How do you get off the Merry-Go-Round of addiction?

Have you dealt with a family member and addiction? How do you learn to separate yourself from the addict? When do you know you have to so that you can move forward with your own life? How do you deal with the guilt that follows once you put yourself first? How do you handle other family members who haven’t separated themselves from the addict?

I shared my story of addiction here. I shared my story of dealing with the stigma associated with addiction here.

My brother is a heroin addict.

I’ve been on the Merry-Go-Round of addiction for as long as I can handle it.

The ride just keeps going around and around and it just doesn’t stop….

It might slow down sometimes…..

You might get the idea that it is over soon….

That your feet can almost touch the ground…

And maybe you can go get a snack.

Like maybe funnel cake, to celebrate the occasion that the ride has finally ended.

But just like that, the ride starts back up again.

Excuse me, **frantically waves arms** ride operator, but I want off. I’m done now. My time is up. I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth!

I will just have to JUMP off if you can’t stop the ride.

I did it. I jumped. I’ve finally made it off the ride. The ride I didn’t ask to be on in the first place. The ride I didn’t even know I was on until it was already speeding up.

I wish I could say the ground feels great. That jumping part really hurt. I’m pretty banged up. My injuries will take time to heal. That celebratory funnel cake just doesn’t seem appropriate right now. The ride is still going around and around, I’m just watching from the side lines now. I see my mom hanging off the ride. I know she wants to jump too but isn’t so sure. That really looked like it hurt. What if she gets off the ride but decides she needs back on? Then what? When we were all on the ride together we were at least together.

I’ve done all I can for my brother. I don’t love him any less. I don’t wish him anything but the best. I hope he can eventually stop the ride and leave the park. Go home and never return. Get far away from the park and not look back. I can’t make him go. I can’t make him stop. I can’t make him make better choices. I can’t make him treat people the way they should be treated. I can’t make him thankful for all the help and love and support that he has received. I can’t make him be a good person.

I can brush myself off. I can take my skinned knees and hurt elbows and I can walk away. I can leave the ride and the park behind. I can stop taking things personally. I can understand that an addict is simply a child in an adult body. I can understand that I can’t argue anymore. I can feel the pain and leave it behind.

I know I started off with a lot of questions and I’m working on finding the answers.

I hope if you’re still on the ride you can take a deep breath and jump.

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