Addiction is the fact or condition of being dependent upon a particular substance. The ripple effect caused by addiction not only affects its victims but also the loved ones and people close to them. As someone that has seen the disastrous effects addiction can cause for both parties, there isn’t one specific path it can go. Though I have not experienced my own addictions | have been directly affected by those of my close friend Jason. In the time since junior high until now I have had an amazing friend in my life named Jason, I met him through mutual friends in 9th grade.
Our friendship grew stronger over time and eventually he sat me down to explain that he was addicted to both alcohol and cocaine. As I was being told every detail of what he had been going through for the passed year of his life all I could think was how it was now my job to find help for him. From this point on I became very devoted to finding him help and trying to support him. Often times I had to distance myself from the situation because his changes in personality became to hard to focus on my own life. At many point in the stages of rehab Jason was in he changed drastically from being the person I knew to a very angry and bitter person.
Grief was a feeling | found myself feeling a lot during his time in rehab, the quote from ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ that I continued feeling the most thought the years since he has been in rehab is “for God sake… Find me some of the old”(30). I found myself very upset many times about feeling like I had lost my friend and was never going to get him back. Though I knew I had done a good thing for him, I became hard to remember that throughout the long process of rehab. After 9 months of not being in contact with Jason in the facility, I received a phone call elling me that my visits have been requested to start up again.
I waited 2 weeks before I went to visit him and I remember feeling like I was going to vomit all over a nice outfit I managed to find while reassuring myself that this was what he wanted. I heard my named called and I walked into a visiting room, as soon as I saw him I broke down into tears and I sat hugging him the the ground of the room for 20 minutes. Never had I thought I would be able to talk to my bestfriend again the same way. He looked healthy and lively again, he began to tell me about what he had felt over the course of his rehab and healing his addictions.
As conversation progressed I realized that what I had done for Jason was one of the best decisions I will probably ever make. He expressed how grateful he was to have someone push him to help himself for once and not take his stubbornness for an answer. While listening to his stories of rehab I now can connect with how he was feeling through this quote in the book “hence it came about that I concealed my pleasures; and when I reached years of reflection, and began to look around me, and take stock of my progress and life” (42).
If I have learned anything from this experience with being the friend of a reviving addict, it is that you do what you can to help them through. Jason had a few slip ups along his way to recovery but because he had people to help him believe in himself he got to the point where he could look back on his past and realize he was helping himself and see how far he had come since he had started his road to recovery. As of today Jason has been clean and sober for 23 months, since being out of rehab he has found a stable job in order to start rebuilding his independence outside of the facility.
Though jason and I have not talked as frequently as we had before he went to rehab, I still stay in contact with him. The primary reason my friend and I have fallen into a less close relationship is that his recovery took many things from me, including my primary focus being on my own personal health. Addiction affects everyone surrounding the issue, it is in no way a solo battle and continues to affect the lives of both the victim and the loved ones even after rehab of any kind.