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The Despair of an Addict

A married woman in an advanced stage of addiction wrote:


I'm terrified to sober up, I don't want to feel the pain. It feels like some people just have it easier though... they don't have to deal with a yetzer harah like mine. They don't have to feel mortified, they just simply live their lives, do the right things... Maybe, it's just too much for me. It's very nice that addicts have potential to be very spiritual, but what if I just can't overcome it, or don't want to? I know it's just insanity. Maybe, I'm just a disgusting being. I don't know. Maybe G-d made me the way I am and doesn't really expect much of me anyway... I'll just live my life, be punished for the things I've done when I die, and that's it.   


GYE Admin Wednesday, 23 November 2016

GYE Responds:

First of all, there's no such thing as a disgusting being. Hashem doesn't make junk. He has a plan for you, and it's better than you can imagine!

The feelings you express are very common for addicts, and I feel your pain and confusion. A few points come to mind:

1) People with great souls and/or great potential were given much more difficult trials in life (as expressed nicely in the video clip "Abraham in Training"). There is no other way to bring out our real potential. It is clear that you have a big tikkun to make in this world. Why is this? We can't always know. It is likely tied to previous lifetimes and now you have been given a chance to fix the past.

2) You say it's not fair, others have it so much easier. Let me ask you, are you sure you would want someone else's package in life? Perhaps the young woman who found out she has cancer c"v, or perhaps her husband was killed in a tragic accident? Or the family who needs to beg for money to have food to eat, or the husband who beats and abuses his wife and she is terrified of him. Which one do you choose?

3) Why does Hashem make it so hard? Not because He is looking for mighty warriors, but because He wants us to admit we can't do it without Him. He wants our broken heart, not our super-strong-will-power. All He is waiting for is a sincere prayer from the heart. "Father, help me. I can't do it. I need you. Without you, I am lost".

4) There is no such thing as "what if I just don't overcome it?" You will need to overcome it somehow, by hook or by crook, or you will keep coming back to this world until your job is done. Hashem has some amazing things in store for us ALL, and He won't let our petty falls get in the way of His final plans. No matter how long it takes, לא ידח ממנו נידח - no one will be left behind. So you may as well take the "long short path" and not the "short LONG path" of infinite pain and never ending reincarnations.

5) You wrote, "I'll just live my life, be punished for the things I've done when I die and that's it." That's it?? I'd like to ask you to contemplate, please, this fleeting life versus ETERNITY. The Chafetz Chaim gave a parable. Imagine filling up your entire house with grains of rice. How many pieces would there be? Maybe 10 million? Now imagine filling the entire block with rice - a trillion kernels? Now imagine filling the entire world with rice, from the ground until 5 miles high. The number of rice kernels is impossible to imagine, right? Now imagine that once every 100 years a bird would come and take away ONE rice kernel... How long would it take to finish all the rice? Blows your mind, right? And that's even LESS than eternity!!!! So think about the fleeting 80-90 years that we spend on this world and how we affect our ETERNITY!

6) You wrote that you are terrified of the pain you will feel during sobriety. Try to imagine a roller-coaster ride. The drops ARE terrifying, no one denies that. But many people actually enjoy the ride anyway. How CAN they? The answer is, they know it is all chemicals and instinctive reactions that cause them to feel the way they do during the drop. But their minds - their logic - knows that nothing will really happen to them. They TRUST the maker of the ride that they are perfectly safe. This is the attitude we need to have in sobriety. It is true that our bodies will feel pain and fear and withdrawal, but our MINDS can reassure us that NOTHING will happen to us if we don't act out. We will be perfectly fine - actually much BETTER off. We just need to TRUST the Maker of our ride in life - Hashem, and let go of the fear.

I hope that some of these thoughts can help you have a better perspective.

We are here for you.