I found myself reading a Reddit post the other day that I just had to respond to. I read a recovering addicts struggle to understand how his girlfriend wasn’t embarrassed to be with him. He struggled to see how she viewed his fight to overcome addiction as courageous. These words hurt my heart to read. I knew this sentiment all too well. The man that I love has these same doubts. Even when he doesn’t voice it I can see it in his eyes and it kills me.
I’ve tried so many times to explain to my other half what I see; what those who love him see. He has a heart of gold, he’s intelligent and funny with a generous soul all wrapped up into this amazing person I love. I’m not naive to the broken pieces that he is trying to mend and I will support whatever his journey is to forgiving himself. I can only hope in time he starts to see his true worth and all the happiness he deserves. My focus, however, will never shift I see someone that it would be impossible not to love and I plan to remind him of that every day.
Sadly, as I navigate this path beside him supporting his battle against this disease I started to understand why he struggles to see himself worthy of love and happiness. Addicts are labeled in the most horrible of ways; manipulating, heartless, selfish junkies who will only break you as you are trying to save them. But what about those who are trying to save themselves? Those who are finding their way after a tough fall. They are caring people who are struggling enough to love themselves after their mistakes. Addicts and recovering addicts wake up every day facing a battle so many of us will never understand. Many seek support and guidance as they want to make this addiction part of who they were and not have people see it as who they are.
I could be angry and target this post at those who will never understand until this horrible disease touches their lives, but I won’t. This blog is a place of support and hopefully a different voice in this epidemic. So, I’d like to end by targeting it towards those facing their demons and tell you how incredibly resilient and strong you must be to continue this daily battle. Be proud of the work you’ve done. Do not take the words of strangers or the addiction demons still lingering on the inside. Listen closely to those who really matter. Those who have never stopped seeing the good in you. We are here to remind you of who you truly are and hold out hope for all you still have ahead. In time, hopefully you will see this too.
“Be an encourager. The world has plenty of critics already.”
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