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Navigating in Woods
Field of Flowers


I’ve always heard that you can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. While I knew that to be true, I never understood just how much until I became a bystander to my cousin’s battle with alcoholism. The thing that kills me the most is that he’s admitted that he needs help, he just refuses to get the help that he needs. He believes he has more time, but how much time does one really have when you’re battling addiction?

Helplessness, being a bystander as a loved one self-destruct and not being able to do anything but watch and hope for the best knowing that the dark path they’re on, nine times out of then, ends in tragedy. I’ve been through a lot; I’m sure a lot of people have. However, I think that watching someone that I love destroy themselves while all I can do is be a bystander is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to face. Watching a loved one battle addiction is its own form of tragic heartbreak.

As humans, it’s easy to judge someone by the mistakes they’ve made. Always wondering, whether subconsciously or otherwise, why. Why did that person choose this? Why can’t they/won’t they stop? As someone with my own personal struggles, I can’t say that I don’t understand the temptation. I truly do. There have been instances when I’d just want the pain to stop; to feel numb to it all. I guess being a bystander to someone struggling with addiction has helped me learned that this is not a road I want to go down. Not only does it not help, but it’ll also undoubtedly make whatever I’ve faced worse. I ask myself; would I have that perspective without all that I’ve witnessed? Whatever the answer, I’m grateful.

So, if you’re out there, struggling with addiction, please find help. They are free resources available. I can’t imagine the strength it will take to reach out from what I imagine is a dark place, but we all have inner strength. I beg you, use yours. If not for you, do it for your family, or for whatever will help you get the help that you need. As a loved one forced to be a bystander, my heart breaks daily. I know I don’t have the right words, but I will say this, from the bottom of my heart, I’m sorry for whatever is causing you so much pain. May you overcome and rise above it!

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