When Your Choices Affect Me - Original Content

I want to speak to all the substance abusers out there. Not the ones who go to the club once a week and have a few in a responsible way. Not the ones who have a little wine in the evening. Not the people who smoke a joint sometimes after a long hard day at work. I want to say something to the people who can't exist without mind altering substances. You are ruining other people's lives. What right do you have?

The guy that smokes pot several times a day every day. He can't hold a job if he can manage to even get one. His days are spent sleeping, and then he gets up, watches tv, gets stoned, and plays video games until 5 AM. How reprehensible is it when someone expects the world to feed and clothe them, leaves the support of their children up to others - like the other parent - while they get stoned?

How about alcohol? The grandparent who embarrasses their family because they are stupid drunk at little Johnny's birthday party? The housewife who gets pissy every afternoon with her cocktail and turns into a drama queen. Or the guy who plays Jekyll and Hyde every day after work. He changes from the serious, intelligent man at work to a lunatic idiot who makes everyone around him miserable. He hasn't been able to get an erection in over a year, and his wife cries herself to sleep wondering why he doesn't want her anymore.

Let's not forget the meth and crack addicts, with their warped sense of reality and their need that always comes first. The cost of stealing from family, losing their jobs, getting arrested and guilt-tripping their family and friends into bailing them out. The irrational behavior, getting mad at loved ones who will no longer prop them up while they eat their once-functional brains away with drugs.

Years go by. Once loving ties between people are destroyed. The family members left behind sit and wonder what happened. What did they do wrong? Was it their fault? Maybe they should have seen the signs of substance abuse sooner. Maybe they shouldn't have bailed them out all those times. Maybe it's their fault that most of the people they love are drunks and druggies. Maybe they are an enabler and it is their fault. 

Do those people know what misery, heartbreak, and confusion they put their loved ones through? I doubt it. Even if they do, drugs and alcohol have worn away their ability to care.

You vile creatures. What right do you have to put the good people in your life through that? Somebody please tell me.

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Comment by scotty michele brown on July 21, 2014 at 12:17am

The tragedy of it all is missing them so terribly when they won't come around after you cut them off. They still hurt their family even when they aren't there. We are denied the love, companionship, and comfort of our family member.

Comment by Tara on July 20, 2014 at 12:06pm

Yep, stop bailing them out. I have a brother-in-law who burned every last bridge that he had with family... even lost his kids because of his drug addiction. No ones around anymore to bail him out or allow him into their lives until he cleans up his act. I think they call it tough love because it isn't the easiest thing to do but for sanity sake, it must be done.

Comment by scotty michele brown on July 19, 2014 at 9:30pm

Tara, what a kind-hearted person you must be. That was a very compassionate answer. Because I posted this blog on another site where people know me personally, I altered the facts a bit so nobody would easily guess who I am talking about. They may have a pretty good idea, but not know for sure.

However, the basic idea of this blog relays my experiences very well. I am 49 years old. I look at my life. The care I took raising my children with no help from their pothead, mostly unemployed father. My youngest child is addicted to meth. He was introduced to it in 11th grade and went from a honors student to a 23 year old addict who I recently kicked out. I brought him home AGAIN to live with me and try to get clean. He would sleep for a few days, go party for days, come home to rest up and do it all over.

My older son moved back in with me after the younger one moved out. He and his girlfriend were behind on their bills. Of course, while she went to work, he and my two year old grandson would sleep most of the day. They stayed up all night, my son stoned and playing video games while my grandson played by himself.

All of these people, or people like them, are in my life. It is time for me to stop bailing them out and feeling their pain. They don't give a crap about the pain they have put me through. It's time to stop giving a crap about theirs.

Comment by Tara on July 19, 2014 at 7:23pm

Hello Scotty,

I'm in no way condoning all of the above behaviors, but I think one needs to step inside an addicts shoes first to understand the why's. Drug, alcohol, gambling, overeating, etc.., are only symptoms. Behind all addictions there is a back story... a reason why.

My grandfather, who passed away many years ago had a very hard life. He came from a very abusive home and to escape it, signed himself up to enlist in the army to fight in WW2. It wasn't until many years after the fact that I found out that he lied about his age to get in. He was only 16 at the time. He was a WW2 vet who saw and experienced much death, destruction and despair. I can only imagine what impact that would have on his life.

After many years of war, he finally came back to civilian life. He married and eventually had children. My Grandpa and Grandma went through 2 miscarriages and also the tragedy of losing 2 infant children; one 6 mo's and the other 9 mo's. One child died of spinal meningitis and the other from dysentery. My grandfather had the painful experience of having one of the children die right in his arms on the way to the hospital.

With that being said, how does one deal with all that tragedy without going mad or escaping the overwhelming pain of a life he never had asked for by medicating. He just didn't know how to deal with his pain. It was too overwhelming.

My grandfather was a hardcore binge drinker who would disappear for days on end. He did make life for his family very hard and it didn't help that my grandmother had severe mental issues. My mom and her sisters life back then was very unstable, chaotic and painful for them because of it. My grandfather was not a bad person. He just didn't know how to cope with life. So he used alcohol to escape. And the vices used to cope are the symptoms of not dealing with pain, fear, loneliness, anger, frustration, depression and anxiety.

Again, I am in no way condoning this all, I'm just saying that it's hard to move on when family dynamics are at play. The viscous cycle of addiction, abuse and disconnection passes down from generation to generation. And the pain still lingers.

All I know is that I can't point the finger at anyone, even those family members, friends the Govt, ect... that have harmed or hurt me without also pointing the finger back at myself. We all need to take personal responsibility over our own lives, try to learn forgiveness and keep keeping on.

We are the only ones that can break the cycle of addiction by making the right choices for ourselves. That is the only way.

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