saddest things in the world is when a grown person breaks down in tears over his or her sense of loss. When I hear the anguish, all I can think is that it’s not their fault, at least not entirely. Really, if people with addictions could change, I’m CERTAIN they would. They tend to reach out, hoping that SOMEONE can tell them what to do to not have the issues they have. They want someone to tell them HOW to rid themselves of their addiction. It’s painful to hear; I remind myself that, though, that they have no idea about what to do about the addiction.
We all tend to apply rational thought to a situation that is anything but rational.
People who don’t have an addiction or who haven’t experienced one in some way, tend to apply logic and reason to a situation in which logic simply does not apply. Most people behave, on average, within their best interests. However, people with addictions pursue substances and/or behaviors that appear contrary to their best interests. If fact, logic would dictate that a person who’s addicted to opiates, for example, should just stop. Really, it makes no sense to the non-user that someone would seek something that causes little more than pain and frustration and brings loss of money and friends and health. But, an opiate addict will obtain his or her drug through any and all means. This is irrational, yet is reality.
I think, though, that having some options available in light of the two (2) things of which I’m always reminding myself can help. Shoot, even just knowing those two things can shed some light in an otherwise dark situation.