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
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.
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.
One of the choices I struggled with was whether to break up with my addicted partner or not.
With hindsight I realize that the answer to this question had always been present within myself.
But I needed or wanted to get the answer from others.
If only someone would tell me that I should put an end to the relationship, this would give me the reason, the justification to do so. Obviously this is insane.
For those suffering from unhealthy habits the holidays can be a difficult time of the year. I often hear that to many of us, days like Thanksgiving, St. Nicolas, Diwali, Hanukkah or Christmas are triggers to watch out for. Of course this is not so (see my previous post on triggers). Also, the end of the year is the time for making life changing resolutions to lose weight, stop smoking, stop drinking, and so on. This too is not the most helpful way to recovery and happiness (see this post). So, what can you do to enjoy this time of the year?
What do you do when you realize that a young adult is addicted? As a parent the feeling that will probably hit you first is guilt. Where did you fail in “properly” educating and preparing your baby for the big bad world? Where did you go wrong? Did you warn him or her enough? The emotions these thoughts provoke, can be very painful and overwhelming.
Logically, the need to recover from living with an addict can only become apparent when you are conscious of the fact that it is indeed addiction that is affecting your life and that of the addict. Unfortunately this consciousness is often hindered by the mechanisms of denial and repression.
We were not created to live alone. After ending a relationship with an addict – especially a loved one – it is not always easy to make the step to find new people to like, or to love.
As you may have read elsewhere in this blog, the consequences of living with an addict are multiple. You have invested all you have. You may feel you have failed. You are disappointed and you carry emotions such as guilt, anger, shame and frustration with you.
The time will come that you feel ready for new relationships, but how do you deal with these emotions. How do you know whether this time it will work out? The honest answer is: you don’t.
When we are dealing with the chaos and suffering that are the consequence of the addiction of a loved one, friend or colleague, we tend to focus all of our attention on the addict. We solve his or her problems, we want to control the addiction. We fight it. As you may have learned through this blog or through other resources, such as 12 step programs (e.g. al-anon), we obviously cannot.