Denial Leads The Addict Further Into Addiction - How You Can Help!
Our minds are powerful elements; so powerful are our thoughts and beliefs that they will actually lead us astray in many areas of our life. Take the idea of denial for a moment, mix that in with an addiction, and what do you think is going to happen? That's right, the addict will slowly creep further into their addiction, all the while listening to that powerful inner voice telling them they don't have a problem.
Ironically, the addict never has a problem - only the people who live with them, or who love them, or who are around them on a consistent basis have a problem. It leaves me in awe because addicts in denial really believe this. Their mind works in such a way that they do not "understand" or "know" themselves, they only think they know the people around them. And this is precisely why "loved ones" of addicts seem to get the brunt of the mood swings and unloving ways.
But there is a big problem with this picture because for the addict, acknowledging they have a problem is the first step towards recovery. Only when they admit they have an addiction will they begin to explore the possibilities of wellness. But here is the problem with that. Addicts enjoy their substance of abuse so much that they keep telling themselves they can quit at any time and that they don't have an addiction. How can the addict come out from their denial and realize they have a problem?
Coming from an alcoholic background and abusing alcohol myself in the past, I can honestly say that usually something drastic has to happen to the addict before they will own up having a problem. But by then, it may be too late. Too late to repair relationships, marriages, families, and revive lost lives. It may be too late for the past, but that does not mean that an addict cannot get healed and then repair the past the best they can, right?
Not all addicts have to bottom out before they become aware to the fact they have a problem, but in most instances they do. So knowing this, what can the loved one of an addict do to help the addict come to the realization of their problem without the addict falling head first in the mud and maybe destroying more lives in the process?
Stop Rescuing The Addict
I can think of seven ways just off the top of my head on how a wife helps her alcoholic husband to drink.
1. She lies to the children about him
2. She helps him to bed
3. She takes over, most of, if not all of, his responsibilities
4. She calls the boss and makes excuses for him
5. She pays the bills
6. She bonds him out of jail
7. She basically has become a mother to a ten-year old
Hint* To help your husband come out of denial before he hurts himself or someone else in the process is to STOP DOING EVERYTHING FOR HIM. And if your children are above the age of ten-years old, I suggest you talk to them about their dad's addiction before they begin to hate him for his inappropriate and or misplaced emotions charged upon them when he is drinking.
Detach From The Addict
I can think of five ways right off the top of my head on how a wife stays attached to the emotional problems of her husband addiction to pornography
1. She believes it has something to do with her husband not finding her attractive
2. She constantly scans the history on the computer to see if her husband looked at porn that day
3. She looks at porn with him and then feels guilty about it
4. She begins to flirt with other men
5. She starts to feel negative thoughts about her husband because she cannot distinguish the addict from the person she married
Hint* Porn addiction, just like any other addiction is a compulsion to do something to help relieve emotional strain and calamity within the addict. Once the addict gets to the "root" of the underlying issue that is affecting them, they can begin healing and will not need the addiction any longer.
Stop Helping The Addict To Drink
I can think of five ways in which a husband would help his wife to drink. Remember that helping (enabling) is different than rescuing.
1. He is in denial with his wife
2. He drinks with the addict
3. He buys alcohol for his wife
4. He gets emotional and angry with the addict when she is drunk
5. He complains about her drunkenness by calling her names
Hint* anytime you become emotionally involved in a negative way with an addict, it becomes apparent to the addict that YOU are the one with the problem. It is always best to remain detached and aloof to the antics of the alcoholic, even if they are hurting you. Never call names, curse, get overly emotional, or become angry over what the addict does. You are the only hope for the addict - be a good influence on them.
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