If Charlie Sheen does not get help soon, he might end up dead. I know firsthand, how horrible it is, when you love someone so much, but cannot help them from self-destruction when they are on the downward spiral from drug or alcohol abuse. Charlie Sheen may be famous, but he is no different from anyone else…he too has friends and family who love him, yet feel so ‘helpless’ as they watch his life deteriorate and spiral out of control.
I certainly am not an ‘expert’ when it comes to addiction, but sadly, it has affected my life for over 20 years. I am only sharing my personal thoughts, advice and opinions here. My heart goes out to anyone, who like me, had a loved one who is currently an addict. Drugs or alcohol, does not matter, they both affect the loved ones of the addict in the same, painful way. I hope maybe some things here might help you to cope with the addict in your life.
I have close friends and family members who have struggled with addiction, and watching it ruin their lives is the worst thing ever to witness, when you have tried your best to help them to no avail. An addict has to WANT to stop. They cannot stop because you love them, or want them to stop. When you love someone, you of course, ‘want to help them’….but if you keep trying to help them, and they keep going back to drugs or alcohol, you eventually become an ‘enabler’ and that does not help them at all in the end. It just extends the ‘path to destruction’…..builds a LONGER bridge, that they will eventually fall off of anyway.Took me over a decade to come to this realization.
It is SO HARD to ‘stop helping’ someone who does not want to quit. That is when you need to give love, let them know that you love them NO MATTER WHAT….but now it is ‘tough love’. I will never stop hoping, praying and having faith, that these people in my life, CAN get clean, and turn their life around, ‘when they decide’ to do it on their own. But I refuse to ‘enable’ them anymore. And it is because I still love them, not because I have given up on them. I will NEVER give up on anyone I love. I personally, ‘give it to God’ and pray that he will keep them safe from harm.
I have learned that addicts really do not want to hurt those who love them. I think they are so out of it, due to their addiction, that they think if they just ‘stay away’ from the people who love them, then their addiction is not hurting anyone except them. NOT TRUE. The whole family suffers when an addict spirals out of control. You constantly worry….and pray that they will not die, or hurt someone else, or end up in jail. But inevitably, addiction takes a predictable path that leads to one of those 3 terrible things, if they do not get help and get clean.
I will anger some people when I say my belief: Using drugs and alcohol are a CHOICE people make, NOT a ‘disease’ as some people say. You can choose to use or CHOOSE TO QUIT. It is not easy to quit, but with the will, there is a way, and HELP is availble to those who seek it.
If you have a loved one who is addicted to drugs or alcohol and it is affecting your life and you would like help in how best to HELP them, without ‘enabling them’, a great organization called Al-Anon which is a great support group for friends and family members of alcoholics. But this group can help you if your loved one is on drugs too. Addiction affects the family and friends the same way, whether it is alcohol or drugs.
To find an Al-Anon meeting near you, call 1-888-4AL-ANON (1-888-425-2666) Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 6:00pm ET.