By Michelle Nollsch
Love The Addict Not The Addiction
This week’s blog will be on a much deeper subject. I have been on both sides of the coin regarding addiction. In my previous blog, “Strengthening Family Ties,” I mentioned I struggled with substance abuse after losing my adopted parents to cancer. Family members and friends are afflicted by their addiction, and some have died! Addiction is a family matter. It affects us all!Read more
In 1994 it all changed for me. I was sentenced to the 12 Step program through a court order after spending a month in jail. It was my first wake-up call! I wanted a better life for myself and my family, so I did what was necessary to lead a productive life. My former husband did not follow suit & we were divorced a few years later.
At this point, I was not fully aware of the depths of my addiction. I viewed it as getting caught up in something and just moved on from here. After all, I was working and caring for my family. I lacked the understanding of how deadly this disease is- there is no cure!
Hitting Rock Bottom
My second wake-up call came 15 years later. In 2010, my addiction had completely taken over & I stood to lose everything again. This time I had knowledge of this disease and knew where to go for help. I was back in the 12 Step program. Taking it seriously this time, I have 12 years of continuous sobriety.
I would have liked to say my children escaped this deadly disease. Both my daughter and son are affected by addiction. In 2016, I lost my son to suicide due to his addiction. My children’s father took his own life due to his addiction in 2014. My daughter is thriving with three years of continuous sobriety. I’m so proud of the woman she is today!
As you have probably figured out by now, my life has not been without pain. I didn’t allow the pain to break me but used it as a stepping stone to a better life. I don’t drink or use drugs no matter what! Today, I can help others through my experience, strength, and hope. I have a vast knowledge of both perspectives-what it’s like to be an addict & how the family is affected on a deep level.
Maintaining A Support System
If you, a family member, or a friend are in the throws of addiction, I recommend a support system. It’s necessary to have someone to talk to, like a support group or therapist. I am so fortunate to have a support system in place. I have groups I can attend & trusted counselors I can talk to about my issues. My husband is my biggest supporter. I’m so grateful to have him in my life.
Though he is not an addict, he has lost family members & friends to this awful disease. As a life coach, he has worked closely with many friends and counseled clients on such issues. It has been just as painful for him watching his friends & loved ones engulfed in their addictions. Mental health issues are not far from the substance abuse, which we can learn from & be aware of for ourselves.
3 responses to “Addiction Is A Family Matter”
What a great blog. Know all to much about this disease too. You are a strong woman and I truly admire you Michelle.
Thank You so much, Cherie! That really means a lot to me. These are gifts we can achieve in sobriety!
[…] to grief and loss, unfortunately. I have had my fair share & then some. In my previous blog, Addiction Is A Family Matter, I shared the loss of my son and ex-husband to suicide. Before losing those two loved ones, my boss […]