Chemical Addiction Is Stronger Than Love

Try and love an addict, then look me in the eye and tell me you didn’t get a sense of empowerment “trying to fix” them. I am not an addict, but I was hooked on trying to “fix” someone. Loving someone who is addicted to a substance is consuming. It consumes your every sense of being, it consumes your life, your mind, your self, your time, and every single aspect of your life is completely consumed even the parts you thought didn’t exist. You drop everything for them; you try and be everything for them. I wouldn’t wish knowing this feeling even on my worst enemy.

Most days I have a deep compassion for those who are in similar positions and offer my support and advice. Most days I have a better understanding for the reasons why we choose to a turn a blind eye, the reasons why we prefer to be numb. But most definitely there are the days where I feel so empowered because of how deeply I understand my fears, my pain, my personality and myself. I understand how to forgive, I understand my boundaries and this is because of all my experiences.

On bad days I hate myself. I am so angry with myself, my anxiety is through the roof, I cry at the most basic things and I cringe at the thought of being touched by someone again.

I know that after all my experiences I have become a better, stronger and smarter person. I know that I will love so deeply and I will give all of myself to my partner. I know that I can get through anything that is thrown my way, but I know not every day is the same and some days I crumble.

Substance abuse in relationships hits home hard, it hits home so hard that it makes me physically ill to think about it. You might just think the substance is the only bad thing; truth is it affects so many different aspects of a relationship and life. You can read countless articles about ways in which you can overcome these problems, but what none of them inform you about are the interpersonal conflicts that go on.

It’s not easy just to leave, it’s not easy just to seek help through councillors or rehabs and it’s not easy just to talk it out with your partner. Lies and deceit plague the relationship, everyday events are not trusted or are mistaken and taken advantage of.

Substance abuse damages social health and this is something that often isn’t spoken about or even thought of but the strain it puts on relationships is massive. It isn’t just the person who is abusing the substance that it affects; it’s the partner as well. To firstly be involved in a lifestyle, which they are not comfortable with, but also not understanding the reasons why your partner chooses this lifestyle over everything. You think to yourself “what am I doing?”. You try so damn hard to show the person you love that there is a better way of living and that life is just as fun without the substance.

But that’s exactly the problem… they think mundane things are made better and more exciting on substances, they think the only way to enjoy things is on substances and trust me it makes you feel like you’re the reason why they are on it… you see yourself as boring and obviously they need the substance to stand to be around you.

Drug addict
Image: Substance Abuse

Elements Of Successful Relationships

Even without the presence of an addiction, relationships are complex issues that take work to maintain. Successful relationships:

  • Use honest and assertive communication based on respect.
  • Are fun and rewarding.
  • Have the goal of compromise, trust and understanding.
  • Have an absence of physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, violence and aggression.
  • Can thrive with times of individuality and times of togetherness.
  • Allow for all members to feel good about themselves.

Successful relationships involve a lot of elements and when addiction becomes a problem those elements diminish and it makes the relationship a lot harder to maintain. Relationships cannot compete with the euphoric experiences that substances bring. The user will almost always put more time and energy into the substance than into maintaining the relationship.

When The Addict Builds Walls Of Secrecy

The one thing that is present in every relationship attempting to compete with a substance addiction is secrecy. It’s not the secrecy of the substance that is deliberating, it’s the constant questions of where are they? Who are they with? Why are they behaving differently? They isolate themselves and even when they are present, they aren’t really there. With this breeds trust issues, the differences between fact and fiction become apparent and it’s only a matter of time before you start to see the body language associated with your partner lying. Before too long you start to see it every single time they speak, and once that happens you never believe a word they say, promises become empty and you have no expectations for anything.

Everyone speaks about “walls” but what are they really? Walls are not boundaries, they are an emotional invisibility cloak and they are a way to have control when you don’t feel in control. It is a defence mechanism and way to stop becoming hurt before you are hurt.

You are shutting down to shut others out.

It is a coping mechanism.

Drugs That Can Induce Anger

Anger and abuse are major concerns in the relationship with someone who is addicted to a substance, this is because you learn to see the signs, you learn to manage the anger and learn what the “set offs” are. Drugs that are known to cause increased anger, irritability and violence include:

  • Alcohol
  • Cocaine
  • MDMA
  • Methamphetamine (crystal meth or ice)
  • Ritalin and other prescription stimulants
  • Steroids

It is a vicious cycle to be in, loving someone who is addicted to a substance means always avoiding the issue for the fear of starting an argument. When you do finally chose to express your hurt, the issue is magnified and a discussion can escalate into a knife being pointed or thrown at you, a firearm being placed onto your forehead or hands very securely wrapped around your throat. Some get out with minimal hurt or consequences, others aren’t so lucky, but almost all are left with emotional scaring and hurt relating to future relationships.

Healing happens at your own rate, no one is the same; self-love is the biggest asset to healing. Self-love brings trust back into yourself, because learning to touch yourself again means having the ability and strength to let someone else touch you. Working at Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres opened my eyes to the power behind sex, intimacy and how truly different we all are. The body is a wonderful and magical being, and should be celebrated, empowered and spoilt in every way possible.

Sex is the most intimate part of yourself you can give.

Morgan x

Author: Morgan is a consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres

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