Where did our loved ones go?

Loving an addict is a painful existence. Whether it is your spouse, your child, or a friend, the pain and isolation you feel is overwhelming. Sadly, the shame associated with having an addict in your family is also a key factor in why so many families shy away from not onl y sharing their plight, but seeking additional help and support.

Traditional means of support might include seeking advice from friends, family and even the family priest, pastor etc. However, like so many come to realize, the courage it takes to actually air ones dirty laundry is hiding behind the embarrassment, and guilt. Pulling outsiders into your own personal shame and hell is not easy. Getting people to support you while not judging is even harder to do. Where can one go and simply find help and courage, support and strength? One must first seek those things from within.

There are no magic answers for how to get what you need to fight the disease that has invaded your life. Especially a disease like addiction, that probably has been hidden and allowed to flourish behind the eyes of denial, and hearts that hold on to a love that is actually hindering the process. You can begin first by strengthening yourself from within. Take stock of yourself, become well educated. A disease like addiction wins when everyone has lost the fight left in them. Your first line of defense is in becoming educated in the type of disease that has your family held hostage. Whether its alcohol, crack, cocaine, heroine, gambling, etc. You must first know and recognize the enemy. This comes from educating yourself first through all available resources online and in libraries.

Fortunately there are many valuable resources online and locally that many can turn to in this difficult time. Loving a person that is addicted to drugs and alcohol is a painful and sad life. Often we feel alone in our pain, our devastation and grief. The grief we feel is second only to that we feel when we lose a loved one, and perhaps the two aren't totally unrelated. There is pain, fear, denial, anger and hurt. Once you take the action you need to get well yourself, you will heal from within. Once the healing you experience begins to take firm root, resolve becomes the next step. It takes a lot of courage to ask for help, and a lot of courage to find it. Stand strong. Stand firm, and don't give up.