I am an
enabler. I am co-dependent. I have always wanted to make everyone happy and
make people laugh. But sometimes, no matter how positive I try to be, I have to
just cry. Grief and sorrow overcome me. This week has been one of those times.
sucks. If you know an addict, you know what I mean. Addiction tears families apart, destroys
property, kills without discrimination, and just makes everyone involved miserable.
I think the worst part of a person who has to deal with an addict is the
disappointment we feel when he relapses after being clean and swearing he
will never do it again. We feel like a fool because we have that little bit of
hope that maybe this time he'll succeed. Maybe, since he's already lost his
family, his job, his vehicle, his self-respect, he'll make it this
It took me years to learn that I can't love someone enough to make him stop.
When I realized that, I believe part of the joy in my life died. I hardened my
heart so that I wouldn't be hurt again. I became more cynical as a way to
defend myself from being hurt and disappointed. I know that the addict has to
do it for himself. Sometimes I relapse into trying to analyze why he
thinks this way or why he doesn't do the right thing. For the addict and the co-dependent, Albert Einstein's definition of insanity is the only explanation of this behavior.
This week, I had to tell a child
that her mother is in jail again because of drugs. That, my friend, is maximum disappointment.
Cancer sucks. It's something I would not wish to happen to my worst enemy. That
word strikes fear in me because I have seen the suffering it caused people I
loved. My dad endured several surgeries and many years of chemo for colon
cancer before his death. My sister-in-law died at 48 due to ovarian cancer.
I have seen friends fight a brave battle and then succumb to this terrifying disease.
Three years ago, one of my single friends set out to adopt a child who was in
foster care. She went through all of the steps, met the perfect little boy who needed
a mother, worked with him as a mentor for a year, and fell in love with him.
She took him into her home and finalized the adoption last November. This week,
my friend found out that her son has bone cancer. This kid was in foster care
since he was 6. He's now 13.
I know all the positive mantras
to repeat to try to make sense of these wretched events. I know the
Serenity Prayer and I've read When Bad Things Happen to Good People as well as
Co-dependent No More. I’ve been to AlAnon and prayed a zillion prayers. I
learned long ago not to ask why me? but instead to ask why not me? I don’t blame
God for these events but examine what I am supposed to learn from them.
What I learned this week, as I
have learned many times before, is that sometimes life just sucks. It’s not
fair, but like I tell my students, “Fair is where you get cotton candy.”