There are plenty of challenging situations in life but surviving life with an alcoholic or addict is one of the most severe. The problems created by that person’s addiction can be life-threatening, can cause bankruptcy and the mental and emotional stress are unrelenting. Since some people continue to be addicted for years, the situation creates a continuous strain that can sap all the happiness out of family members dealing with this problem.
Because the condition of addiction is often so similar from one person to the next, the actions needed to survive this situation may be also be quite similar. Take a look at this advice based on the experience of many who have lived through it before and see what you can implement to improve your situation.
Realize That You Didn’t Cause the Addiction
Unless you were feeding the person drugs or alcohol yourself, you probably didn’t have much to do with causing the addiction. The addicted person may have you believe otherwise. It is very often the nature of addiction that the addict manipulates those around him to keep them from interfering with his ability to get and use drugs. He will accuse others of not understanding, not supporting, not helping, not realizing how upset/unlucky/sick he is – and so on down a long list. These accusations won’t make much sense and there’s probably little (if any) truth to them. You have to stay strong and not accept these claims.
But while you protect your own sanity by rejecting the manipulation, there is very little to be gained by antagonizing the addict. Don’t bother telling him that he’s manipulating or lying. Just skip it, get yourself to a safe place, ask for support or protection from friends or family.
For further advice on surviving this challenge, read the Narconon publication, 14 Rules You Must Never Break When Dealing with Addiction, available at no charge. It’s available here: http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/rules/.
Protect Yourself and Others Who Might be Vulnerable
This is extremely important. You will not be able to help anyone if you are sick, injured or beaten down by worry or abuse. Children must feel that their home and daily environment are safe. This could mean temporary relocation while a lasting solution is found. Or it might mean asking for someone else to provide mental or physical support. For example, asking another family member to move into the home so the addicted person knows that someone else could be present any time they choose to drop by. If they are not living with you, it may mean changing locks and proofing the house from intrusion. Schools must be notified that an addicted parent may not pick up children. As much as possible, build a strong perimeter around yourself, children, the elderly and others who could be harmed. Continue reading