the rising voice of discontent


At a loss. I have written before about loving an addict. Or someone who clearly reaches a stage at which he is no longer fully in control of what he is doing. The first reaction is always hurt because his first action is to lash out and take a swipe. It’s textbook self-hatred seeping out but nevertheless taking its toll on unintended targets.

My next reaction: self-preservation and anger. By this point, though, he has moved to the next stage of his oblivion. Self-pity festooned with self-destruction. Empty promises strung like burned-out Christmas lights on a dying tree.

Watching this play out, I don’t understand what I should do, if anything. I talk to his family, and they have been through this before. They kind of have to be part of it. Maybe they could practice some of this ill-advised “tough love” but what should I do?

It’s a rough question and for my own sake I should just do nothing. Wash my hands of the whole thing.

I question, even if only academically, how to give someone like this the “community” he apparently lacks when he is demanding, insufferable, compulsively lying. As I wrote when I originally posed the question, “Of course I’m all for discoveries that help us better understand the nature of addiction but would also appreciate knowing on an individual level: if addicts lack connections and relationships and a sense of community and connectivity – and that partially explains what they are doing – how can an individual help? How does an individual, the non-addict in the addict’s life, cope? Every study in the world, every book in the world that explains what addiction is does not change the day-to-day challenges of living with, loving or trusting an addict.”

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