I don't know what you're talking about when you say "they (addicts) can't be loved". I have loved him for four years. I have given him a safe place to stay rent-free. I have made sure he eats three times a day. I have taken care of him when he is sick. I walked to the store at midnight to get him medicine and cold patches for his head. I have held his head up over the trash can as he vomits. I have checked his vitals with a blood pressure machine every hour. I have sat up in bed all night watching him to make sure he is still breathing. I have washed his hair in the shower when he is too weak to get out of bed. I have given him CPR the last three times he overdosed, which is the only reason he is still alive. I have spent the night in the hospital with him after an overdose, and slept in a chair. I have visited him in the psych ward every day after he tried to kill himself. I played board games and watched movies with him, and brought him outside food because they weren't feeding him enough. I've held him in my arms while he cried and apologized for everything he's ever said or done that he thinks makes him a horrible person. I am still talking to him every day while he is in treatment. If I didn't love him, he wouldn't be alive right now. He may not be capable of loving anyone until he is sober, but I sure as hell can love him. My love for my addict is unconditional, and it is forever.
This is incredibly personal but incredibly powerful in how much you believe in this person, how much he is worth it (no matter what he thinks or what others see him as) and it also made me think of society's horrible judgment on those who struggle with any sort of addiction. Anyone who cares for a person struggling can be thrown into this light of, "if you really cared, you'd let him fix it himself". But, see, that's the trickiest part. Because those who struggle with mental health and addiction already feel like giving up, already have those voices saying they're not worth it. They need support in healthy ways. And they need people to believe in them. I've come across too often in my own family and reading peoples' stories that the world seems to have this all-or-nothing attitude. If a person messes up more than once, it's like they are doomed to that choice. I don't think people understand relapses happen and it's a tiresome cycle that appears ceaseless. But there is hope. And no one is a lost soul or a forgotten case. We are all flawed and as long as we acknowledge and work toward striving to do better, we also need others to lift us up. One's own responsibility should not rely on the other person, as that person needs to find their own reason and will to keep fighting, but that never means we should judge or leave them to fend for themselves in times of hardship.