To my knowledge nobody grows up aspiring to be an addict or an alcoholic. Through my personal research and experience, I have come to believe that everyone has the potential to become addicted to something. After all isn’t an addiction really a strong habit you have trouble controlling or giving up?
Consider this, if addiction could speak, what would it say?
I am the Enchantress. I will not discriminate. I will love you no matter your race or background, young or old, man or woman. I hold everyone near and dear to me.
I can get under your skin and I can get into your head. I will entangle you in my web of lies. I can make you lie. I can make you steal. I can make you poor. I can take away your friends, your family, your job and even your home.
I can make your spouse and your children hate you, and yes, I have the power to destroy your health and take your life.
I am ADDICTION.
Well now that one knows a little on how she operates, how do we go to battle with her? How do we fight for the person we love?
This is not an easy question to answer. We must first look to ourselves and learn the difference between enabling and helping. We must put away our codependent behavior and help our addicted loved ones learn to be accountable for their choices.
This may prove to be one of the hardest things we have made ourselves do. Nobody wants to see the one they love suffer and in some cases poison themselves.
You may ask yourself how can I learn to do this, where are the tools?
Al Anon/ nar anon/ alateen & or codependency meetings are a great place to start.
Here you find support, you find you are not alone in your suffering. You find people who have been through the same situations you are going through.
You learn to ask yourself how much am I willing to take?
When you find that point, you set boundaries so that point is not reached, and come up with consequences for when those boundaries are crossed. For example, after finding her husband passed out on the couch, and her baby crying when she returned home, a woman hired a nanny to care for both of them, instead of paying the nanny, she gave the nanny a discounted amount off room rent. The nanny was instructed the husband was not to drink in the house, and if he returned from somewhere after drinking, the nanny was instructed not to let him in and to direct the husband to sleep it off in the garage with the dogs. If the husband refused, the nanny was instructed to call law enforcement and have the husband taken away. (Terrific examples of Boundaries, Choices, & Consequences.)
Eventually we learn that we love the person, but hate the addiction and what they change the person into. Please keep in mind, the further along they progress in the addiction, the more selfish and needy they become.
The best advice I can give to anyone in love with addict or an alcoholic is ask yourself, if they do not quit their habit, if their addiction gets worse, will you be able to stay in the relationship?
An addict will not put down the shovel (quit the addiction) until they hit rock bottom, admit the addiction or have decided enough is enough.The reality is sometimes it is never enough and rock bottom becomes 6 feet under.
I wish you all luck in your personal journeys.
This piece was written by guest blogger Tami D.
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Carol Mary's thoughts on love and this journey we call life!