Losing a loved one to addiction is painful and it comes with a lot of guilt. Friends and family get the horrible feeling they could have done something to save their loved one from addiction, from himself. They say time heals everything, but the reality is the wound never heals; it just gets less painful with time. But it’s hard to come to terms with the fact someone you love was taken away by addiction.
When you learn about someone’s addiction, you will be angry on him or her for jeopardizing their life and forcing the entire family to go through all this pain. The anger is going to linger on, sometimes even after the addict is gone. There are people who actually become even angrier after they lose the person they love. To be able to overcome the moment you have to forgive your loved one and let all the negative feelings go.
Drug addiction is a disease
Most people who hear the word addiction think the addict can choose to give up on the drugs, which is a huge myth. When you are addicted to opiates or another drug, you can’t choose, as the drug chooses for you. Addiction controls everything and it turns your loved one into another person, a stranger. Family and friends can’t do anything to cure the addiction, which has to be addressed by a medical team, just like any other severe disease.
You did everything you could
To stop blaming yourself for the death of someone you loved, you need to accept the fact they needed to want your help. In most cases, the addict’s family and friends do everything they can to help him or her. But until the addict realizes the situation and decides he or she needs help, all the efforts are in vain. In order for the recovery process to be successful, the addict has to want to get sober and give up on drugs. When this happens, friends and family can offer their support and make sure the addict receives all the help he or she needs.
Realize the person who died was still your loved one
Even if drug addiction changes the person, they remain the one you know and love, deep inside. It’s hard to think this way when the person in front of you acts completely different from the one you grew up together and shared hundreds of memories with. It’s scary to see the one you love change this much, but at the end of the day, if you peel off the addiction, you will find the same person you’ve always knew and loved.
Time helps you heal, but you will never forget
As I said, time doesn’t heal the wounds, but it does help you with the pain. In the first days and weeks after the loss, the grief will take the best of you. However, the more time will pass, the easier it will be for you to function. The pain will still be there, you will still miss him or her, but you will be able to come to terms with the fact you’ve lost someone to drug addiction.
We see and read about people who lose their lives from drug addiction frequently, but we think it can’t happen to us. When it does happen, it’s harder than it looks, but you are never alone.