Monday, December 2, 2013

The Addiction: Is It About You?

This post is for those of you who have struggled with the concept that “this has nothing to do with you.”

I’ve struggled with that concept a lot since I started my recovery. Despite how that may sound, my struggle with it is not because I think the addiction is my fault. I feel very blessed to have only minimally thought about the addiction in those terms, and those thoughts were very quickly shut down in the beginning stages of my recovery. However, that phrase bothers me because I still feel like the addiction has very much to do with me.

People in my recovery groups in Utah, along with my previous bishop, constantly told me “it has nothing to do with you.” Everything seemed to be focused around not being codependent and knowing the addiction was not about me. I was instructed to lean on Christ and let Him heal me. That’s good, but it made me feel like I’m supposed to find a way for this to not hurt me because “it has nothing to do with me.” If it has nothing to do with me, I shouldn’t be hurt by it, right?

I think I’ve been waiting for that day in my recovery that the addiction doesn’t hurt me, or that I am so quick to turn it over to God that I don’t feel the pain.

That’s not how it works.

Ben’s addiction has nothing to do with me in the sense that I’m not the cause. I’m not at fault for anything he has done. He doesn’t turn to his addiction because I’m not beautiful or fulfilling enough (and if he did, I would say screw him because I don’t feel the need to change myself physically for anyone but me). He doesn’t turn to his addiction because I’m a failure of a wife. I know I’m not. In fact, I’m an amazing wife, and I have a lot of patience and love. It is in those types of instances that the addiction has nothing to do with me.

The addiction doesn’t stem from me, but it still has very much to do with me. He is my husband. He turns to his addiction rather than God or me. He breaks promises and does things that hurt me, and I’ve realized it’s okay and normal that they hurt me. Just because the addiction “isn’t about me” doesn’t mean I can’t be hurt by it. This is my life, and it very much involves me. This life I’m living is all about me. I can rely on God and still be very much hurt by the actions of my husband. It comes with the reality I’m living. He has made commitments, and I have hope that he will keep them. When that hope is crushed, it’s only natural to be hurt.

So, if this is a concept you have struggled with, know you’re not alone. The addiction isn’t about you, meaning it is in no way your fault. The consequences and pain of the addiction very much involve you, and that is normal. As you seek your own recovery, you will be healed and blessed to find the true joy and happiness you deserve even in the midst of addiction in your life.

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