Addiction – All Impacts
Growing up with Addiction
It’s nearly impossible to say no to others. It’s overly important that people like you. It’s hard to express your opinion when it’s different or opposing. You do so much for other people that you are left with nothing for yourself.
You second guess every decision you make. You feel like every decision is the wrong decision. You ask for too much advice that it becomes confusing.
Something inside is telling you these people aren’t really your friends. You don’t want to be left out but don’t have fun when you join in. You think you are dating someone but it’s not clear. There seems to be a lot of secrets and guessing when it comes to friends and romantic interests. How other families interact is worlds away from your experience.
Engaging in relationships we know will go nowhere and stay in them for far too long is a problem. Life could be so different if you could just steer clear of certain people. You feel tied to them though, a sense of loyalty keeps you stuck, but you get little satisfaction and gratification from these relationships.
You feel others don’t really understand you fully. You could be in a room full of people who seem to look and act just like you, and yet you feel completely alone. You edit yourself, don’t share all your thoughts, because you think no one will get it.
No one can do what you can do, and you’ll be sure to not let anyone help you. After all, you don’t need help. You’ve got it covered. When someone offers help, your back goes straight as if they just hurled an insult your way, as if they were saying you are incapable.
It’s hard to predict what others might be thinking, but you sure try. It’s hard to know how others are going to react, so you do your best to control for all possible outcomes. It’s exhausting having so much of your time consumed with something you have such little control over.
This is mostly for you. You just yourself incessantly. Nothing is ever good enough. Of course, there is always room for improvement in life, but you beat yourself down daily. And you have a laundry list of people that are doing things “the right way.”
When you get down to it, you’re unhappy with yourself. You’re unhappy with where you are in life, who you surround yourself with, how you look and act, the choices you make… Its really hard to do things differently, to make a change. You aren’t even sure if you’re worthy of change. Do you deserve better? What would that even look like?
“I will never be like…”. Sometimes this comes through loud and clear. Sometimes its deeper, more subtle, but just as strong. Your parents are your parents; that can’t be changed. It’s hard to stay connected to such a complex relationship.
Your addiction. Your spouse’s addiction. Your parents’ addiction. We can support you through it all.
You may feel like your peers and family don’t really “get you.” It can be hard for you to trust your instincts. It can also be hard for you to trust others. You doubt yourself. A lot.
Maybe you struggle with substance abuse, love someone who does, or were raised in a home where addiction lived. The complex effects of addiction can be long lasting.
As a licensed marriage and family therapist who specializes in substance use, I understand how addiction can crush your soul and damage your relationships. It’s taken a lot to get you here; a lot of pain, heartache, and suffering.
Asking for help is hard. I’m so glad you’re here. I collaborate with clients who want to be true to themselves without any hesitation, guilt, or shame. Let’s work together to bring peace and serenity to your life.
You deserve it.
Addiction is a disease. It’s progressive, prolonged, potentially fatal, and positively treatable. If you are addicted to drugs and alcohol you may feel:
Every day is groundhogs day. There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. Something needs to change… everything needs to change. It’s overwhelming. You have no idea where to even begin.
Too many people have turned their backs. You can’t ask again, even this one last time. Or, if people found out, your world would feel like it’s caving in. What would they think? Secrets feel safe, even when they keep you sick.
When you have run out of money and drugs, or it’s been several hours or even a day or two since your last drink or drug, you feel awful. Everything from shakes to sweating to muscle aches to constipation to vomiting; you know why it’s happening.
Honestly, you probably use in response to every emotion. You can’t make feelings suddenly disappear. They have to go somewhere; they have to come out. Maybe in the beginning it felt like alcohol and drugs made the emotions easier… maybe now the emotions are bigger… maybe now the emotions got so big that its just too much and you feel hollow.
Has there ever been a “bad” time to use? You use when things are good or bad, happy or sad, up or down. You use to punish yourself and praise yourself. You use to punish others and praise others.
You question if therapy works; if therapy will work for you. Maybe you only know rehabs and group therapy from the movies; maybe you could sketch the meditation garden perfectly from memory from your last inpatient program.
The stops and starts have been going on for so long it feels almost hopeless. You wonder what could possibly be different this time. What else needs to change?
Everything is urgent and everything is important. How can you possibly know which first step is going to be the right one?
If you could take the pain away, you would. If you could stop the cycle, you would. If there was anything you could do to make this all go away, you would. But time and time again you feel like there is nothing you can do.
Just like one drink is too many and a thousand is never enough, all of your efforts to help are unsuccessful. You try to set boundaries but it seems like it pushes them away. You try to reach out and help and now you are being called an enabler. Every move feels like a no win situation.
Because every move feels like a no win situation, you feel paralyzed. You second guess yourself, your decisions, your friends and family and their advice.
With an addict can be the most difficult relationship to navigate. Turning your back, or setting healthy boundaries, may feel like it could lead to irreversible consequences. As long as you are connected, you feel like there is some hope, some sense of control.
It seems like no matter what you say or do, you can’t get through to them. You scream, cry, plead, beg, talk calmly and rationally, send emails and texts. Nothing works.
If your love could save them, they would live forever.
You’ve followed all the expert advice. They’ve done the rehabs and treatment and therapy and medication. The consequences of their addiction are endless. What is it going to take to turn things around? How much longer do you have to wait?
You have lost all trust and question everything they say or do. Even in times of sobriety and recovery it can still be so hard. You don’t trust them to make good decisions, to be honest with you, to manage money, to keep a job, to tell you when they are feeling down. This lack of trust only fuels your need for control.
Losing them can look different for everyone. It doesn’t always mean death. It’s hard to admit death is even a possibility, even a word that would come out of your mouth. Other losses can be cutting ties, not having any more communication or contact. Losing them can mean having them sit right next to you but feel like they are a million miles away.
You literally feel like you are going crazy. All your efforts to control this cunning and baffling disease leaves you feeling confused and exhausted. You don’t know what is real anymore, what is the truth.