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The Struggle of Letting Go and Dealing with Addiction

The Challenge of Letting Go

No longer being an enabler to your child who is struggling with addiction is [letting go]. I found an example in beautiful boy when Nic calls his father. “In the afternoon, Nic calls. He tells me everything – he has relapsed, is using meth and heroin. I have rehearsed my response. I shakily tell him that there’s nothing I can do. It’s up to him” (Sheff, 2008, p.224). Though Nic is reaching out to his father and asking for help David realizes there is nothing more he could do for his son Nic. David had to deny his son help when Nic asks for it.  David had already helped him many times. He has learned to say no to Nic and let him go. David reached a point where he got a hold of himself and took control. 

This is a first for Nic because Nic has never hit rock bottom regarding having a place to live.  He never really reached that point. “He is crying. I say nothing. This isn’t how I want to respond. I want to go to the city to get him. But I repeat, “Call Randy.” I tell him that I love him and hope that he gets his life together” (Sheff, 2008, p.225). David is experiencing [hopelessness]through this phone call form Nic. He has lost hope and has come to terms in realizing there I nothing he can do to help Nic. David is experiencing feeling of loss of despair and loss of hope. He knows Nic must get his addiction under control. At times is seems as though David is more consumed by Nic’s addiction more than Nic is consumed by it. David realizes there is nothing more he can do for him. The lies have been out of control and for Nic only being in his early 20’s he is interested in things he should not be into for his age. Nic has tried weed, coke, meth, alcohol, pills, and extasy. Nic effects everyone. He is strung out, has lost weight, and looks rail thin. The trauma Nic experienced as a young boy, the long distance between the mother and the father,  the fact that he always had to go back and forth on the plane by himself, that his parents were so estranged is the reason for his drug addiction. 


We do not realize how things effect children. How experiences children have given what they know in the world, what isolation does to children, what different types of things effect children. David did not pay attention to Nic that much when he was younger, and David was working. David should have put work to the side a little more to really focus on Nic. People struggling with a disease is so rampant in our world today. However, it is not that everyone that is struggling with a disease has had some type of trauma. Some people that have had terrible trauma that never get into drug addiction and some people who do not have much trauma at all but are still drug addicted. There is a toxicity to dealing with a person who has an addiction. As much as you are invested in them as a person, they may not be invested in you as a person they might be invested into what you can get them. Relapse is a step on the road to recovery you don’t get to sobriety without relapsing in some kind if way some people can relapse and it will bring them closer to sobriety and there are other who can relapse and it will not bring them closer to sobriety. 


According to the article Recovery is A Journey Not A Destination “In addiction, each person has a story; As such, each individual requires an individualized plan, supporting their own needs, in their own time” (NIDA, 2018). There is no on or off switch for a person who is struggling with addiction. They never feel like they have had enough. The thing about addiction is that you cannot just stop after one you cannot just stop at some point in the night it is the need to keep going until you fall asleep. “Most physical relapses are relapses of opportunity. They occur when the person has a window in which they feel they will not get caught”. Part of relapse prevention involves rehearsing these situations and developing healthy exit strategies” (Melemis, 2015). The first time Nic tried meth he felt like this is what has been missing from his life.  Everything he had suddenly longed for he found with meth. Something that has always been missing is found. Nic was a kid with all these great opportunities such as getting into 6 different colleges, being a writer, and he still fell into this addiction.  Addiction can affect everyone no one is safe from it. According to the National Association of Drug and Alcohol Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) & the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) “Recovery is person-driven: Self-determination and self-direction are the foundations for recovery as individuals define their own life goals and design their unique path(s)” (2020).

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