Drug Abuse – The habitual taking of addictive or illegal drugs.
Addiction – The fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, think or activity.
Addict – A person who is addicted to a particular substance, typically an illegal drug.
Late 2016 was the beginning of a downward time in my life. It started abruptly from my perspective. One day everything was fine and the next I was thrust into a sorted mess of addiction and abuse.
My partner, M and I lead a quite life here in Denver. He worked for a large international company in Aurora and I worked retail. We had made a good life for ourselves, we bought a house and were happy; or I thought. Little did I know what awaited me in the latter months of 2016. A downward spiral that almost saw us loose our house and lively hood.
Being the one who wasn’t using meant I was the one who was left to maintain, everything. From that emerged ANGER, RESENTMENT, GUILT and FEAR. Let me explain and examine each one.
ANGER – This manifested in several ways and at different times over the months of use. I was angry at my partner. I was angry at our “friend”. I was angry at the drug. I was angry at the dealer. I was angry at myself.
The anger at my partner and “friend” were pretty much the same. It was an anger that was directed at them the whole time, because they were in a place that they didn’t care about anything but the drug. I was angry at the drug for doing what it was doing to my partner, changing him into someone I didn’t recognise. The dealer for the same reason. The anger toward myself was because I didn’t say, “enough”, or “no”. I was weak and wanted to see them happy, and didn’t think of the cost.
RESENTMENT – Simply resenting him because I was stuck to manage the entire financial situations with the limited funds available after money was taken and used for the drug.
GUILT – This is mine personally. The guilt is very profound. It stems from not taking a stance on the use. Not doing something sooner to prevent it. Not just saying, “NO!”.
FEAR – This is a powerful one. It motivated much of my inactivity during the months. I was fearful of loosing my partner if I was to say, “No more.” I was fearful of violence stemming from the same. I was fearful of loosing everything we owned to the drug. I was fearful that I would ultimately loose my partner to the drug.
I think the saddest thing about all of this is the fact that the one using the drugs fails to see all that is going on outside the pipe and the torch. They don’t see the hurt because the drug won’t let them. They don’t see the dark figure looming in the background just waiting for that moment when control is lost and they are his for the taking. They don’t see the pain felt by others who see them change and become distant, wanting only the drug and those who can provide it. They don’t see those of us who are left to pick up the pieces of our lives because we are afraid to loose them and ourselves.
After the use stops, those of us who sat outside the pipe find ridicule when we attempt to talk about what we went through. We are blamed for making it up, that they, “weren’t like that”, “I didn’t do that”, “don’t blame me or that, you did it.” We aren’t allowed to discuss anything we had to go through because of the blaming, anger and changes to the users mental state.
Recovery options are always available to those that have used drugs. This a good thing, however, what options are there for those of us that have stood by and had to experience, the other side of drug use and addiction?