Loving an addict is a difficult path, but if you let it, it can reveal more about who you are as a human being than you might ever have imagined. It will either suck the life out of you, or it will transform you—and this might be a back and forth pattern as you slowly sort your way through the chaos that surrounds addiction.

If you seek self-transformation, you will never view the world the same again. You’ll begin to see both people and circumstances differently. The homeless person on the street or behind bars appears differently when it could be your child, spouse, sibling, or parent. Judgment loses its place in your heart as love and empathy crowd it out.

You will know frailty and you will know strength – your own and others’ – and how they often aren’t that far from one another.

Knowledge comes on the backend of experience if you choose to embrace it. You cannot escape events that bring you pain any more than you can set aside those that bring you joy. They often co-exist at the same time, but get easily forgotten in times of fear and loss.

Experience can be extremely painful, and temporarily disengage your ability to function well or have hope, but it isn’t powerful enough to take away your worth – even though you may feel hopeless or worthless at times. Your worth remains, always.

In the midst of tragedy, it is hard to image what you could learn, or how you could possibly benefit from any of it. A common delusion is falsely equating your worth with a loved one’s addiction. It has affected your life, but you do not need to give it the power to take away anything more from you than it already has.

You are far more powerful and worthwhile than your loved one’s addiction would lead you to believe.

It takes great courage to step into your self-worth when you feel pummeled by the world. Nevertheless, you have the right to do just that, and by doing so you can live your life differently – moving forward into your fear instead of remaining a victim to it. Take note of the times when your worth ebbs and flows because you’ve allowed outside influences or another person’s behavior to dictate your worth – and reclaim it again.

Use your experience to find your voice – and use it. Let it be strong; stronger than your pain. Transform the pain until it is useful to you and others. Learn every bit of self-knowledge from your experience and turn it into personal power, allowing less room for doubt, guilt, and self-hatred.

Enjoy the good things that still exist in life. Realize that they can and do co-exist alongside the bad, bringing balance and taking some sting out of the painful stuff.

What has experience taught you? Sometimes we feel alone in our experience, but you are not alone. Reach out and take someone’s hand that’s walked in similar shoes. Borrow their strength until you can find your own. You are stronger than you know, and you matter much more than you might think right now.

Namaste ~ (The Divine in me, recognizes the Divine in you)

Cyndee Rae Lutz, Author of “When Your Heart Belongs to an Addict – A Healing Perspective” (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Tattered Cover)

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