If you love an addict, you need to make peace with her death

Anyone who loves an addict is all too familiar with the fear and anger that comes with helplessly watching the addict fall deeper and deeper into Addiction’s grasp. It can seem like there’s absolutely nothing that can be done to keep the addict from dying as a result of his or her Addiction. And while that’s true for the most part, I KNOW that as long as there’s breath in someone’s lungs, there’s a chance that he or she can regain health and live a more full life without addiction’s curse. I am also certain that an addict’s loved ones are the best resources to aid a recovery. Mounting evidence suggests that a strong support system of friends and family can greatly increase the odds of recovering from an addiction. However, there is one thing that has to happen BEFORE someone can be a resource for an addict: Make peace with the addict’s death.

You read correctly: Before anyone can be a resource, he or she has to come to terms with the addict’s death such that the worst possible scenario does not produce any fear. Really, it’s the fear that drives all other actions and can cause people to make mistakes. Fear is what causes the clichéd “enabler” behaviors, eradicate it, and real helpful behaviors can then emerge.

For example, take a mother whose son is addicted to heroin. She wants to help him, but is deathly afraid of getting a call in the middle of the night that her son is dead from an overdose. Though she knows better, if her son comes and asks her for money, she would give it to him. Her fear would prevent her from allowing her son to face adverse consequences that come with his addiction. More than likely, she know that he’ll use the money to buy heroin. However, if she made peace with his death, she would be more inclined to refrain from giving her son money; and really, the core truth is that people will not change unless they perceive the change to be easier/better than their current behaviors.

I’m not saying it’s easy, nor am I saying that in making peace, we want the addict to die. What I am saying is that in making peace with the addict’s death, fear diminishes and once a person is free from fear, truth and light usually can then be sought. If we stay bound by fear, then darkness and hate will seek us

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