Living with an addiction
“You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave!”
– The Eagles, Hotel California
Whenever we hear that someone is battling an addiction, our first thought may be “Just stop.” Other times it might be “How could they let, it get so bad?” Those who battle with and eventually overcome an addiction, wither it be pornography, alcohol, drugs, food, etc. will struggle with their addiction for the rest of their lives. Knowing that this will be a struggle is an essential concept that we must always remember when talking with and supporting our loved ones through their struggles and trails .
“You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave” is a phrase that will always ring true to these individuals who are overcoming addiction. No matter how many times they may check out of their addiction, they will never be able to leave their addiction. This is why you never hear someone in Alcoholics Anonymous say “I’ve recovered from being an alcoholic,” but rather they say “I am a recovering alcoholic.”
This simple word change shows that recovery is and will always be an active part of the individual’s life. This recovery process will be a struggle for them. Somedays it will be easier than others to manage, but one thing that will be beneficial for them, it to know they have someone rooting for them.
When our spouse or loved one has a compulsion or an addiction, it is crucial that we remember this concept of never leaving. While our spouse or loved one must walk this journey, it is important for them to know that we will be walking it with them. Yes, there will be stumbles and falls. Yes, there may be relapses and a halting of progress. But yes, there will also be compassion, understanding, and healing along the way.
As the spouse or the loved one, we must be able to remember that while we may get frustrated because of these stumbles and falls; it is important that we empower those struggling with confidence and encouragement. While this may not be our fight to fight; we can be the moral support in their corner cheering them on and showing them that there will always be hope. We should never forget: no matter how many times they check out, they can never leave.
Matthew Montanó – Utah Family Therapy 801.901.0279