Why I Write About Second Hand Addiction

Today I am pondering ‘what do you need to know that will make a difference for you?’ In other words, what is the sense of making a blog about my experiences with a loved one’s addiction if it doesn’t make a difference for you, the reader. As I do so I am thinking of what someone said to me yesterday… He said ‘your blog is very personal.’ He’s right. It is very personal.

It’s interesting to note that I have gone into the rooms of Alanon, which is a program for friends and family of alcoholics, and I have heard personal stories of people who live with this sickness. I have gone into the rooms of Codependents Anonymous, for people who may or may not love some one with an addiction- but who act and live as if they do- and I have heard personal stories. I have gone into the rooms of open AA meetings and I have heard personal stories. I have gone to Overeater’s Anonymous where people grapple with their own food addictions, and heard personal stories. In any twelve step group you will hear personal stories. The good, the bad and the very ugly. And those stories make a difference. They let you ‘see it quicker and change it sooner.’- whether the ‘it’ be something you are doing that does not work- or whether the ‘it’ be something that makes you see that the person you love does indeed have a problem, and that you- living in the insanity- need help too. And make no mistake, those personal stories, and the people who are brave enough to tell them, make a big difference for the people who are listening.

But those stories cannot be told to the outside world. The stories, listeners, and speakers are bound by a golden rule, repeated clearly and succinctly at the end of each and every meeting. “Who you see here, what you hear here, when you leave here, let it stay here.’ This is the heart and soul of anonymity. This is the rule that has allowed millions of people to share their hearts and their lives in a safe space- knowing that what they share will never come back to harm them. This rule of anonymity is truly what makes it possible for people to seek sanctuary in recovery groups around the world.

And anonymity is a good thing…

Except when it is not.

Anonymity is good for the people who are addicted- who would certainly face shame, disdain, exclusion, and even downright discrimination if the outside world knew of their plight. And anonymity is good for the loved ones, who would face judgments, and a level of derision from smug onlookers and people who have never walked the path of loving someone with an addiction. They would hear judgmental things like “Why doesn’t she just leave him?” Or “I would never put up with that.” Or “Doesn’t he have any backbone at all?”

On the other side the person who loves an addicted person might be told “What kind of a mother are you, to let your son do that?’ Or ‘Perhaps if you were a better wife, he wouldn’t drink.’ Any of these remarks, and all derivatives in between, might be said with the best of intentions. But they would completely undermine the process of living through a loved one’s addiction. Such remarks and such an attitude would only come from complete ignorance. So anonymity protects bothe addicts and their loved ones from the hurtful ignorance of others.

But there is one person who is not helped by all of this anonymity…

And it is you, the average, unknowing, normal person- who has no knowledge about addiction.

You see, if you are a person who is living a ‘normal’ life, and you have not gone to school to learn about addiction, nor sat in a 12 step program, then what you don’t know could hurt you. What you don’t know could even kill you. You see, I lived with an alcoholic for 10 years, not knowing he was sick, and it nearly did kill me. If I had only known what I later learned in the 12 step recovery rooms (Such as Alanon for families and friends of alcoholics) life could have been very different for both of us, and for our children.

And that’s why I want you to read my blog. That’s why I write it- so it can be different for you. So that you don’t walk around blind- believing that you are seeing. I write so that you can know what to say to a person that you love who is walking straight into addiction with his own blinders on. I write so that you can know what it looks like to love someone with an addiction. I write so that you can say the word addiction, without feeling shame, derision, and thinking how nasty it is.

I envision a world where the shame and derision disappear. I envision a world where people do not have to be anonymous in order to live their lives and heal their sicknesses. I envision a world of togetherness, where no-one walks in the shadows of addiction, alone and afraid.

I see such a world. And if you can see it too, then visit my blog, and send your friends. And let us begin to see together.

Are You Living With An Alcoholic?

Are you one of those people who are suffering from living with an alcoholic? Then this is the right page for you. Lots of people are getting addicted to alcohol. They can be your parents, relatives, friends, spouse or anything that is near you that are suffering from addiction. Maybe you are suffering because of the bad behavior they are showing especially if they are drunk.

Alcohol is not bad but everything that is too much is definitely not good for ones lifestyle. It is amazing to know that this kind of people really want to stop their addiction but they just can’t. When a person is addicted the body and the mind is very much affected. The urge to take big amount of alcohol is so strong with this kind of people. If you are a friend or someone closer with this kind of people then you can certainly do something to help them stop.

