I’m gonna go there today.
Recently I’ve seen an upswing of addiction posts on my feed.
Showing the real faces of addiction, the pictures of people overdosing with children in their cars, the street corners where people are buying and selling. I’ve also seen a lot of people sharing their story of redemption and how they have overcome their past and demons.
I am so thankful for that, but I still don’t feel like it gets the point across fully.
So I’m going to throw in a small piece of my experience with addiction.
Four years ago, if you had asked me what an addict looked like, I would have had a very different opinion than I do now.
Honestly, I was judgy and the first image that came to mind for me was pretty rude.
I pictured a middle aged disheveled man, probably homeless, begging for change to feed his heroin addiction.
I didn’t see another picture in my mind. I guess I knew there were other scenerios, but I didn’t fully acknowledge that.
I’d had friends from high school die of overdoses, and still didn’t really grasp the idea of what addiction was and how it represented people from all walks of life.
Four years ago, after many many trials, my husband came “out” to me as an addict. He told me the things he had struggled with since before we even started dating.
How could I be blind to something that was so huge? I mean, I’ll admit, there had been red flags in the past. But never did I connect them or think for half a second that I could have unknowingly married a full blown addict.
But that’s how it works.
Addiction can be a part of anyone’s life, even if you wouldn’t suspect it.
My husband worked a full time job, took care of myself and our kids. He was an amazing dad and was always attentive. He was helpful at home. He didn’t go out with friends or have time to himself. He wasn’t blowing money or overdosing in a ditch somewhere.
He was functioning like a normal person and I never even saw it coming.
My friends and family were just as shocked as me to hear the news. We even had someone down play the situation and say it wasn’t really addiction because he wasn’t buying street drugs.
Well guess what? That’s bullshit.
You don’t have to be buying crack from Joe on the street corner to be an addict.
His drug dealer was a doctor.
(that in itself is its own post/rant for me)
He went in and paid his dues and got his little blue paper to take to the pharmacy and get his fix.
He excused his problem by saying it wasn’t illegal. It’s not a problem if your own doctor is giving it to you, right?
I have much much more to say on this situation and the things my marriage has been through because of addiction, but that’s not the point of this post.
This one is for you.
The mom who struggles with a hydrocodone problem because you hurt your knee playing high school soccer.
The dad who works non stop and you need that adderall pick me up just to get through the day.
The grandmother who is on “a little bit of everything” to get over the aches and pains of your aging body.
The teenager who just wanted to have a good time and is now hooked and stealing from your parents medicine cabinet.
You may be reading this and you are the addict.
PLEASE know, you have options. You may have no one in your own circle that you can reach out to and be honest with, but you have me.
I don’t care if I know you or I don’t. I’m here.
Thankfully after a long, very trying time in our marriage and lives my husband is sober.
It took a whole lot of JESUS, a few new friends who listened and loved us through our flaws, and a heck of a lot of grace and forgiveness. Not just from me or outside people, but grace from ourselves.
You don’t have to carry the shame or the burden alone. And if you find the right people, you won’t have to.
Addiction can affect ANYONE, ANYTIME.
So shake off that judgement Karen and get to figuring out who your addict is.
Because we all have one.
We may not know it until 6 years into our marriage, or until it’s your son you’ve found overdosed in your bathroom, but it’s there and it needs to be acknowledged, NOW.
If you don’t have someone in your corner, count me in.
Reach out to me and I’ll help point you in the right direction or at the very least listen without judgment and be there for you however I can.
Regardless of what side of the line you’re on, you have to understand that the stigma is there. Even if you share the post on your Facebook to raise awareness, we have to do more as Jesus followers, and just humans in general, to fix this problem.
You have to be present.
You have to LOVE through it.
You have to draw the lines in the sand and stop enabling.
YOU have to be someone’s “person” when they think they have no where else to turn.
You have to show grace when it isn’t deserved, because that’s what Jesus does for us.
Be mindful because you don’t know who is dealing with their own battles and fighting addiction.
Be the example. Because we have to do better.