Addiction. That word in itself makes people uncomfortable. People are dying by the millions , yet we argue if it is a disease or a choice. It’s both. It began with a choice, and it becomes a disease in the way that it manifests itself in the brain. Yet, most diseases are caused from us not taking care of ourselves properly. We choose unhealthy foods, not to exercise , not managing our stress, choosing to stay awake later instead of getting adequate sleep, and the list goes on. These all contribute to a plethora of diseases, such a heart disease and cancers. How we choose to care for ourselves during the treatment of our disease contributes to the healing process. The same goes with addiction. We choose to do the things necessary to stay clean, or not. One thing I will tell you. If I would have known my choice to experiment, and party as hard as everyone else would have led ME to a life of regret, pain, and shame, I would have made different choices.
When I was a child, I was smart, creative, a self proclaimed gymnast ( I taught myself) , a daughter, and a friend. I was someone. I believe most addicts suffered some sort of trauma in their childhoods. That trauma led them to believe that they were somehow not worthy. As I said in my previous blog post, my first 12 years were wonderful. I felt safe, had friends, had a very active imagination, and was loved. I am going to tell you a story of a girl, who went from feeling loved and safe to abandoned, and shattered.
This little girl had a wonderful first 12 years. Her childhood was full of happy memories. She loved her Stepfather and has many memories with him. He raised her from a baby so he was her “Dad”. He treated her with as much love as his biological children. She was a Daddy’s girl. She would hang around him while he worked on the farm. they ate bowls of ice cream while playing the “original” Mario Brothers, and many games of basketball. This little girl turned into a 13 year old and suddenly the man who raised her, whom she trusted and loved.. crossed boundaries no father should with his daughter. She was confused, and scared, and felt embarrassed. She told her guidance counselor , who in turn told her she would break her family up if she told. He told her to dress in baggy clothes so she wouldn’t turn him on. She again felt betrayed. This was another man who was an adult, whom she trusted and he wronged her.
This little girl knew better and she told her Mother. The Mother of this little girl , never really liked her daughter, for some reason. The little girl knew that but she had always had her Father so that took the sting out of it. Even so, the Mother of this little girl did not hesitate. She kicked him out and divorced him. She never doubted her daughter for a second. After all of this the little girl felt so many mixed emotions. The man she loved was no longer in her life. Just like that. She still loved her Father and she grieved this loss. She also saw how difficult it was for her Mother financially, and how depressed her Mother was. The little girl felt so incredibly guilty for this. She felt lost and alone, and angry. She felt betrayed more than anything. There was a line that was crossed. Her trust was destroyed.
From that point on everything went downhill, and stayed that way for a long time. There is much more to this story but that is where the trauma began. That is where the void was created in this child. She was broken. She would later seek all sorts of self medicating techniques. Drugs and alcohol. At least then she was numb. At least then nothing mattered. At least then she could just be in peace.
There is a lot more to this girl’s story but that is the starting point of it all. This is not blaming everyone’s childhood for addiction. It is explaining how one could feel so empty they seek out something, anything to comfort them. Of course, there are people who have extremely traumatic childhoods and never touch drugs and alcohol. It’s strange that way. I can’t speak for those people. I can only say that the little girl in this story had a traumatic childhood, and most addicts I have met also experienced some sort of trauma. We have to take ownership of our addiction, however. We must put it into perspective. Bad things may have happened, and we may have turned to unhealthy solutions. We cannot go through life blaming our addiction on that . We have to be accountable. It is not an easy thing to do. We HAVE to do it , though. We have to work on acceptance, and forgiveness of ourselves and others. Turn to God, and beg him to take you out of your dark place. That is what I did, and still do. We are ALL worthy of healthy, happy lives!! Addicts are not disposable. We are valuable people who deserve to be in this world . I am going to talk about forgiveness in my next blog! ❤ Much Love ❤ Nicole