The first thing that you need to put in your mind is avoid being judgmental. If you continue to show them that you think that they are consider bad person because of their addiction then you are totally pushing them to go to the addiction further. Giving them the inspiration to change and boosting their moral can really give a big help. Lots of people are getting drunk because of many reasons. Solving the issue with regards to the main reason of addiction is a big factor.

For the person to be able to change he/she needs to have the conviction to do so. This is the main thing that you must put in the heart of the person. The self control must be build and remember that you can’t do this in an instant. Addiction is better to stop bit by bit so you don’t need to rush too much.

Remember to be positive in your outlook that the person can change if you help him towards the goal.

More Living With An Alcoholic Spouse Articles

5 Tips To Overcome Being Resigned To Living With An Alcoholic

Alcoholism is a disease that can be devastating for those living with an alcoholic. People with an alcoholic parent or spouse know how stressful it is to constantly worrying that their loved one will drink and drive, sell family valuables and use the money to finance their habit or go on a binge and not come home for days.

For many living with an alcoholic means constantly worrying about paying the bills, having to clean up after their alcoholic loved one, looking out for various signs of alcoholism, dealing with abuse, and even being unable to sleep from fear of what will happen next.

Instead of enabling or becoming resigned to the situation you have to fight back! Follow these top 5 tips to change your situation.

1. Take an honest look at the alcoholic: Identifying the line between social drinking and alcohol abuse is not an easy thing to do. Although an individual who only drinks a few glasses during the weekend might not be considered an alcoholic, anyone who drinks to the point that it affects their regular life can be considered to be abusing alcohol.

Talk to the alcoholic parent or spouse. Sit down and ask them why they drink. Discus worrying symptoms that indicate alcoholism such as drinking to the point of blacking out, needing to drink to feel better about their life and feeling ashamed over their drinking habits.

2. Let the alcoholic accept the consequences: To get out of resignation, let the alcoholic experience the negative consequences of drinking and do not let yourself take on responsibility for their actions. When living with an alcoholic avoid calling in for them if they miss work, do not buy alcohol for them, steer clear of helping them to bed or cleaning up the empty bottles after they binge. To keep them out of debt and get them to realize how bad the situation has become do not purchase alcohol for them or give them money to buy more.

3. Accept the reality: To change your life with an alcoholic parent or spouse, you need to accept the reality. Do not live in denial or make excuses for the signs of alcoholism being displayed. You should also not feel guilty or try to threaten or bribe them into giving up alcohol. Instead, focus on dealing with your own emotions, because these are the only emotions you have the power to control.

4. Do not engage: When living with an alcoholic, you are likely to notice that when heavily drinking they may start arguments, throw items around, or become verbally abusive. Do not be sucked into playing mind games or getting into a fight! Make sure your spouse experiences being loved by you but detach yourself from the situation. If necessary, leave the house for a few hours or go out with some friends. By not accepting the outburst and bad behaviors they will see even faster that they need help.

5. Get Support: The road to recovery will not happen in just a few weeks or months. For some the process can take years! To get the emotional support needed to recognize and treat the signs of alcoholism therapists, support groups, online forums and even eBook systems can be accessed.

These treatment methods are enormously helpful for both the alcoholic and the individuals living with an alcoholic.

Alcohol is Not the Answer For Motivation

If you have a loved one who is depressed, the first thing that strikes you is the complete lack of interest in anything. A friend of mine whose husband has been in a severe depression for many years has told me that her husband has not left the house in four years. There is a level of apathy and lethargy which is just impossible to fathom. But the fact that they need motivation is a classic symptom of many depressive illnesses and mood disorders so we should not be surprised at all.

I know lots of depressed and anxious people who use alcohol for a quick fix. Unfortunately alcohol, in the long term is a depressant as their mood disorders such as irritability and wild mood swings become even worse. Although they first start with alcohol to help them cope or because they need motivation, the fact is that very soon they are too far down the alcoholic road to be able to do anything about it. They have become dependent on it.

Dependency on alcohol has side effects which can be devastating in many ways. Potential alcoholics feel they must have a drink and will go to any lengths to get it. Work and relationships start to suffer and physical and mental problems start to set in.

There is a definite link between alcoholism and depression and there are statistics to show that people who self injure are much more likely to be alcoholics. Suicide is also more common in alcoholics. Many people drink to find quick relief from depression but very often become even more depressed after the immediate effects wear off. That is simple because alcohol affects your brain chemicals or neurotransmitters and puts you at greater risk of getting more depressed!

Alcohol can have severe effects on the central nervous system and it can slow it down considerably. Your breathing is slower, you relax and it sounds like the perfect solution for depression if you need motivation as you immediately feel better. The problem is that you become more and more dependent on it and you need more and more for the same effects to kick in.

