Enablers and loved ones of Addicts.
Over the many years of working with addicted individuals and their loved ones, the challenging reality I come across all the time is that the individual may have his or her drug of choice however the co-addicts have their “addict”. The drama an addict brings is the co-addict’s drug.
In many ways they behave much like the addict does:
- A co-addict who was once responsible and reliable begins to disappear from sight when there is a crisis with their spouse or partner.
- The co-addict has highs and lows in mood depending on the addict’s state.
- A co-addict, or person that lives life on the addict’s terms, will too become unreliable, may stop taking care of themselves and exhibit some unpredictable behaviours and erratic emotions.
- Their life will, too, become unmanageable.
- Enabling and loving an addict or co-addiction is also a sickness.
Patterns In Behaviour
What I have encountered over the years in my work, is the co-addict can become so addicted to the person that has the addiction (usually a spouse / partner / child) that their friends and family will no longer recognise them. Their behaviour and moods can become erratic, similar to how an addict behaves when their addiction takes hold.
“I feel like I am underwater and can’t swim up to catch my breath!”
“It is killing me inside.”
“Some part of me is praying for a miracle that I don’t believe can happen. Please help!”
“I just want to go to sleep and not wake up”
These are the words from the hundreds of people suffering who tell me their story about living with and loving an addict. They all want to know how to let go of an addict and if it can really be done.
Addiction Is A Symptom Of Something Else:
The path to recovery from co-addiction is not a straight forward journey because there are many hurdles and layers to this process. Some experiences and subconscious emotions may even resurface years later depending on the emotional, sometimes physical, and psychological abuse suffered. Other underlying factors are those individual experiences which led the co-addict to end up in this type of relationship and endure years with a person despite their unhealthy behaviours. If the addict is unhealthy, to some degree the co-addict may also have been before they entered the relationship.
The term “healthy” that I use is meant to be relative to the individual and not conclusive. There is no definitive description of what is healthy or not healthy; however, I use this to demonstrate a person who is not suffering in their life. There is no person unaffected by hardships, at least at some point in their life, but when the hardship is self-inflicted, or does not end at some point or becomes all-consuming; this is the point at which it is unhealthy.
Is It Time For A Change?
Life is a series of ebbs and flows and how you handle those fluctuations says a great deal about your well-being. When you are living with an addict it is difficult to navigate life, however, what we do and how we act becomes a tell-tale sign of our own difficulties. If we continue to behave in the same manner and expect that the response we desire will miraculously change then a co-addict is either in denial or is not willing to put their own health and happiness on the forefront.
Are You Choosing Pain Over Change?
A co-addict often feels “comfortable” choosing pain based on the fact that they feel being on their own would be more painful. Sometimes the thought of dealing with their own insecurities, lack of self-esteem, self-love and self-respect and being ALONE sounds more frightful than dealing with someone else’s problems. This may say much more about the deep-rooted issues a co-addict is suffering from. If you do not want to deal with yourself and extricate yourself from the cycle of the addictive relationship you are in; there is a most likely a great deal of help that should be initiated.
It may be time to analyse your own thought processes, behaviours and motivations in the actions of investing your emotions in a person who cannot truly love you back because they are not in long-term recovery. If you find yourself spending time worrying about the actions of someone else—this may be the exact time you need to start digging deeper into your own intentions and what you may need to learn about yourself.
As a co-addict, sometimes you feel like you do not have choices or you are unable to leave the situation but that is not true. Although it may feel that way, life is full of choices and if something different is what you desire then you can make different choices in order to set out on that new road.
If you recognise or identify with any of the above, know that there is help for you. Please feel free to contact us on PH 0439 399 809 (7days). With the wonderful technology we have available we can arrange online help for you via SKYPE, so no matter where you are in the world we can help and guide you. We can also assist you in intervening on your loved one as well. We have many options available, and can put things into action very quickly without delays of waiting lists. CALL TODAY PH +610439 399 809 or EMAIL email@example.com