This One’s For You
Growing up in a household where addiction is undeniable, it is often hard to understand which path is the right one; the world becomes gray. We often follow in the footsteps of the ones we love, and it is extremely difficult to follow someone who is stumbling. More times than not you may find yourself asking why they are addicts, why can’t they quit, and sometimes even, what’s the appeal? However, an addict, while still an addict can never answer these questions, and even if they do, the emptiness you feel won’t go away. So what do you do? As a child in a house of addiction you have two choices: to follow down a dangerous path of darkness, or skip your life through a path of golden light.
Using drugs is initially a choice; just as it is for the addict, it is a choice for the ones affected by it. No one can ever take away that choice or make it for us. There are a few important things to keep in mind when trying to live a sober, drug free life. Always remember your life is impacted by addiction, how you let it impact you depends on strength, the light we create, and acceptance. The moment you can accept an addict for what they are the less they can hurt you, or allow it to influence your decisions.
Keeping the Strength
Character and self-awareness are very important when living with addicts. This is where school, friends, and your friends’ families are very important. Remember, we can never choose our family, but we can choose our friends. This is your life, and addicts can affect every single part of it, so embrace the people around you that are not influenced by addiction. Speak with your school counselors, your teachers; allow the lives of people who live without addiction guide you. If there is a church or other place of worship nearby, explore it and if sports are available play them. Be aware of the decisions you make. You have seen addiction first hand, teach yourself to never abuse anything, be it soda, candy, relationships, even friendships. Setting limits for yourself is the best way to grow and learn about you. To stand tall in abstinence from drugs it is important to have a sense of who you are, and the flame of strength lies in the understanding that their addiction is not yours, and you have a choice.
Finding the Light in the Darkness
Anywhere addiction lives, darkness lingers. An addict’s addiction has the capability to darken the path of anyone and everyone who comes into contact with them, and the people living and loving them know this most. So how do you battle the darkness? Find the things you love, a personal space you have or can create and fill it up with what defines you. Find pictures, music, and memories and create your own escape, a place where you can go and see the things that motivate you and remind you that becoming an addict and living the life of one is not the only way. Surround yourself with the beauty of the things that motivate you, the things that give you strength: friends, goals, grades, sports, anything that addiction can destroy keep close to you. Living with an addict is difficult, often scary, but when you create your own escape that love becomes a light that will shine within you even in the darkest of days.
Out of all the things you can do when living with an addict and their addiction is to have acceptance. Not acceptance, in the sense that you become empathic to their addiction but that you accept the following: you can never change an addict. If they decide to quit, it is based on their decision and no one can make that decision for them. Trying to beg, clean, or create a world where they have no excuses to use will only leave you empty. Accept that for now this is where you are and for whatever reason this is the hand dealt. The moment you embrace this, you have the ability to let it empower you. Living with an addict takes a strong person, not everyone can. Embrace that strength and use it daily. Do not ever pity yourself because of your situation, it is hard, and it is unfair, but it is not forever. Most importantly, if you want to live a life free of addiction and darkness, you must accept that the addict that is affecting your life, and often hurting your heart, and at the same time, they love you, and they love you with all they have. Even though it’s often not enough if you accept these things, you take away the self-doubt, the darkness, and the need to escape from the life you are living and you allow yourself to find strength in the light of love, and accept a world that is far more rewarding then one spiraling because of addiction.