“I have isolated myself from family and friends. I rather be alone and struggle than for anyone to find out I have a problem.”
Do you feel like this? It is one thing being isolated from family and friends because of location and circumstances but it’s a whole other situation where you isolate YOURSELF from those who love and care about you. Yep, this is what meth does, and this can be one of the signs to a family member or friend who is wondering what is happening with someone they love. I want to talk to you today about why meth addicts isolate themselves, suggestions what family members and friends can do about the isolation, and the joy and freedom of coming out of isolation.
First I want to share my experience with isolation; I did it to my family and friends to hide my addiction. When I was with Mark, one of my best friends was getting married and wanted me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. I couldn’t take the pressure of her calling and wanting to know if I wanted the prime spot in her wedding so I stopped answering the phone. Looking back, I knew I really hurt her feelings and feel horrible about it but there was no way I could do all that was asked and still do my drugs. My family would call to chat but more and more I quit answering the phone to them as well because they were always asking things of me that I had to lie about. The pressure of dealing with all the lies is huge. I had another friend who was visiting from out of town and I knew that she wanted to see me but I completely avoided her phone calls so I wouldn’t have to see her. Good grief, all I wanted to do was drugs and not lie.
What is there to lie about? Questions like, ‘wow, why are you so skinny,’ ‘why don’t you answer the phone,’ ‘what is keeping you so busy?’ You don’t honestly think that anyone else can see the changes in you but your family and friends are going to be the FIRST to see the changes, and they are going to be the first who start asking you about what is going on. If you hadn’t noticed, meth addicts don’t take pressure very well. In fact, you probably know that asking too many questions can send an addict into a rage. So one way for an addict to deal with this pressure and rage is to isolate themselves from those who know them best; that way the changes are less noticed, questions aren’t asked, and hence, less pressure – meaning more freedom to live in the drug lifestyle.
So, if you have a family member that is displaying this type of behavior, you just might have an addict on your hands. Please note that I’m not saying that everyone who isolates themselves from family and friends is a meth addict, but it could be one piece of the puzzle. What can you do? Well, it’s just about impossible to not ask questions but that is one of the best ways to deal with it. Become a really good listener; meth addict can ramble on and on, and though the conversation gets frustrating and tiresome, if you are really listening, you’ll be able to pick up on clues about what is really going on in their life, it keeps the line of communication open, and it could save your relationship with them. If a meth addict can feel like they can talk to someone (even if it is just rambling and nonsense) they will not be inclined to isolate themselves from you. HOWEVER, please keep in mind that whatever they are rambling on about may not be the truth. The more you know the addict and the more you really listen to them, you should be able to pick out the lies from the truth – but now is not the time to call them out on the lies – well, unless you want to be isolated from them. Addicts lie, so if you are going to ask a bunch of questions, know that more than likely all the answers will be panic-stricken lies. Either you can take it personally and isolate the addict from you, or you can become a great listen and determine for yourself which are lies and what is truth.
So, my addict friend, have you isolated yourself from your family and friends? Have you successfully pushed them away to the point that they don’t bother you anymore with their questions? Does it feel good not having their support anymore? Are you reading this with tears in your eyes? Yeah, I know. BUT THERE IS HOPE!!! Once you walk away from this drug, you can connect with these people again! Look, I’m not saying that it will be easy or it will happen really soon after you quit, but all its going to take is a whole lot of honesty. Honesty is SO MUCH EASIER when you are not on meth, and you can handle the questions SO MUCH EASIER when that drug isn’t racing through your system!!! I promise! Yeah, it can be hard being honest when you feel like it’s going to cause them more pain but that is where the healing will start.
I finish this with another personal story; I was talking to my best friend not that long ago and was lamenting how she lost me for a while. I had isolated her from my life and it’s something I feel horrible about. She was telling me that she remembered when she was trying to call me over and over and I wasn’t answering. She said it was scary because she didn’t know what had happened to me. She said that after one day of calling me with no answer, she called my grandma and they talked about my isolation. She remembers how they were both scared and didn’t know what to do except not to let me push them completely away and to keep trying to connect with me. I am very happy to say that after I cleaned up, I reconnected with both of them. My grandma is passed away now, but I and my friend are back to good. We talk about it now and my continued honestly is part of our healing process.
Isolation may seem the answer to dealing with family and friends who are putting pressure on you; however friend, the One who is waiting patiently to pull you out of the hole of addiction wants you to know that you cannot isolate yourself from Him. In Romans 8:38, 39 it reads, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, not things present not things to come, nor heights nor depth, nor any other created thing (which includes meth) shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Hold tight on this promise to start breaking down the walls of isolation that is only wasting time away from healthy, loving relationships.