Dear Fellow Carers,
Assalamu alaikum. Hows it all going after Ramadan? I remember some of the most hardest times for me, as a carer of an addict, was just after Ramadan. Things were really good during the fasting month. I was happy, my loved-one was clean and embracing the dean. But there were many Eids when my loved-one relapsed. And shortly after Ramadan everything went back to ‘normal’. I had the post-Ramadan blues. Depression would set in and I would be very anxious and stressed. But we must remember, our own recovery does not end as soon as our loved-one relapses. If THEY choose to undo all their hard work it does not mean we should too. By keeping up our prayers, duas, reading the Quran, and all the good deeds we did in Ramadan we will stop ourselves from slipping and falling into depression and other self-deprecating behaviours. We must be responsible for keeping our own selves strong, no matter what condition our loved-one is in. After all, it was by doing all those good deeds that lifted our spirits, and even helped our loved-ones to abstain from their addiction or at least cut down on their sins.
During Ramadan we built something beautiful. With every good action that we did for Allah we started preparing our homes in Paradise. Brick by brick we built a palace, tree by tree we planted a garden. May Allah accept all our good deeds. But we must not destroy all of this by undoing all our hard work and returning back to how we were.
Most of us carers of addicts suffer from high anxiety, stress, depression, anger, sadness, to name a few. We go through some really tough times and life is really hard. We are often in turmoil and don’t see clearly. Allah shows us the signs but our judgments are clouded with confusion. In Ramadan, we get a sense of clarity. We even dare to make promises to ourselves to make changes if our loved-ones relapse after Eid. But do we follow them through?
We need to be kind to ourselves. The first step to self caring is to concentrate on our spirituality and our relationship with Allah. We got close to Him in Ramadan and we felt His Response to our prayers. Is not the Lord of Ramadan, not also the Lord of all the other eleven months of the year?
No matter what choices the addict in our lives make, we must always make the right choices for ourselves. Do not let their downfall be our own destruction. Let not the actions of others drag us down. We will return back to Allah, and they will return back to Allah – as individuals! They have their book of deeds and we have ours. Its time we concentrated on our own for a while. If we get sick again, how can we help someone else, if we ourselves, are full of sickness. We cannot help anyone until we first help ourselves.
So lets not abandon all our good deeds. Be not like the one that Allah described so beautifully in the Qur’an;
“And do not be like her who destroys her yarn that she herself made strong” (16:92)