Am I part of the Addiction When I love an Alcoholic/Addict?
If you are in a relationship where drugs/alcohol are creating a problem, by definition you are being severely affected by the family disease of addiction. The addict has to travel a long road to recover from this debilitating disease. So does the person who is loving an addict.
Some of the unhealthy behaviors for those who are loving an addict are:
- They cover up the truth: A friend or family member of an addict, is usually in as much denial as the addict. They will cover up for the addict and make excuses: he is just tired, sick, lonely, working too hard, etc. When my addict sister died, we found half empty bottles hidden all over her room. My family said, “Those must be from a long time ago.”
- Acting out: It is not unusual for families and friends of an addict to get into this behavior. It can take the route of having loud arguments with the addict and other dysfunctional behaviors.
- Demands: If you love an addict, chances are you have tried to improve him or her. This really gets an addict’s back up and they will resist mightily. Usually the person who loves the addict will not be discouraged and will redouble their futile efforts to change the addict.
- Isolation: Shame and embarrassment cause people who love an addict to withdraw social from friends and acquaintances.
- Giving Up: Living with an alcoholic/addict is depressing and soon enough, the co-addict becomes depressed.
There are solutions.
The first two are the most important and if you chose one of them you will learn how to have a good life whether the alcoholic/addict you love gets sober or not. The suggestions are to go to Al-Anon or Co-Dependents Anonymous and get into your own recovery. You will learn:
Don´t try to control your alcoholic, no one can. Do not take over his or her responsibilities – loving an addict means that the alcoholic might begin to grow up when they have to take full responsibility for their addiction and the problems it causes. Refuse to be a victim.
Put yourself first.
- Don’t be an enabler. Allow the individual to take responsibility.
- Don’t protect your loved one from the consequences of their drinking.
- Stop taking responsibility for what your addictive relative or friend does.
- Stop letting yourself be physically and mentally abused by the alcoholic.
- Get a life outside the addictive relationship.
- Find and preserve new relationships.
- Improve your physical shape. Constructive change must include protecting your physical health and well-being. That means, among other things, diet, exercise and hygiene.
- Make changes every day. It is important that you work with the previous stages every day in order to get any results.