When you live with an addict you are likely to experience anger, frustration, fear, shame and guilt. These feelings may become very overwhelming. They stand in the way of a happy and peaceful life and make it hard to Read more
When dealing with the addiction of a loved one in your life you may experience all kinds of painful emotions and difficulties, and there is only so much you can humanly take. A very effective way of avoiding this Read more
When you or your loved one(s) suffer from an unhealthy habit, blame and anger or guilt and shame, are states of mind that many of us are all too familiar with. We feel guilty and ashamed for the suffering we cause. We are angry and blame others for our own pain. What we sometimes do not realize is that these states become an unhealthy habit in themselves. We become used to them. Our lives and the way way deal with people, places and events, and especially how we perceive them, are dominated by them. It has become a form of energy we fuel our lives with. But why would we want to be fueling something that causes us pain and negativity? And what can we do to end this behavior? I have found that forgiveness is the key.
Contemplating the statement “I am an addict” or “I am addicted” is an important step in unlearning unhealthy habits. The key question is who the “I” is. The answer may surprise you and may radically change the view you have of yourself.
Once you have reached the point where you realize that you need help because your life has swung out of control (“you hit rock bottom”), where do you turn to?
In the research for my upcoming book I have taken a close look at how widely spread addiction actually is. Let’s take a closer look at some numbers, both in my native country and in the US. You will notice that you are not alone.
To get rid of unhealthy habits many people turn to so-called 12-step programs, such as AA, CA, Al-Anon, to name just a few of the more than 50.
Regular meetings in which the participants suffering from the same habits share their personal stories and experience form the basis of these programs.
It is common practice to have a so-called “step 1 meeting” when there are newcomers in the group. I remember my first al-anon meeting vividly (note: al-anon is a 12 step program for people living or having lived with an alcoholic partner, family member, parent , child, friend, colleague, etc.) and it may be worth while to share this experience with you.
In many cases recovering from living with an addict leads to ending the relationship. It is quite natural that you carry feelings of disappointment, betrayal, anger and pain with you after such a rupture for quite some time. You blame your addict for them and these feelings can stand in the way of engaging in new relationships. You are afraid to get hurt again. We generalize our anger and mistrust towards people we meet (“men are all the same anyhow” or “you cannot trust women.Period.”)
We have to realize that it is not the addict that generates our feelings. It is our own thought process. Fortunately we are in control of our thoughts.
The hardest part of loving an addict is that it “blocks” awareness. All you want to do is help (or cure…) the addict and very often this becomes your sole purpose in life. In doing so we tend to forget ourselves and our own life’s purpose.
Also, helping may turn into a compulsion to control the addict (counting bottles, dumping booze, checking secretly, etc.) And this, of course, is an impossible quest.