Sorry Is Just a Word: The Realities of Addiction

Content warning: Addiction and alcoholism.

Addiction is something that I think everyone struggles with throughout their lives. If it is not them who has an addiction, it is someone else in their family that does. Addiction is hard, especially when a family member is an alcoholic and will not admit that they are one. It is hard for the family members themselves as they are watching their loved one slowly kill themselves, drink after drink.

This is going to be one of the tough topics that I will be writing about, especially since I am personally dealing with this issue currently. I thought if I wrote about it, it would help me feel better about the situation itself, and get all of my thoughts out of my head as well as show other people that they are not alone dealing with this issue whether they are the addict or the family member of one.

Please remember: you are never alone. It does not matter how much you think you are because you are not, nor will you ever be. There is always someone to talk to whenever you need it. There are counselors on campus, for example, there are counselors that the Wellness Center can get you in touch with if you want to talk to someone outside of campus.  

I have personally been through so much when it comes to having an addict in the family, especially when they have had way too much to drink and think that yelling about everything under the sun is appropriate. I even lost my best friend, my grandfather, who admitted he was an alcoholic and died from liver failure due to drinking too much. 

Perhaps the hardest part of it all is when you get kicked out of your own house, with only an outfit for work the next day and that is it. It hurts to know that you have to go out and buy yourself more clothes that you really do not need, when you have enough at home but you are unable to take them because the alcoholic refuses to let you back on your own property. It hurts knowing that you will be couch surfing until it is safe enough to go back home, as you do not want to stay too long at someone’s house because you feel like such a burden being there.

It is interesting hearing apologies when you realize how much they do not remember or how much they try to change the story that you remember fully, being the sober one while they were intoxicated for two days straight. After hearing “I’m sorry” for so long, you come to the conclusion that “sorry” is just another word in their vocabulary and it has absolutely no meaning to you anymore, as you hear it at least once a week, as compensation for the trauma and problems that they have caused for your entire family.

I do not know who needs to hear this, but you are not alone in this situation; you have many people in your life that care about you. I had about ten people in my friends and coworkers, offering me their spare rooms and couches because they care about me so much. Remember, you are loved and you will get through this, one step at a time.