Diary of an addict: Our pain becomes their trauma. Hurting those we love and the grace they deserve.

One of the many tragedies of addiction and addiction recovery is the damage caused to those closest to us. The ones we cherish and love, our families and closest friends are the ones who experience the most hurt because of our acting out. And in many cases the shock, betrayal, deceit, disappointment, and rejection experienced all results in deep trauma.

The difficulty is that when we act out or relapse, we can become extremely introspective and individually focused on what we need to do to become healthy again, often at the cost of those around us dealing with their trauma caused by us.

As addicts we rely on the grace of others in dealing with us. Unfortunately, all to often the trauma responses that we receive from others can trigger us into acting out again. This is where we need to understand that those responses are from a place of pain.

Recognising that their pain is because of us, giving them space to process the shock and allowing them to vent their emotions is all ways that we can both realise the impact of our addiction on our loved ones as well as support their process of healing from pain.

We also need to recognise that different people have different coping mechanisms. Some are healthy and others not. After all, we are where we are because ours were not and as we heal, we should be equipped with better ways to deal with our own trauma and pain.

As much as we have received grace from others and rely heavily on that grace for our recovery, so we need to give that grace freely to those who are suffering from the pain we have caused.

The trauma faced can often lead to depression and result in a survival mode that is barely functional as they deal with their world that has come crashing down. Mourning the loss of a life that was not what they signed up for or deserved. The struggle of “What now?” and will anything ever be normal again? can send a person into deep depression. Our addiction stops being our pain as we inflict pain on others, on the ones we love.  It becomes our place to support their healing as much as possible and is healthy as they have supported our recovery.

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