Drugs or Hugs? (A True Story)

The struggle of drug abuse is real. Most often what people discuss and concentrate on is the victim of the drug. The abuser himself. But what most people disregard are the effects these drugs have on the drug addict’s family too.

Let’s backtrack to the drug addict first so that we understand better.


He sat on his chair, head nodding, chin repeatedly nudging his chest, mouth ajar and breathing shallowly. His eyes were gradually sealing shut, his pupils vanishing into the lids of his eyes. Neck at an awkwardly painful angle, she watched with a burning heart.

She sat there watching this scenario unfold for the umpteenth time. She stared and stared, unable to move her limbs or approach him, unable to bring herself to do what she had always done.. drag him to lie down on the bed or couch.

His addiction was getting worse. And day by day, she feared and imagined the end. It was her fate to be placed in his path, she had asked herself repeatedly while crying her eyes out, why it had to be her, why she was fated to so much tragedy and suffering in the 2 decades she had spent growing up but she eventually arrived at the answer.. God had placed her in his path for a reason. She was there to help him and to save him. She was the kind who knew how to care for people and she was patient, and those two qualities were vastly needed in dealing with a drug addict.

She had the ability of envisioning herself in other situations, and she strongly believed that people weren’t bad. It was just their circumstances and upbringing that coerced them to take some bad decisions. You can’t blame them if you look at it that way. You can only help them.

So it was many instances such as this one time when she broke down and thought that she was failing terribly at steering him down the right path and making him see the light, that in the end she’d pull herself together and with renewed energy and purpose and after much encouragement her peptalk gave her, she’d give it a try once more. She’d go back to bearing with it and convincing him to admit to his addiction, because that was the first step towards recovering.

She knew she couldn’t do this on her own and was on the verge of blowing the cover off to someone who she knew could definitely help her. No addict could easily come clean on his own.

Addicts need an institution that would gradually “wean” them off with smaller doses and even then the effects were horrendous; physically, emotionally and mentally draining for both addict and concerned ones.


He was severely shaking and was burning to her touch. She had made some research on the effects of withdrawal and was expecting this. The unintelligible mutterings, the mood swings, the depression that followed and loss of appetite, the cold sweats, the migraines, the physical weakness, muscle aches, anxiety and insomnia..

She was prepared and was fortified mentally and emotionally to handle it all. But no information google had provided her with was close to describing the effects she was witnessing first-hand.

As hellish as that sounds, she was pleased he had finally come to terms with the truth: that he was addicted, and he finally wanted to overcome his addiction.

It was that one night, that worst night of it all which was the peak of his “coming clean” that got her losing her resolve to be strong.

The chills were so bad and his shaking had her stradling him and and pinning him down with her entire weight. Her body shook along with his, her clothes drenched with sweat that had seeped through the blanket covering him. His eyes were rolled back into his head and he was whispering painfully, his voice cracking and shaking, “I want to die. Please God, just take me. Take me God. I can’t. I can’t”

At this point, her lips started trembling and she hugged him harder to herself. Her heart broke in that minute and fear overcame her entire being in an icy grasp. She was terrified. Was he really going to die? What is happening to him? She felt terrified of having taken the wrong decision in not turning him into a rehab clinic. What if they were going about it the wrong way? Tears started streaming down her face and she sobbed right there on top of him, her legs and arms that had been pinning him down, growing limp. She cried and cried.

She was muttering prayers non-stop, asking God to just guide them through this one night because it was the most severe in their journey of coming clean on their own. Yes. It was their journey together, and she was in this with him. She never ceased reminding him that he wasn’t in this alone.

He had insisted that he didn’t want to go to a rehabilitation center, that he could do this on his own.

She had tried many atime to coax him into seeking professional help because she’d read how difficult it was to do it individually and chances of success were minimal, but the more she proposed such an idea, the more infuriated he’d become, telling her he was strong enough to handle it and after she’d realized there was no hope of having him willingly give in to seek professional help, she’d said to him, “I know it’s going to be harder for you to do alone that’s why I’m going to be a companion and aide for you through it all until, hopefully, we reach its end.”

He: “You don’t have to. This isn’t your infliction to bear. I brought this upon myself. I’ll deal with it.”

She: “I want to.. as hard as it’s going to be watching you go through your withdrawal symptoms, but for me that’s a torturously joyful end to this nightmare that I don’t want us to live anymore.”

And with that they sailed through it together. No doctor. No physician. No restraints. No neighbour, mom, brother or friend to help. They did it on their own and it took them one month, two and three of battling withdrawal aches and behaviors, but in the end it was worth it all.

And with time, she started witnessing the husband she’d fallen in love with all these years ago, return to who he was and what he had once been. Funny, caring and sweet. And she loved him so much more because it was registered in her brain now that this man was a fighter. Someone who can fight a long-term addiction of drugs on his own and bear with all these hellish symptoms and eventually coming clean. He is someone you really can’t not respect and admire. And she admired him all the more for his accomplishment.

She knew how much he loved her and their kids and she knew how his love for them had been the strength he needed in his weakest moments.

He’d tell her when he had been battling and in tears that he wanted to be a good example to their kids and couldn’t imagine forgiving himself if one of their kids had picked on such a habit of being addicted to drugs.

So in the end, nothing is impossible but for the impossible to be possible, you always need your reason and point of strength that will give you the willpower to attain it.

Now, as she rebuilt her relationship with her husband all over again, she found a new remedy that had him replacing his drugs for her remedial hugs. ☺️

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