Paul’s story

 This is such a sad love story, but it has to be told.

For a while, my family, my ex-girlfriend, and all the people who were closest to me, loved me too much for my own good. First, it was an enabling issue. Housing, funding, and feeding me are basic needs, and there was no way loved ones were not going to allow me those. How dare they not? I had an excuse: I had a terrible disease! I was sick and I needed help, and since they made me (or loved me), my lifestyle, and all the horror that went with it, became their problem too. If something hurt me, it hurt them. We were all selfish. They were guilty of a selfish love that was assisting in my slow suicide. I was guilty of selfishly abusing that love to (near) death. It was elementary to realize that I was manipulating and taking advantage of their love to acquire those basic needs, and whatever else I had to do to fuel my addiction. Sometimes selling off my basic needs, or neglecting them entirely out of spite. What!? I thought I was pretty clever. Of course, time would prove this to be false as “enabling” took on a whole other dimension.

The thing with addiction is as long as the user is alive and using it ALWAYS has the potential to get deeper and darker. Once the enabling seemed to stop, and the love got “tough,” I still found a way to continue on. Somehow I always managed to find a person, place and/or thing to latch on to and leech off of. It will always be an amazing enigma to me how a person who is addicted to something manages to get their “fix” everyday all day for years in a row with no real job and no real friends.

Anyway you know what was really killing me? It was that inescapable love of those who truly cared about me. Just knowing the love was there AND knowing that while I knew it existed in my mind but I could not feel it, touch it, or share it with them because of what I had done, all kept me continuing on, further and further down that dark downward spiral.

I had, shall we call it a “higher learning” epiphany that the ones who truly loved me, no matter what they did, as long as they were alive, were killing me with their love. It was absolutely terrifying and horrible. It’s no wonder overdoses and suicides are so common with people caught in addiction. Imagine being trapped in that surreal maze of love and self-loathing. I had to be hated, or at least feel hated, by this world, its’ people (especially family and friends), and most importantly, myself.

Addiction distorted and twisted the most beautiful thing in the universe –LOVE– into hate, and I was hated right back into the loving arms of Christ. He alone loved me back to a new life, and showed me the way. From there, slowly…in God’s time family began to return, and I could finally share in the love that nearly killed me. I know now that if I stop allowing Him to show me the way, twisted love and death are right around the corner….

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