Monday, May 10, 2010

Hi, my name is Free and...

...I'm an addict.
(Let me say "Whoa, hold on," before my family and friends all freak out. I'm not talking about a normal addiction. For now, I am not sniffing, snorting or shooting up anything. I feel like it sometimes, but... Read on)

We have all heard of addicts. Heard the stories of how they lost their pride and self-esteem to alcohol or a drug. We've heard addicts say that when they started, the drug was fun or relaxing or gave some kind of comfort. Drugs as a friend and lover turning into a jealous, crazy, possessive and destructive monster.

I've never used drugs and I've never been an alcoholic, but everything that drugs and alcohol has done to some lives, love has done to mine.

I am going cold-turkey (but, like the addict, I've said this before).

The man I love is a nice man. Wonderful, sweet, funny and charming. He has talent and he loves me. But his love is not good for me. Like a prescription for emptiness, he was very necessary at one time. Like an abuser, I made him - his love - my downfall.

There are no laws or interventions or rehabs for the addiction I'm suffering from. Of course, I have family and friends who love me deeply. But, while there is awareness about problems in romantic relationships, if there isn't obvious and noted abuse, people just feel like they are butting in when they try to help. 

My relationship has gone on for three years. At the start, I had clear ideas about what I wanted from my "drug." I wanted what most people in love want. I wanted companionship, familiarity and a sense of being very special to another person. At first, my drug delivered. I was showered with attention, love and admiration. 

As with any addiction, the decline from beneficial to harmful was so sly that I was able to ignore the slide.

I can't tell you when the lies started, or the jealousy, or the manipulation. Maybe I was too high to notice. I can tell you when I started to notice. It was when I began to have some expectations of the other person. Expecting them to be reliable and honest and fair.

Pretty soon, I had lowered my expectations. And, somehow, no matter how low I went, my drug still couldn't keep up. So did I dust my hands and say, "See ya later?" No. I just rationalized situations so that I could lower expectations a little bit more.

My drug was in control. It's a drug, it's always in control. When I was ever disappointed and questioned my drug about why I had been let down, the response was to point out how selfish I was. Instead of admitting that it (my drug/my loved one) had let me down, my drug somehow made me feel like I was the wrong party. I was too demanding. I was spoiled. I was nit-picky. 

The drug is never in the wrong, only the user is.

And you know what? In a way, that's true.

If I had recognized sooner that I was dealing with something that was not going to nurture anything in me, but only devour what I was...

Ah well. I didn't recognize. Or even when I did, I was too addicted at that point.

I made excuses for my drug of choice. It wasn't all bad and there were some really good things about it. It didn't mean to be the way it was, and maybe I was using it all wrong. Maybe I just needed to adjust the dosage or the time taken...

So. I guess I have made the first step and realized that I need some kind of rehab. On the other hand, if he calls me up and says the right things, I might fall for another hit. Just a little one. Just to see if it's going to help this time and make everything all better.

In the meantime, please pray for my recovery and strength. I am hanging on to the promise that God will never put more on my than I can bear. I look for the next moment in my life, the next day, to always be better. I may be an addict, but I have never lost my hope and faith.

Peace
--Free

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