This is achingly, horrifyingly true. My father, a lifelong alcoholic, had the emotional maturity of a twelve year old. My big brother, whose many, varied and often combined addictions ultimately caused him to take his life, never matured past late adolescence, which is when he began taking speed in the 1970s.
This IS spot on. For those who have never been caught up in the grip of the voracious Velcro that is addiction or addictive behavior (non-stop shopping, gambling, eating disorders, name your poison) cannot possibly understand that the uselessly stupid admonition by then First Lady Nancy Reagan to “just say no” is like flipping a bird in the face of a tsunami.
I’ve never been a substance abuser. But I have been just as drunk wielding a credit card, hoarding donuts and cookies, and other dysfunctional and yes, addictive behaviors which stunted me personally. Life becomes about the behavior or the acquisition of whatever it is that is holding us captive.
The damnation of this is that to break the cycle we MUST mature. That is the only way out. I never joined a group but I did make it out. The cost was enormous but the payoff — no more tsunami waves.
Bravo to you for your evolution. It’s hard won. Nobody understands better than someone who has walked a similar path. When you see your intoxicated friend, there is a piece that cringes, realizing (shit, that could have been me..).
Yah. It could have. But it’s NOT. You grew up. Bravo. Just, bravo.