Living with Addiction

Published on September 22, 2016 by in Success Stories



Families where an addiction is present can be very painful to live in. This is why those who live with a substance abuser may become traumatized by the experience. The loved one of an addict is often faced with broad mood swings from one end of the emotional, psychological and behavioral spectrum to the other.

Living with addiction can put family members under high levels of stress. Even normal routines are constantly being interrupted by unexpected and often times frightening experiences.

I know. I lived it for 40 years of my life;  the denial, dysfunctional family life, the disappointments of broken promises, the cheating and stealing. The sometimes loud or violent outburst that rarely went unnoticed by other family members.

Often, what is being said doesn’t match up with what is seen or experienced. The drug user as well as family members may bend, manipulate and deny reality in their attempt to maintain order and normalcy.

The genuine feelings are often hidden under a façade.  Keeping feelings unknown, pleasing or withdrawing in order to obtain some peace and normality. The family becomes organized around trying to deal with the unmanageable behavior of their loved one.

Because family members avoid sharing subjects that might lead to more pain, they wind up avoiding genuine connection with the addict and even with each other. The entire family becomes absorbed with the problem that is slowly spinning out of control.

Little things can become big while big things get minimized and real issues are pushed away to prevent further pain. The family will try to balance its self and maintain normalcy, but its ability to regulate its emotional and behavioral functions is severely challenged.

They can lose their sense of normal and they begin to hide the truth about themselves to the world around them. Trust and faith in each other is challenged as the moral character of each family member slips and the household becomes increasingly chaotic and disrupted.

If addiction remains untreated, it can cause stress, fear, anger, sadness and even depression. To the younger family members, besides creating higher risk of their abusing drugs, it can cause coping skills later in life.

So please talk to your family, make the severity of addiction known and most of all get them treatment, so your family does not go through another generation of addiction and dysfunction.

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