It’s hard to let go of our stories. Who would we be without them? But when you have an addicted person in your life and you desperately want to change the story’s plot, it can be very frustrating.

It may look, for a while, that you’ve actually succeeded in getting the person bugging you to leave the bad stuff behind. It may appear that the addict has caught on and is recovery-minded and even repentant for the years of trouble he or she has caused. That’s when the very air you are breathing is delicious. The sense of inner peace and security is unmistakable as it wells up in one’s very bones.

But then you might be, without warning, unceremoniously dumped back into the vat of boiling craziness, misery, heartbreak, financial tension, and grief and find that nothing, absolutely nothing has changed.

This is the nature of the disease. Theirs and ours. We continually think that things will change, life will get better, we’ll have peace of mind, that everyone will be happy, that there will be a rainbow over the house. As for those I call the “them” people, they are not going to give one inch. They are going to deprive us of every conceivable feeling of joy and serenity we ever had.

That is, of course, if we let them. How many times have you heard that line: If we let them…

That’s if we shield our eyes, deafen our ears, turn off our brains, dull our sensitivities, go into the deepest denial, and patch together what’s left of our emotions.

Or, we can simply let go and live our own lives for a change and stop depending on what somebody else may be doing.

Everyone has a path to follow. If there are drug or alcohol addicted people in your midst, they are following their path. Who knows but that perhaps you were on that path in some other incarnation.

Maybe one of the reasons why the scenario is the same year after year is just for that very reason, that someone else may
be completing their assigned role for this lifetime. And that the repetition is there for a reason.

So should you just give up and let the addicted person fall flat on his or her face?

The question is: Can you stop such a thing from happening? Have you ever been able to stop it from happening?

Have you ever been able to stop yourself from falling victim to it?

If you want the same old, same old to cease, it has to begin with you and not because of someone else’s lifestyle (and yes, addiction is a lifestyle).

In most 12-Step meeting rooms, there is a sign that reads: Live and Let Live.

Charles Rubin is the author of “Don’t Let Your Kids Kill You: A Guide for Parents of Drug and Alcohol Addicted Children” which is an international bestseller and the only book on the market that focuses on the recovery of the parent.