The hardest, or one of the hardest, things is waking up one morning and finally realizing that your loved one is addicted to heroin, or any drug. If you’ve never been close to someone with such a crazy addiction, then it’s easy to be in denial of it for so long, before finally letting yourself know that they’re in love with the thing killing them. All of a sudden, you know they're not fully yours anymore, you’re sharing them with this monster. You never stop loving them though, they can steal, they can lie, and do so many unmentionable things to get this high, but you can’t stop giving them your heart no matter how much it hurts.
Loving an addict teaches you to love hard, and unconditionally. It hurts when you’re out and then all of a sudden their head starts to droop over, and you feel like you’re not enough to make them stop. It takes so much effort to not walk away, because of the hurt that the drug is causing you, the one who isn’t even doing it. You don’t leave for one reason, because you love them, and you know they need you, even if they don’t know it. You push to do things away from their scene, away from their darkest place. You push them to love other things, and not the thing they want most. You keep pushing, no matter how much your heart is aching.
Loving an addict teaches you patience. They can’t stop in one night, their body won’t let them. They’ll ache, they’ll sweat, and they’ll crave the thing that makes everything better to them. They’ll always be an addict, you can’t expect them to change because this monster has taken over their entire life. They may not be using, but it will always be a part of them. There will be days when they're so strung out that they won’t remember anything, and you’ll have to just let that be, rather than get angry. Sometimes, you’ll want to do something right away, but you can’t because they need to take their time. They’ll get clean, and they’ll relapse, but instead of getting frustrated that they went back, you’ll show them compassion and understanding, even though you don’t understand.
Loving an addict teaches you that there’s a dark side to every type of neighborhood. You may live in the most middle class suburb, but there’s a side always lurking around that you don’t see. When you’re introduced to that world, you can’t forget it. There’s a part of you, the non-addict, who will forever notice things around town that you wouldn’t have originally. You’ll realize that the upbringing you have doesn’t matter, a rich kid will get addicted as easily as the poor kid. It’s every where, and unless you’re thrown into that world it’s hard to notice.
Loving an addict teaches you the pain of complete heartbreak. They’re not the person you knew when they’re on it. You don’t know the person with their eyes almost closed not able to keep their head up. It hurts more than anything to go through it, and for some reason you can’t leave them no matter how much it hurts. Sometimes though, they don’t make it. They’ll get clean, they’ll go to rehab, and they’ll relapse and then they're gone forever. That’s the worst part of loving an addict, giving them a piece of your heart and having it leave with them, leaving you broken.
Loving an addict teaches you many things, but most of all, it teaches you to really love.