Addiction in the Family
When you are close to someone who is addicted a lot of the times they’re in denial
When I was in the throes of bulimia, alcohol addiction, and pill popping I def had some denial around it
If your partner or family member is in this stage, it is impossible to help them
They may also hide it.
You may just have a feeling that things aren’t quite right
A lot of the time we blame ourselves for not noticing earlier
“It all makes sense now. How could I not have seen this? It was right under my nose”
So on and so forth.
I think that’s why for me pill addiction and bulimia lasted longer than my alcohol affair. They were easy to hide.
With alcohol, people can smell it on your breath, they’ll see your relationship with it when you’re in public and you have some. I think it’s easier to pick up on
Pills can be sneaky. You can pop one when no one is looking or if someone is, it can be just a vitamin or prescribed.
When I was bulimic, nobody knew. I think eventually my roommate found out because of the sounds and maybe if I wasn’t 100% meticulous in my clean up (which is gross to think about I know).
So, my point is if you have addiction in the family that’s coming to the surface after years of being a secret, don’t blame yourself for not noticing.
Another important element of addiction in the family is our relationship with the person who’s spinning with addiction.
Are we judging them harshly. Do we want to change them and refuse to accept them?
If we can put ourselves in their shoes for a moment and I’ve been on both sides of the story here so perhaps I can offer some perspective.
When I myself was healing from bulimia and addiction, a major turning point that expedited the process was accepting myself rather than constantly fighting reality and rejecting myself.
It softened me to turn inward and made it safe to feel my feelings.
So, I offer, switching into role of family member dealing with a loved one spinning in addiction:
What is causing us to reject the one we love? Can we still love them even if we have to set boundaries and of course, do the necessary things to keep ourselves safe. But can we still hold objective space for them, even when they fuck up?