17 March 2012

the addict

The other day I was listening to the song "Someone Like You" by Adele. I practically cry every time I hear that song.  But this time as I heard it I suddenly felt a wave of compassion flood over me for the men who destroy their lives as slaves to addiction.  It was as if it were an addict singing Adele's words- 
"I heard that you're married now, that you found a [man] and you're settled down. I heard that your dreams came true, guess [he] gave you things, I didn't give to you..."

I typically like to focus on the women on here, and our choices but I want to say a word about the men because these feelings are fresh.  (I am aware the gender roles aren't always as I just described, but they are for me and so it's what I'm familiar with.)

I've heard so many stories.  Men who were unfaithful, men who lost their jobs, men who molested their own daughters, men who are in prison; all began with porn and all sex addicts. 

We get to move on.  Whether we move on with or without our addict is irrelevent to the point I want to make.  We get to choose to heal and move on.  They get this choice too, but they have to wrestle the powerful and binding chains of addiction, and face the disappointment, shame and utter anguish that the circumstances in their life are their own fault.  Despite giving in to their carnal desires, they are miserable.  We know that, don't we? They are miserable.  Haven't we all seen our addicts sob in desperate suffering?
Choosing to see an addict as a really sick person, who is psychologically incapable of making good choices and practicing sound judgement until they get the appropriate help for their illness completely changes the way I am able to cope with the anger I feel.  Should I choose to see addicts as jerks, selfish ... 

well I better stop before this gets obscene. 

Don't get me wrong, I feel anger.  I get angry.  But I've chosen to take my anger to God.  (Have you seen the movie "The Help?")  I love how Aibileen writes her prayers every night.  I imagine she wrote some angry prayers, cuss words and all.)

But that's it for me.  The anger stops there.  I don't bring it to this blog, I don't take it to group meeting.  After I've had my moment to feel it, I let it go. 

I've heard that holding on to anger is like holding on to a hot coal, you are the one who gets burned. 

I'm just here to say, that for ME, bad-mouthing Pete has never made me happy.  Sometimes lashing out to a friend or in a blog post, using the most hateful language we can muster gives us a self-promoting, satisfying pleasure.  But it doesn't provide lasting peace.  Perhaps we either consciously or sub-consciously justify the way we view our addict as an unloveable soul because if he wasn't all the awful things we said about him, we would feel guilty about leaving.  This is a fallacy.  It's okay to feel love and compassion for him, and still separate.  Some addicts are not able to offer the requirements of a healthy relationship: love, trust, safety etc. 

My heart aches for addicts.  I can not fathom the discouragement, hopelessness, desperation, loneliness, shame, frustration, confusion and horror that haunt them.  Sometimes they lose it all (such are the consequences of their choices), and then are left with nary a shadow of their former life left  to cling to for strength to change. 

"Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead."


  1. How strange. I heard this song for the first time earlier today and had similar thoughts about the role reversal. This is a really beautiful, heartfelt, compassionate post, Jane. Very Christlike. It's a good reminder. Keep up the good work.

  2. Incidentally, have you seen the blog "Master Myself, Master the World"? It is maintained by a couple of LDS guys who are are fighting the battle against porn addiction. Their posts make me smile. Definitely a different perspective. :)

    Here's the link: http://familyprestige.blogspot.com/

    And a portion of the blog description: "We are two, I would say young men, in our twenties, married happily to two beautiful wives with great kids, who have helped eachother change our lives for the better and want to continue to serve and help where ever else we can."

  3. Love this Jane... my heart has hurt for my ex from day one... he lost everything.

    Thank you for your words. Perfect for what I needed tonight!


  4. I agree. This has opened up a compassion I have never known before (only because I just didn't know before). When I hear stories of people who do bad things, I don't automatically label them as monsters. I am first sad for them. You are right--we get to choose to move on. They are stuck with what they have done.

  5. I agree that we do get to move on however it is not without heartache. Attics are stuck with themselves and unless they find a way and a will to change then they will be forever miserable. And, while we do feel angry at times we can't let it encompass us and define us. I feel waves of anger but mostly I feel hope for change. Together or apart I have to maintain hope to move forward, change only comes through true repentance and we wives/ex-wives have no control over their repentance. They have to do it for themselves or it is only a bandage.
    I really enjoyed reading your blog, thank you for taking the time to write.