If you need to help motivate yourself and have decided that alcohol is far too risky for a quick fix, then why not consider natural alternatives. There is no risk of dependency and a few simple lifestyle changes can work wonders.

Codependent Relationship Stressing You Out? Do Something About It!

Codependent relationships are usually characterized by two roles. A needy person who depends on her partner too much, and a person who acts the care-taker, always comforting his partner at his own expense. In relationships, a common pattern is a clingy woman paired with a man who never asserts himself (though the roles can be reversed).

Codependent simply means that you depend too much on your partner emotionally. For her, this may mean that she relies on you for all her emotional needs, and “can’t live without you.” For him, it may mean he feels too responsible for her, always catering to her demands, and never asserting himself for fear of hurting her.

Are you a man feeling stuck in a codependent relationship? Maybe you wish she wasn’t so clingy — or maybe you want to leave the relationship entirely — but you “don’t want to hurt her,” as so many guys say about their clingy girlfriends.

If you find yourself in this situation, it’s because you didn’t assert yourself whenever she showed herself to be overly needy or demanding. In fact, you may have inadvertently encouraged her to behave like this. Now you may feel stuck in patters that don’t allow for the things you desperately need:

Some degree of independence Space to yourself Time to pursue friendships and hobbies outside the relationship

Have you ever felt that you are making major life choices based on her insecurities? Maybe she discourages you from taking a position that requires travel, or maybe she’s pressuring you to get engaged before you’re ready…

If you find yourself in this situation, you have to either:

a) Negotiate new terms for the relationship – terms that you find acceptable and don’t cause you persistent stress

or…

b) Plan to leave the relationship

Otherwise, the constant stress of remaining in a codependent relationship will take a toll on your mental and physical well-being, and you will live a life of regret.

If you feel trapped in an unhealthy or unsatisfying relationship,  breakup and get on with your life.

Alcoholism and The Family Affair: How Alcoholism Affects the Family

Being an alcoholic is no fun and certainly nobody denies that addiction is a form of sickness in whatever form it takes.  However, being closely associated with an alcoholic is also no bed of roses and entire families are affected by the social behavior of someone in the grip of alcohol addiction.

For a long term partner, wife or husband, there is a certain obligation felt to help the addict and support them in seeking professional help.  For young children and teenagers there are often deeper issues to address, some of which are not aired for months or years as the family struggles to help control the effects of addiction.

When an alcoholic is living within a large family structure, it is reasonable to assume they take up a great deal of attention that might usually be required to help younger members of the family through difficulties caused by adolescence; exams; teenage physical development.  Teenagers already have a battle with hormones: add Grandpa’s elderly problems and Dad’s alcohol addiction to the mix and you have a recipe for explosive family confrontations on a daily basis.

Extreme addiction to alcohol produces some unpleasant problems, not the least of which is financial.  Alcoholism is an expensive addiction and one that requires a constant cash injection to sustain an adequate supply of liquor.  Cash spent on a bottle is no longer available for the things teenagers tend to think are essential to life, such as clothes, cell phones and money for entertainment.  The lack of funds can make a youngster resent the cause of ‘not being able to do stuff’.

The younger members of the family, although sympathetic with elderly problems, tend to view addiction as an indulgence.  Grandparents with elderly problems are usually very welcome to be absent minded or even slightly senile, but not to be addicted to drinking.  Resentment causes teenagers to rebel and object and so the vicious circle goes on and on…

An even greater problem occurs when the addict is a mother.  Mothers who have an alcohol addiction have multiple problems to overcome for a number of reasons.  Women often provide the daily routine in the house, beginning with getting the children out of bed in the mornings to eat their breakfast and ending with putting them to bed at night after a nutritious supper and a warm bath.  All of this breaks down when the lady of the house is sleeping off a bottle induced stupor somewhere by the end of the morning.

The result is that other members of the family, some of whom might be trying to cope with elderly problems, must take over the household responsibilities while Mom sobers up in the corner – or not, as the case may be.  Many American homes are being run by elderly grandparents because parents are either absent or drunk.  The social difficulties faced by these reluctant carers Fare immense and in some cases, insurmountable.

Find More Coping With An Alcoholic Husband Articles

For Men: 11 Signs You’re in a Codependent Relationship And How to Get Out

It’s often obvious that a needy, demanding woman who clings to a man has codependent tendencies.  However, a relationship consists of two people, and HE is no less responsible.  In fact, his behavior can also be labeled “codependent.”  Two people who have codependent tendencies may act in opposite ways: While one is needy and drains her partner, the other may have a enlarged sense of responsibility to his partner, and is overly sensitive to her needs and demands.

