“Step right up, boys and girls. Take a seat on the ride of your life. Addiction”
You’ve never been on a ferris wheel before but you’ve seen it on TV and all your friends have said it’s cool. It’s new and scary but you decide to give it a try. You only live once, right?
The operator pulls back the bar and your friends pile in next to you. The seat sways slightly and your heart begins to race. You take a deep breath as the wheel starts to turn, slowly at first and stopping every few minutes to let more people on. Laughter fills the air as the wheel descends upon its first full rotation. It goes around once, twice, three times and gets faster with every turn. It lurches to a stop at the top where you can see everything for miles and miles. It gives you a rush and you wish suddenly that you could stay up here forever. You’re on top of the world.
But just as suddenly, you are heading back down. You start to notice you are stopping every few minutes as more and more people are getting off. You don’t understand why they would want to get off – this is way too fun. They must be such boring people, you decide. And around you go for another ride. You laugh and turn to your friends only to realize they aren’t laughing with you anymore. They are hanging over the bar, exhausted. They look burnt out and they tell you that they want to get off. You beg them to stay with you but the next time your seat reaches the platform, they leave you. You decide you want to stay on, just for a few more rounds. You back away from the platform and your friends just stand there looking decidedly sad. They’re probably just sad because they wish they were cool like you. You’re unstoppable. As they get smaller and smaller you sit back and enjoy the ride.
When you reach the top, the ride stops. You get that feeling, that euphoric feeling and you hope that you never have to leave. Nothing has ever made you feel this good. The minutes seemingly slip right by and before you know it, it’s as if you’ve been up there for hours. Feeling like you’ve just woken up from a long, deep sleep, the excitement is beginning to wear off and you start to feel scared.
Why am I alone, you wonder, where are my friends?
As if reading your mind, the operator pulls the lever and you start on your descent from the top. You lean over and you can see all the people at the bottom getting bigger and more defined. It’s your friends and family, waiting and looking hopeful yet still not looking very happy. You reach the platform ready to get off but the ride just keeps going and you scream. The ride seems to be going as fast as it can and your stomach is doing flips. It’s going so fast that when you pass the platform, you can’t make out who is standing there – they all just blur together. You’re freaking out – how will you ever get off of this terrifying ride?
Sound familiar? For many people who live with an addiction, this is what life feels like every day. The ferris wheel is the addiction and while the addict might feel like they are in control, it is the addiction that spins on and controls their life. They think they are having a great time and life is perfect, until they sober up and realize that their addiction has left them alone and vulnerable. So they continue to use, and the cycle perpetuates.
If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction and they need help getting off the ferris wheel of addiction, call us today at 1 (866) 916-3211. Our knowledgeable recovery addiction specialists will guide you in the right direction toward a fulfilling and sober life.