Addicts who are still using or drinking naturally create a life of chaos for themselves and others. Relationships narrow into a posture of defensiveness, wariness and life itself takes on certain dark hues.
Dysfunctional relationships of all types create the following feelings:
- need to take a road trip or simply escape
- longing for a simpler time
- fear that life is passing you by
- feelings of guilt, regret and shame
- no time for yourself
When I was feeling like this, I changed how I related. I became guarded and nervous whenever I was around others. I felt like I had to protect myself and was no longer at ease. If you are living with an addict that is not in recovery, you probably experience much of the following.
Symptoms that I’m watching my back:
- hyper alert (seeing every little nuance in their behavior)
- sense of urgency
- constant misunderstandings
- harsh words
- feelings of tension
- dread being together
- suspicion of motives
- negative issues resulting in blame or shame
Since going through the 12 Steps, I’ve found that I generally have healthy relationships and a sense of equanimity. I’m choosing healthier options for myself and most of my relationships are nurturing and supportive. My friendships are open and rewarding. I have the benefit of knowing my friends really love me. Our conversations feel like a balm to my heart.
Evidence that they’ve got my back:
- relaxed presence
- peaceful togetherness
- loving conversations
- knowing I’m being heard
- feelings of support
- trust in confidentiality
- solution-oriented problem solving
It’s worth the work. Whether you’re an addict, a co-dependent, or just in a dysfunctional relationship—try a 12 Step program and see if your life doesn’t start to open up. Find out who you really are in the context of affirming relationships and a healthy program.
PS: I have an eBook in the sidebar that might help you discover Your Unique Self. I wanted to offer it free, but the publishing company sets a minimum price. If you really want the material but cannot afford it, let me know, please.