In fact, people with opposing codependent styles tend to attract each other.  These opposing psychological profiles have been termed “takers” and “caretakers.”

Codependent relationships are complicated, and they’re often characterized by manipulation, lack of boundaries, repressed emotions, emotional volatility, jealousy

issues, verbal abuse, etc.  Both partners tend to have complicated back-stories, which often serve to justify abnormal behavior.  If you’re a man feeling stuck in a codependent relationship, realize that your happiness is worth the effort it takes to move on.

First, take a look at this list, which identify just some of the signs to look for:

You feel that you’re responsible for her, and it’s your job to make her happy and solve her problems You suppress your emotions and avoid confrontation You have the sense of sacrificing the life you want so that you can be with her and take care of her You feel trapped at times, and have the sense that you are planning an eventual escape You feel tremendous guilt at the thought of abandoning her She is extremely jealous and makes it difficult for you to interact with other females or have female friends She has an intense fear of rejection and abandonment She lives her life in way that depends on you for many of her needs, as opposed to being independent and having a variety of fulfilling relationships She has expressed that she wouldn’t be able to live her life if you betrayed or abandoned her She depends almost exclusively on you as her source of happiness and validation She dominates and manipulates you through her emotional response, which is often too extreme

These are just some of the signs that are easiest to spot from the man’s point of you view.  If you feel that you may be in a codependent relationship, or you feel as if you’re trapped and there’s no way out, most like.  Being in a codependent relationship makes for a stressful and unhappy lifestyle.  And yet, your avoidant tendencies may keep you from following through with a break up or separation.

You may be planning to break up for a long time, but you just keep holding off — many men wait years, or even a lifetime, remaining in such a relationship.  It’s important that you don’t dwell on planning, and you take certain actions, fast.  If you feel ready to begin the separation process, DO NOT hesitate: The longer you wait, and the more time you both invest, the more difficult it becomes.

You may want to consider getting the help of a counselor.  Be sure that the counselor doesn’t assume that you want to maintain the relationship if you’re choosing to move on; many counselors operate from the assumption that the relationship should be “fixed.”

Finally, many men are in dire need of a map that:

1) Identifies what is dysfunctional in your relationship

2) Affirms your right to leave an unhappy relationship

3) Guides you through the break up in a way that minimizes pain and hardship for you both

More Codependent Relationships Articles

Codependent Relationships

Codependence is a term that has been used extensively to describe some of the common character traits found in the partners of addicts. These tendencies can also be found in partners who are involved in relationships with an unhealthy relationship dynamic, such as emotionally abusive relationships.

Codependent simply means that you depend too much on your partner emotionally. For her, this may mean that she relies on you for all her emotional needs, and “can’t live without you.” For him, it may mean he feels too responsible for her, always catering to her demands, and never asserting himself for fear of hurting her.

You see needs exist because an individual has stopped growing at some point in their lives. As a result they are not “whole” individuals and therefore have “needs”. The opposite of being whole implies “lacking” that which makes one feel whole. Lack of course translates into need!

You either take the consequences for his behavior on yourself, or help him or her avoid them altogether. If your partner is hungover, you call in sick to work for him or her. If your partner doesn’t meet his or her obligations, you step in to complete the work.

They have a tendency to be the center of attention. They are also clingy and needy. They are in constant demand of getting love, attention, validation and approval. But they are angry, blaming others for their actions, violent, critical, irritable, and/or emotionally unstable.

Any man with a high level of self-esteem and healthy attitude towards relationships would not tolerate such a relationship.  He’d either take action to stop the pattern, or simply leave.  Men who get stuck in a codependent relationship, on the other hand, end up pursuing an endless pattern of trying to please their partner, and feeling frustrated when their desire for freedom conflicts with their partners need for rigid conformity to her needy patterns of behavior.

These are just some of the signs that are easiest to spot from the man’s point of you view.  If you feel that you may be in a codependent relationship, or you feel as if you’re trapped and there’s no way out, most like.  Being in a codependent relationship makes for a stressful and unhappy lifestyle.

Truth is the pursuit of what is right. It is based on a fundamental understanding of the rule of law and fairness. When a person chooses truth as his or her sole basis of orientation, they are prone to legalism. Legalism kills relationships. No doubt truth is important, but no one is perfect.

While a beautiful and romantic notion, this is a mindset that, when taken to an extreme, is very self destructive. While in most good relationships the partners value each other, there is no law that says you should stop thinking about yourself.

