Helping An Addict

A few years back while out picking up some groceries, I noticed a woman in the store that looked familiar. I couldn’t figure out who she was but I was positive I knew her.

I kept thinking about her while I was doing my shopping. Who was she? I was driving myself crazy with frustration because I couldn’t figure it out. Her face, I knew it, but from where?

As I was putting my bags into my car I heard someone yelling my name. I turned around and there she was, waving while walking up to me. It was then that it finally clicked.  I remembered who she was.

Truth is, she looked terribly different. Her once full face was now sunken in. She was missing quiet a few front teeth. She was underweight, and her skin tone was pale, very pale. It was sad to see her like that.

I new what caused this change in her. I new it instantly. Drugs. My suspicions were validated when she asked me if I knew where she could get some. (Drugs) Unfortunately, as a recovering addict, I get asked that question from time to time.

Once she realized I was no longer using, (I have 14 years clean) she then decided to fill me in on the reason for her relapse. Basically, according to her, it was everyone else’s fault. She was not to blame, according to her of course. But then not many addicts will blame their addiction on themselves, it’s easier to blame it on other people.

I finished the conversation by giving her my number, suggesting she use it when she is ready to get clean and ready for help. I would do what I could to help her, like take her to a meeting or help her find a rehab. But, only when she was ready.

I knew at that time she was not ready. She wasn’t ready to admit she had a problem and she wasn’t ready to make changes.  She wasn’t ready to take responsibility for the things in her life, and she openly admitted she wasn’t ready to get clean. Which I already sorta figured out on my own.

This happened a few years ago. I still run into her occasionally.  Unfortunately, she still isn’t ready. But each time I see her I remind her I am here for her when she is ready.

I’m sharing this with you in case some of you are going through the same thing, or maybe you are in your addiction.

IN MY OPINION

You can not force someone to get clean. An addict has to WANT to get clean. I never really understood what that meant until I was the addict wanting to get clean.

If someone isn’t ready, they aren’t ready. They will find a way to continue living that lifestyle.   They will find a way to hide it from you. They will tell you everything you want to hear just to keep you from “nagging” at them. You cannot force someone to WANT to get clean.

Most times when an addict is ready to quit it’s because they hit “rock bottom”. Meaning, they have lost everything. Family, Friendships, marriage, employment, housing, custody of children, and so on. They wake up one morning and realize they have nothing and they are all alone. Sometimes they get tired of being sick and tired, and realize it’s time to quit.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP

Answer the phone when they reach out and call you. Listen. Let them open up and convide to you. Just being there and listening can do so much. If they are ready to quit you can also research and find the number to a drug rehab program. Below is a number to find referrals in your area.

The Holidays can be stressful for many people.  If you or someone you know believes there is a chance drugs/relapse might enter the picture, please Reach Out, Speak Up, And Ask For Help.

If you want more information on treatment or referrals, you can call the national hotline which is available 24hrs a day.   SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) will connect you with someone in your area. Their website is https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline

Published by WebbBlogs

Just learning how to enjoy life with ocd. My mental health has been interfering with my daily activities for far to long and now that Im 50 its about time I start enjoying life and taking chances.

9 thoughts on “Helping An Addict

  1. Amen on wanting to get clean yourself. I’ve been sober since May and it took something finally clicking in my head for me to start down the path. No amount of badgering, good logical, reasoning, or bartering can make someone change their ways. It’s gotta be from within.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is such an encouraging post and how you succeeded. That’s a big deal. Kind of you to be there for others too, when their time is right. I always love reading about stories like yours. I pray my uncle also is able to beat his addiction. We lost two family members from their addictions.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. An addict absolutely has to want to get clean. But even before THAT, they have to *want* to want to get clean. That’s where I’ve been stuck for a while. And you’re right, sticking in there with that person and checking in is the best thing you can do.
    We were actively working on getting me fully sober in therapy for a long time, but she’s recently backed off.
    She checks in every so often with where I’m at, and my response is usually that I WANT to want to be sober…but I’m just not there yet. I’m getting closer, that’s for sure.
    I always knew that the person had to want it for themselves. But before I was actually in this position for myself, I never realized that there was a step even before that, wanting to want sobriety. It’s interesting and it’s made me think a lot more on how I relate to people in other situations where they’re in a difficult place.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That was something I never understood until I wanted to get clean. Im happy to hear that you have someone that checks on you and that cares. And I am glad to hear that your getting closer to “wanting” it. When your ready it will happen, you can do it. I look forward to hearing back from you and getting updated. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

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