Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sometimes We Need To Hear It Again

I have been receiving hits from people in many different parts of the world. North America, Europe, Middle East and the questions are all very similar. How does one deal with manipulation, loss of trust, or how do I learn to trust. "My life has been turned upside down by the person I love who is an addict." "They said one thing but did another, they lie, they spend too much money, they disappear for days at a time." "They blame me."

This is the typical experience of the family member who is involved in the life of an actively practicing addict. NUMBER ONE thing to do is get support and eduction for yourself. If you are in a relationship with an addict you need recovery. This is very important for you to internalize. You didn't cause it, You can't control it and you can't cure it. The more obsessed you are with your loved one's addiction the more help you need.

Learn to create boundaries between you and the addict you love. My next statement makes people nervous. "Your loved one's addiction is not your issue." What does that mean? Yes, it effects you but it isn't yours to learn to manage. It means that in order for them to recover from their condition they must take responsibility for their addiction and acknowledge they need help. Then they must begin the process of recovery and learn to manage this chronic condition over time. Nobody else can do it for them. The more others assume responsibility for the addicted person's recovery the less likely they will assume responsibility for themselves.

If you are busy trying to manage their life how are you going to manage your own? You will not!! You will only become more focused on the addict and soon not have a life of your own. If you don't learn to have a life of your own you will fail at having a relationship with the addicted person if they do get help for their addiction and start living a different lifestyle.

Remember if their lips are moving they are lying. Loving someone is not a good reason to trust them. Trust is built on experience. When someone walks their talk, Does what they say they are going to do consistently over time you might consider trusting them.

The most important thing in the addicted person's life is not you, or jobs or hobbies or children, it is their drug of choice. Because of changes in the chemistry of the brain caused by addiction, addicted people believe that their drug of choice is what make life worth living.