A codependent person would feel trapped or obligated to stay in a relationship no matter what damage was committed to themselves or others by an abusive partner. Abuse means financial, emotional, physical or sexual abuse.

Stuck in a Codependent Relationship With a Needy, Controlling, Or Emotionally Volatile Woman?

What is codependency?

I’ve known numerous men who have been in relationships with clingy, needy, overly-emotional, jealous, and controlling women.  These men are frustrated with what they perceive as their girlfriend’s flaws.  They often don’t realize that their own behavior is contributing to the unhealthy relationship and allowing it to persist.

These men are often stuck in codependent relationships.  The term “codependent” is commonly used to refer to individuals who are overly reliant on their partners, using them as a crutch and not wanting to leave their side.  However, it can apply to any unhealthy emotional dependency.  When a man stays in a relationships with a clingy, jealous, critical partner, he feels dependent on her approval.

Any man with a high level of self-esteem and healthy attitude towards relationships would not tolerate such a relationship.  He’d either take action to stop the pattern, or simply leave.  Men who get stuck in a codependent relationship, on the other hand, end up pursuing an endless pattern of trying to please their partner, and feeling frustrated when their desire for freedom conflicts with their partners need for rigid conformity to her needy patterns of behavior.

All relationships should have plenty of mutual acceptance, space to be alone, time with friends (of both genders), and respect.  Often, codependent relationships are lacking these things.

There are two dynamics going on in such relationships:

1) Her issues (often revolving around low self-esteem) prompt her to be controlling, jealous and overly sensitive .

2) Your issues (often involving shame and the desire to please) prompt you to stay in an unhealthy relationship — despite the stress  and dissatisfaction — for fear of disappointing her.

Are you in a Codependent Relationship?

If you’re in a codependent relationship with a controlling or needy woman, you might find that the relationship is especially restrictive.  Some common traits of these relationships include:

You have to always let her know where you are When you’re out, you have to speak on the phone multiple times a day You are discouraged from keeping female friends She takes an active dislike of some of your friends and/or family, and feels offended that you would have them as part of your life She attempts to control your internet usage, or monitors your email and other online communications (Facebook, etc.) She shows excessive jealousy She has difficulty letting petty issues go, and instead insists that you both talk about them at length She mistrusts you and casts a suspicious eye, even if you’ve done nothing wrong She’s often critical of your behavior You find yourself often “walking on eggshells” around her Your friends tell you that you shouldn’t put up with her, but you feel the need to stay You can’t speak your mind because you’re too afraid of how she’ll react You’ve considered breaking up for a long time, but you don’t want to break her heart You feel that she may not be able to live without you, or you’ve tried to break up and she threatened drastic action (quitting her job, hurting herself, etc.)

These are just a few possible indicators of a codependent relationship, and by no means is an exhaustive list.

What’s Wrong with Codependent Relationships?

Relationships should be places of comfort and acceptance, and they should be avenues to expanding your horizons, not restricting them.  Relationships should add joy to one’s life, and though they often hit rough patches, a relationship shouldn’t be a constant burden.  Codependent relationships can be so stressful and restrictive that the men involved often reach a boiling point, blowing-up at their partner.  It’s like a release valve, and after the pressure dissipates a bit, they fall right back into the pattern.

It’s up to these men to determine whether they want to remain in that relationship or find their way to freedom.  If you see yourself described in this article, take hope — many men are stuck in similar situations, and there is a way out.

More Codependents Articles

Living With An Alcoholic

Living with an Alcoholic

In this ever moving and fast paced world, people are so busy that they merely depend on alcohol for their relaxation, which makes the situation worse when they go home to their families. Living with an alcoholic is not easy, as people that are addicted to alcohol can barely show signs of change and transformation, unless they are taken to a counseling session. Living with such addicts may cause embarrassment and pettiness. Alcoholic people are kind of introverted and that is what makes the addiction grow. Living with an alcoholic spouse has several consequences like; children may be under a bad impression because parents are the only ones who show them the right way to lead life, and one of the major disadvantages of drinking alcohol is that it results in several medical hazards. Many people are trying to reform their spouses and make them free from this bad habit, but do not succeed eventually. There are, however, certain ways to do that. Some of them are:

Let the natural consequences happen while your spouse is under the influence, like for instance, do not pick them up when they fall or do not help them, this will make the person realize their mistake more quickly and easily. Repeating this process again and again can help your life attain an ease while living with an alcoholic. Most of the alcoholics are introverts and they do not want to mingle with the society. Help them become extroverts and mix up with people who do not drink or smoke. A good company always helps people reform their habits.