This question came in from some of our readers. Excellent question and one that all of us can identify with when we are in the middle of an alcoholic relationship.
To first be able and break this down we have to understand the nature of addiction. Addiction is more than just a mental carry over where a person believes they need a substance in order to live.
Addiction also carries over into the physical self, where one’s body becomes chemically dependent on a substance to think, feel, and to maintain themselves enough not to encounter withdrawal symptoms. When you are dealing with any type of chemical imbalance within the body, both emotional and physical aspects of the person are impacted. The chemicals in the brain are even imbalanced and affect a person to the point where being rational is a challenge.
This being said when we are involved in a relationship with an alcoholic or addict our relationship is impacted by the addiction. Substance abuse on it’s own causes ups and downs within the addict and the relationship itself will represent if not mimic the roller coaster. You can have extreme highs and counteract immediately with extreme lows. You can almost pinpoint the recurring pattern that is exhibited if you take note and observe.
So do alcoholics care how their loved ones feel? Perhaps on the inside and in their deeper selves they do, but because of the skin of addiction they are unable to decipher their emotions. Often enough we see people actually using substances to cover or deal with their emotions because substances numb them from feeling. Substances allow them not to feel things that hurt them, but this also impacts feeling things that can truly make them feel good. When they are preventing themselves from feeling hurt, they are also preventing themselves from feeling loved. It’s a two-way street.
The addict doesn’t continue to drink or use because they don’t care how their loved ones feel, it is that they are overpowered mentally and physically enough to decipher between their needs and someone else’s needs. You can love this person with all your heart and be doing everything humanly possible for them, but until they realize that they have a problem with addiction, they will not get sober based on their relationship with you alone.
Be sure to distinguish what you think is love and what could be enabling. Separate the addiction from the person. You can make simple changes that could save your loved one’s life.
This book is the perfect book for in-house personal development. You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home to get well acquainted with the many different aspects of families that are struggling through alcoholism or addiction. Learn how to recognize key behaviors and how to work through them. Recognize patterns that enable your loved ones to stay sick and learn how to correct them.
This book is dedicated to the family members that still suffer with living with alcoholism and addiction in the home. Making change is often the hardest thing we can do, but it is the best solution for ourselves and for our loved ones with addictions. Never fear independent thinking and growth.
Move forward and seek the happiness you deserve and want. We are never stuck in a situation. There are always choices to be made and options. There is always opportunity for growth. Take that opportunity and embrace it.