Why there are ALWAYS. Three sides to every story.

We all know that addiction brings out the huge parking lot of pain, disappointment, agony, despair, sadness, violence, and misery. Some of this chaos is self-inflicted for many reasons. This chaos is projected onto everyone who gets in its path. Some people pull into the parking lot unknowing of what is coming. But everyone brings their own personality traits into the parking lot.

Of course, we are going to hear about all the tragedies of drug use. From criminal behavior to divorces to bankruptcy, it would appear that addiction is its own snake-filled evil entity all in itself. But as Gabor Mate, Johann Hari, and many others leading the way in addiction research and dissection; there are reasons and causes for this behavior.

Doesn’t matter, some would say. A crime is a crime. A lie is a lie. But in the context of BEING HELPFUL and MAKING A DENT in this epidemic, What is going to be helpful to stop all this pain and suffering? I can tell you 1000% percent “if only they would stop” is NOT A COMPLETE SENTENCE. There are many other problems that have to be solved other than the drugs, by the addicted one AND by others around them.

Unfortunately, many personality types are unwilling to budge their “warring heart” or learn new skills or “ways of being”. (Both from Anatomy of Peace)

My heart hurts for all who are affected by addiction. But today I am saddened for the absolute cruelty thrown at addicts, by using their darkest moments against them continuously and denying them access to their children- in the name of virtuous parenting. When in fact, seeing their kids and starting the bonding process again could be the very thing that keeps them from relapse. True that it could “lead the kids on” & cause damage if a relapse occurs, but it also could be the very last time a child sees their parent.

Demanding expensive hair follicle tests and repeated urine tests just for an hour supervised visit only increases tension and conflict on already stressed relationships. Life is so short and these windows of opportunities are so few and far between.

This kind of unnecessary cruelty hits deep into a person’s soul contributing to the shame and discouragement of having something to look forward to and live for; thereby pushing people deeper into the depths of addiction.

In these convoluted situations, I think it’s helpful to keep in mind that there are always 2 perspectives and one version of the mixed truth. Everyone thinks they have such clarity as to what needs to happen.

Regardless of whichever version of a certain dynamic is the truth, many studies show that inflicting more pain on an addictive brain causes more addictive behaviors.

In all of time, there are people who inflict pain on others separate from having any addiction. It’s true that those under the influence can become unruly, violent, abusive and very enrollment dysregulated. They lie to keep their addiction going. They get defensive and manipulative to cover up their use. Their behaviors make sense to them, but seem completely off the wall to others.

So there are both sides of the equation at work. There are people who are addicted and not addicted who:

  • Love to call others liars while spewing hate.
  • Preach moral virtue while insisting others beg and grovel for forgiveness
  • Proudly claim to be the best friend, sibling, child, yet never sending cards, well wishes or words of encouragement to others.
  • Brag about their stellar communication skills while ignoring others’ pleas for help or their deepest thoughts and feelings.
  • Make unreasonable demands that are not easily met
  • Then they wonder why after the 💯th time, you aren’t jumping to comply
  • Now they have “proof” of how horrible you are
  • No matter how many times you say sorry, they will swear on a stack of Bibles that you never say sorry
  • Complain about never being included, but plays victim martyr with every invitation
  • Wonders why everyone else’s behavior is “inconsistent” or non- supportive, yet their behavior is inconsistent and their support is non-existent.
  • Accuses you of ridiculous things that are actually of no concern to them, but it’s a way to get info in order to use as back up ammo to prove either that you lied, or that you shouldn’t have done that or you don’t deserve to have that.
  • Confusing the boundaries, rules, expectations, so that your self confidence and outlook on life is skewed or depressed in order to get you to act in confused or depressed ways so they can then justify what an idiot human being you are.

So, the next time you hear that “there’s no excuse for addiction” or for their kids not being enough to get them to stop, or that the worst thing in the world is addiction; please remember that there are always 2 sides to the story and a third side which is a version of the truth. Addiction is curable. Other traits-are with us for a lifetime unless WE take initiative to improve.

Being kind is its own superpower.