Sober People Don’t Go To Rehab, Karen
I had to give up on someone, we’ll call her Karen, for pretty much the first time in my life. Like completely give up, walk away, and wash my hands of her. I had to learn the hard way that I can’t help and save everyone. You can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be saved or isn’t ready to receive the help yet.
Karen and I were introduced months ago by a mutual friend who thought I’d be able to help Karen with her mental health and addiction. Karen is in active addiction – her drug of choice is meth. The thing is, Karen relapsed a few times but now claims to have been sober for a few months. And I completely understand that sometimes, in recovery, relapse can happen. It happened to me – with alcohol – in August of 2017. (The year that my book, My Bipolar Mind: You’re not alone, takes place!) But is it really relapse if it continuously happens every weekend?
For the last few months or so Karen has said that she was on her way to rehab every other week. My question is, why the hell is she trying to get into rehab, still, after supposedly being sober for 2-3 months? With that being said… Sober people don’t go to rehab, Karen!
She would message me that she’s on her way to rebab one day, and then on her way home the next.
This girl has been full of nothing but excuses and lies since we meet – typical addict behavior. I know, because I have been there. But her every other week thing with trying to get into rehab happened, literally, 8-10 times.
She would admit to me that she even stole money from her mom in order to get meth but then wondered why her parents no longer trusted her. You can’t continuously lie to someone and expect them to trust you. Trust is a two-way street and it has to be earned. And once the trust factor has been broken, it takes time and effort to earn it back. Plus, she would tell me that not having her parents trust would cause her to relapse but there was really no one else to blame but herself. Besides, no one else can honestly make someone relapse. It’s not like they stuck that needle in her veins.
Sometimes the best thing you can do for someone that is in active addiction, who refuses to make the effort to try to get and stay clean, is to walk away from them and let them fall on their own.
When we first started talking, she admitted that she’d been trying to get clean for years with no more than 6-months of sobriety tops. I kept telling her that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. I explained that if she really wants to get clean this time, that she’s going to have to be open to trying new ways of getting there because whatever she had been doing in the past obviously wasn’t working. I told her the same thing that was once said to me.
I am no longer going to be that person that is there for her, to coddle her, and to tell her that it’s going to be okay. This girl would blow my phone up at all hours of the day, and no matter how bad of a mood I was in, I’d still at least ask her if she was okay. She’d always say, “I really have to tell you something, and it’s important!” If I wouldn’t answer my phone for whatever reason. Then, when I would call her, she’d have nothing to say! It was really like, how old are we now? I don’t have time for these games.
I’ve never had someone push me to the point where I pretty much no longer seen any decency or hope left in them (besides my ex-husband!). Don’t ask me to hold your hand through tough times if you’re going to drop to the floor afterward and start kicking and screaming and adding so much resistance to my grip. I will only try to hold on for so long.
Needless to say, after a while, I just stopped responding to her. Then, on Friday, she sent me yet another text telling me that she’s on her way to rehab again and that she’s not going to bother bringing my number since I don’t answer her back anyway. I was already in a bad mood and she had finally pressed my buttons enough and I told her exactly why I can’t be bothered with her anymore. I told her to lose my number because I am done.
In my opinion, people who actually have a few months sober wouldn’t need to go to rehab. Rehab is usually for people who are trying to get sober. If she would have told me that she was still using and trying to get into rehab to get help, I would have been able to understand that, I would have encouraged it. But to tell me that you’re not using and need to go to rehab for the hell of it makes no sense! I just felt like she was still lying to me and I wasn’t going to put up with it anymore. At least if she had admitted to using, which I knew she was, she would have been owning up to her shit.
Is there something missing? Was I wrong to walk away from her?
Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog MyBipolarMind.com.