Sunday, February 12, 2012

SOC Sunday: It is really, really hard to love someone with an addiction

Stopping by from's Romancing the Valentine Giveaway Hop? Please find the giveaway post HERE.

The Vampires for Valentines giveaway post is HERE.

Today’s (Optional) Writing Prompt: Celebrities and drugs – do you judge harshly, have mercy, or fit somewhere in between?

If you blogged this writing prompt, please link up at AllThingsFadra.

Let me begin by saying that one of hte matriarchs of my family had multiple drug and alcohol addictions. When I was a child, she was largely in recovery, and this was not apparent to me. I was aware of it, but it didn't affect me until she got older. After a bout with cancer, she began drinking heavily again and starting using codeine.

I know it's possible to love, truly love, a person with an addiction. It's also necessary to put up very strict - loving, but firm - boundaries around that person. Addicts are very manipulative. They'll do anything to keep using. It's not only destructive to themselves, it's destructive to everyone and everything around them. It's not wrong to protect ourselves and those we value from their downward spiral. It's not cruel or unloving. Enabling is far more cruel, even though it may seem like the kinder option at times.

My family member died of an unrelated accident just as she was beginning to enter recovery - very sad. I do not judge people harshly for using addictive drugs, although I do mourn the circumstances that may have led them to that decision.

However, I am optimistic about the possibility of recovery. Case in point: Robert Downey, Jr. In the '90s, he seemed certain to be doomed to a life of prison and early death. Now he's freaking IRON MAN. It's such a joy that this beautiful and talented actor lived to see his own success. It's wonderful that his kids got their father back.

I was a bit surprised this morning to learn of Whitney Houston's death at the age of 48. I don't judge her harshly. I do choose to remember her for her beautiful music.

It took me longer than 5 minutes to write that. I cheated, but only because it was a topic I felt passionate about. 

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The Forever Fight: On Drugs, Alcohol and the Cycle of Addiction by K.J. Gordon. $0.99 from
Whether you are struggling, or have a love one that is, reading this guide will help you to better understand what addiction is, how drugs and alcohol effect the body, as well as Addiction Recovery options based on recent studies from 2015 done by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Health, and the US Department of Health and Human Services.


Kathy Kramer said...

I cheated, too. Once I got going, I couldn't stop after five minutes. Addiction is something I feel passionate about because so many people misunderstand it. It is a disease, a disease of the mind. I see a lot of parallels between how an addict behaves with how my mentally ill mother in law behaves. She refuses to get help and we can't force her to do it, either.

Great post.

(Visiting via SOC Sunday)

Erin O'Riordan said...

Kathy,I just got done reading and commenting on your post, which I felt was very thoughtful and well-said.

Sunray Gardens said...

Two cases with very different endings. Such a shame about Whitney for sure.

Cher Sunray Gardens

Erin O'Riordan said...

Thanks for stopping by with a comment, Cher. It's undoubtedly sad.

Kymele Des A Lo'ra said...

I'm sorry for the loss and pain addiction has caused in your life. To a degree, I think a lot of people know what you wrote in a similarly visceral sense. Addiction took a cousin from me, took my grandfather and eventually my grandmother... But like you say, it's more than possible to love someone who is addicted completely and totally love them.

This was a sweet piece, and when you feel passionate about something, you should write about it, even if it means neglecting the timer.

Erin O'Riordan said...

Thank you, Kymele. That timer's not the boss of me anyway.

all.things.fadra said...

It's so hard. But I love that you used Robert Downey Jr. as a positive example. You're right in that I had written him off much like I've written of Lindsey Lohan. I never expected him to fully recover and stay recovered.

There is addiction in my family but it's the circumstances that have led to the addiction that I can't argue against. I'm forced to simply have my boundaries while the rest of my family enables. There is no winning.

Erin O'Riordan said...

No, no one wins with addiction. It's a cruel trick of mammalian biochemistry.