Friday, November 28, 2014

The Addictive Personality

As a relative we might have a hard time understanding how easily some people may change from one state to another. Maybe the person say or do things that we don't recognize. A persons whole personality may one day be of a different from before. It may be that the person has developed an addictive personality. This personality may be different, unrecognizable and even dangerous to us as relatives.

Craig Nakken writes in his book The Addictive Personality: Understanding the Addictive Process and Compulsive Behavior (1996) how an addictive personality may come into existence. 

An addictive personality develops through a process. First, the abuser becomes dependent on the addictive process, wherein he/she searches for satisfaction. After this, the person develops a relationship to the drug and starts to build up a defense system in order to protect the drug from any kind of attack from the people in his/her environment.

Nakken describes how drug abuse is like an emotional relationship, and how the abuser tries to satisfy his/her need for intimacy through this relationship. To be dependent is not a logical state, but an emotional one. Being a relative outside this relationship we may try to understand how the logic works, but since there is no logic we will never understand, and instead we will become frustrated and disappointed. The abuser often view outsiders as objects; objects who either facilitate or threat their relationship with the drug.

If you want to know more about the addictive personality and the addictive process I strongly recommend reading the book! I found it very educating. 


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Will you love me if I suffer for you?

That is the title of one of the chapters in Robin Norwoods' book Women who love too much (2001).

Is being loved the same thing as being needed?
"She/he needs me, then I must be loved"

The sacrifices for being loved might become endless. 
What if this view of love is a misinterpretation?

People who have grown up in dysfunctional families often think that "if I suffer, then it must be true love. If it's painful and if it hurts a lot, then I love". But is this true? Is it really love, or is it a misinterpretation, actually coming from pain? A pain that originates in early childhood. If a child connects suffering and pain to love, then it is very easy to pick up these feelings and this pattern when becoming an adult. The person will constantly end up in relationships where him/her will feel pain and hurt.

What if love is not the same as suffering, pain and betrayal? What if it is really about respect, trust and enjoying each others company?

Think about love; how you want to love and how you want to be loved.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Share your experiences!

Relatives to a people with alcohol- and drug abuse addiction are often very reluctant in sharing their experiences and thoughts. However, there are people all around us who suffer from the same daily struggle, who share the same experiences as you do. Take the courage to talk to each other! Do not shut everything inside, sharing will help unloading your burden. By exchanging thoughts, feelings and experiences you will strengthen each other.  

Work together as one, and become stronger!

Monday, November 10, 2014

New strength

It might feel contradictory to imagine that all the sad and painful experiences from living with a drug- and substance abuser actually may be valuable to us. Even if it feels hard, we must realize how the experiences have made us stronger in so many ways, and recognize all the new knowledge we have gain, both of ourselves and other people.

Can you think of any positive qualifications you might have gain from your experiences? 
Here are some examples given from relatives whom I have coached: 
  • I've learned to say no. 
  • I learned about humility and being non-judgmental.
  • I now prioritize my own needs, and I help other seeing when they put aside their needs. 
  • I now know that I can take care of myself. I feel much more secure and calm. 
Write down all the strengths that you have developed! 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

How does your reality really look like?

A lot of relatives to alcohol- and drugusers often deny how the reality looks like, just like the user denies his/her problem. Instead, the person holds on to dreams and hope. It becomes almost impossible to make healthy and smart decisions for a person who does not except the reality for what it really is, for a person who ignores important facts. 

How does your reality really look like? Grab a piece of paper and a pen, and write it down! 
Here are some questions that might help you on the way: 
  • How are you feeling, and how have you been feeling the last six months?
  • How many days of the month are affected by the substance abuse? 
  • Do you have any personal limits that you have crossed, limits that you never thought you would break?
  • If your current situation would go on for two more years, how would you feel after these years?
  • Is there anyone else in your presence whom might be affected by the substance abuse? Children understand more than we might think...
  • Is there anyone you care about who you have neglected in consequence of the abuse?
  • Is there anything you are trying to control, that is really out of your limit?
I hope you have the courage to answer these questions truthfully! It might be painful, but it will give you the opportunity to make more healthy decisions when it comes to your own life and your own well-being! - Den ständigt växande länkkatalogen - Den ständigt växande länkkatalogen