Addiction and Codependency

23/08/2016 16:46 | Updated 23 August 2016

If you have ever had a closed loved one suffering with substance abuse, you can probably relate -missed doctor appointments, financial woes, hiding medicines, empty awakenings every morning and a sigh of relief every night if your day was free of a sudden catastrophe -it's like going to a war zone every day, a little wounded, hoping not to be bruised further and commending yourself for coming out alive.

It started off like any other day for Jason; the alarm woke him up and he found himself with a pounding heart over bursting with fear and anxiety. As his mind awakened so did the dark fears. How sickening had life become; living a diseased life with an addicted loved one.

Jason had lived this life for several years, hoping after every relapse that this might be his addict partner's final awakening, her rock bottom but he had been a victim again and again -suffering a monotonous chain of trauma, lies and disappointment. And here he was, he hadn't budged an inch, scavenging through a few happy moments to get him through the day.

Until the day when Jason had en epiphany; he came across a book that discussed the role of a codependent in an addict's life. There in that book, Jason found himself, he realised his smallness, he witnessed his deterioration in writing, he felt the pain in the bruises that had stopped healing; that had punctured his soul and bled every day.

Why was he waiting for his addict partner to die to be rid of a disease that had slowly engulfed and transformed him into a person who had lost all sense of taste, joy, sleep and happiness? It's like the door was wide open but he was waiting for the windows to open, excuse after excuse, telling himself it is okay, it will be okay, and then he fell and tried again, and again till his mind was numb with confusion, disappointment and hopelessness. He had gotten used to sharing his life with pain. He told himself it could be worse but at the same time he kept falling, further and further, setting a new low as a new norm.

I asked Jason how he would live his life if he had only a few days left to live? He said, he would politely bid farewell to the disease. He would love himself enough to detach with love from his partner with the hope and prayer that one day, his addict partner can learn to love himself enough to seek recovery.

And so Jason realized, he had to change; he had to move and find himself -he had to live his one life.

The article is based on a real life story. Names have been changed to protect the family's privacy.