Updated: Apr 29
The core idea in addiction is that you can manage this. When we are in the throws of our addictions, we keep doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. Promises are made to family and friends that we will stop, Lies are told that we have stopped. We truly believe that we are going to stop, but it doesn't happen. Addiction to drugs and alcohol are entrapped in a coat of denial. We tell people "It isn't happening." Or we engage in minimizing, We tell ourselves "It isn't that bad. I can control this." I remember before my recovery I saw a book in a bookstore called I'll Quit Tommorow by Claudia Black. I remember recoiling from the book like if I touched it I might have to think about getting sober. After 32 years I can look back at that moment and see a scared soul wanting a way out, but not yet!
Addicts are the nicest people. They mean to get it together, they even admit to themselves sometimes that they are screwing up their lives, but they experience a vision of a huge chasm between the side where they stand called I want to change and the other side which seems like an unbelievably hard undertaking.
It is no wonder we see so much relapse in newly recovered addicts. The initial days of recovery are painful and the illusion that it will be different next time calls out.
Addicts will deny and blame the family member for their attitudes and behaviors. If only you weren't so demanding, crabby, messy, intolerant, I would be happy.
Those family members living with the addicted person spend a lot of time crying. They try to help, and their suggestions fall on deaf ears. Some addicts have to die from their disease. They don't plan on dying but it happens sometimes.
If you are living in the silence of addiction and feel trapped, there is a way out.
Its called Ala non.
This group of supporters will help the suffering family member to see that they are not the cause, they themselves can't cure this, and they can't change the person they agonize over.
What Ala non can do is help the family member live a life focused on a reliance on a higher power, and the power of the group. https://al-anon.org/
If you aren't ready to join a group, at least talk to a therapist who will listen to your story. We give you our empathy with each session.