Are You Living with An Addict?
If you’re living with and addict…someone that is struggling with a behavior that is spiraling out
of control, it can’t help but spill over into your life. Even if the person isn’t
living with you, you probably find it difficult to distance yourself from the problem.
The chaos that consumes the lives of addicts can leave YOU feeling helpless. And, even
when your loved one finds their way to recovery, there will be a wake of destruction
behind them. That damage has impacted many people who have an interest in seeing
recovery stick most of all you.
That’s why we call those people stakeholders…recovery stakeholders. We understand there’s a lot at stake.
When you are close to someone that is struggling with addiction, it defies logic to
watch them destroy their life in exchange for a short-term high. And, if that person is
someone you are living with, the damage can be seen everywhere you turn.
Your life is chaotic.
And, you wouldn’t be the first Recovery Stakeholder to say “I
feel like I’m going crazy!”
Rest assured, you’re not crazy even if your loved one repeatedly attempts to make you think you are. Addiction doesn’t do well in the spotlight. It’s going to direct the attention to anyone in the vicinity. The easiest way to do that is to blame someone for the problem. And, a loving friend or family member is an easy mark.
Well, that begins to change now. You’re going to know what you need to focus on to
start the healing process.
Does this sound familiar?
Your loved one may agree to stop the addiction that seems to be causing the problem.
Typically drinking or drugs. Things are better for a bit.
Then, their behavior starts to change. You know something’s wrong but you can’t put
your finger on it.
They may have relapsed with their previous rug of choice but it’s also possible that
they’ve turned to another addiction that your radar’s not tuned into. Once they know
they’re being watched, it’s not uncommon to switch to an addiction that’s easier to
The conversation in your head might sound something like this, “Well, they stopped
drinking. I know they’re not drinking anymore. But things aren’t getting better. If
anything, they’re getting worse.”
It can be challenging to diagnose what’s going on under your roof. It’s confusing and
the manipulation that accompanies addiction doesn’t make things any easier.
When somebody is caught up in the snarl that is addiction, they’re not going to come
clean and tell you the truth. The consequences will likely need to mount. They must be
backed into a corner with no other escape.
Addict’s Family Recovery Stakeholders
Addiction can consume YOU too if you’re not on guard. It has been said that loved ones
are often addicted to the addict.
Don’t let that be YOU!
Here’s a few things to watch for if you’re living with an addict.
You find yourself accepting behavior under your roof that you know is
You allow yourself to be verbally or even physically abused
You are regularly snooping or spying to find proof that your suspicions are
You provide support (financial or otherwise) that you know is enabling
You live in fear that you’ll get the call that the addiction won
Living under these conditions is not healthy. And, putting off taking care of yourself
thinking that you can pour enough energy into your loved one to beat addiction for them
is going to end in defeat in all likelihood, for you and them.
So, what can you do that will restore some peace and sanity to your world?
You don’t have to know exactly what is going on with your loved one. All you need to
know is there’s something going on. Waiting for confirmation from your loved one may be
Dealing with the situation effectively starts with accepting, “There’s something that’s
just not right. I have to take appropriate action because I suspect that addiction is probably at work here.”
Actions to Take if You’re Living with an Addict
Here’s a few good uses of your time and energy, to avoid being consumed by fear and
- Commit to Understand Addiction One of the things we hear most often is that
stakeholders wished they would have learned everything they could about addiction…much sooner. It would have changed how they acted and reacted with the addict in their life. And, it could have saved them a lot of anguish.
- Learn About Codependence This is a lifelong study. If you’re in relationship with an addict, it’s safe to say you’re codependent. Breaking the codependent cycle is
not for sissies. Many in recovery say that getting sober from their addiction was
child’s play compared to the challenges you face with codependence.
- Stop Enabling When you love someone, it is natural to want to take care of
them, to make their life easier. To accept that you are actually making matters worse
when you provide a safety net for the addict in your life can leave you feeling lost.
This is a very personal matter for thoughtful soul searching.
- Self-Care If you’re setting yourself, your dreams and desires aside until the addict in your life gets it together, you’ve got the cart before the horse. You must set a good example by taking care of yourself. When the addict is constantly disrupting
your peace, that may require some extra space. Do what you need to do. You’re worth it!
- Professional Help In case you missed it, addiction is a serious problem and
you’re in its wake. If you find that you’re not sleeping, are struggling with how to
deal with the chaos, neglecting your own care and nurturing, you need professional help
in the form of a counselor that specializes in working with addiction in families.
What action can you take now to begin to turn things around? You’ve already done it.
Once you’ve appropriately patted yourself on the back for making it this far, you can
take something from the list above and get started.
We’d like to help you learn about addiction. You’ll want to watch the short video that reveals the Top 3
Causes of Addiction. You’ll gain some valuable insight into the situation that you’re dealing with. It’s a few minutes of your time that could change YOUR life.