Monday, April 9, 2018


Many of us whose loved ones struggle with an addiction get so caught up in what's going on for them that we forget about ourselves.  We put their needs first, and think and talk obsessively about them, what they may be doing, thinking or feeling...

As our own needs are progressively eclipsed by our loved ones' addiction, we find ourselves riding the emotional roller coaster with them, becoming just as unstable as they are.

Talk about folie à deux!

When we come to therapy, to Alanon-- or to our senses-- we are urged to "get a life!" and take care of ourselves.  We start thinking and talking about ourselves.  We learn to identify and respect our own needs.  We draw some long-overdue boundaries.  We start to recover our sanity.

But here's the thing:

The disease of addiction is so insidious and our involvement with the addict so irresistible that, even when we begin to make new choices, we may still weigh the pros and cons in terms of how it will impact our loved one's addiction!

How many times are the changes we make in recovery really motivated by the desire to influence the addict?  Are we secretly hoping to force him to "hit rock bottom" so he or she will seek help and get fixed?  That is not making choices for ourselves.

Addiction is a sneaky devil.  What a pity it would be, after all our work to extricate ourselves from the insanity of the disease, to let it slip in the back door...

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