by Crystal Sinclair
When Monika came back to school I thought things would go back to almost normal. I was expecting her to be different because she’s been though a lot, but I thought she would be done with drugs and would settle back into her old life, our old life at school. After all the pain it brought into her life, I never thought she’d go back to meth.
I’m afraid that maybe we pushed Monika too hard, didn’t take the time to understand where she was coming from and that’s why she went back to using. She seemed to want the help, but not able to cope with all attention she was getting. We all expected her to be normal like before, without giving her proper time to heal and make the transition back to her old life.
But addictions are hard to kick, just ask anyone who smokes. Even when you really want to kick a habit and you know its hurting you, the addiction can still keep a tight grip on you. Recovery is a life long process, which the addict has to deal with every day.
I didn’t realize Monika would still be fighting this battle when she got back from rehab. Once an addict has stopped using, they not only have to deal with the painful physical withdrawal, but they also have to learn to live without the drug. They have to deal with the underlying issue of whatever made them get into it in the first place and they have to battle the cravings, which may last forever. The sad truth is, most addicts don’t recover until they decide they want to quit and then seek out help.
The best thing you can do is to fully support the person trying to recover. Don’t judge them, be compassionate, but don’t shield an addict from the ugliness of their addiction. An addict’s addiction not only affects them but also everyone else around them, and they have to be held accountable for the pain they cause others. Don’t push them into a normal life too fast, as they’re going through a hard time, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Try to make them feel comfortable, but don’t push them too hard. A recovering addict takes it one day at a time, and so should the people around them.
With support and patience, everyone can get though this together.