This experience is SO personal, so painful, so close to the bone, that it’s easy to forget it’s a very real ADDICTION.
Addiction hijacks the brain, and regresses people emotionally.
When I talk about addicted people in this topic, I’m referring to men who are actively living in, and protecting their addiction. They could be “sober” – not acting out – yet still living in the addiction mindset. They haven’t done the work of “recovery” – healing, growth and learning new tools.
Sobriety alone, does not equate to recovery.
These behaviors can be intermittent or consistent.
1. ALL addicts are emotionally immature.
2. ALL addicts are irresponsible in the relationship.
3. ALL addicts live in denial: they lie to themselves about the consequences of their addictive behaviors.
4. ALL addicts lie to others to cover up and protect the addiction behaviors
5. ALL addicts don’t “do” emotions. Their own, or anyone else’s.
6. ALL addicts, gaslight, deflect, blame, project, minimize, justify
7. ALL addicts create chaos to distract from their addiction and behaviors
8. ALL addicts live in an alternative reality of their own making, and expect others to acknowledge and agree with, and live in their false reality.
9. ALL addicts think their words have factual meaning and accurately reflect themselves. THEY DON’T. They have zero self awareness and make up opinions and viewpoints that fit a narrative, not their actual values or real world needs.
10. ALL addicts do not take others at their words. They only understand and react/respond to other’s behaviors.
11. ALL addicts are beyond our reach of “help” – we are NOT qualified to help them into recovery.
If you’re living with an active addict of any kind, your sanity and serenity are going to be tested every single day. You will be worn down, trying to get them into reality, or to see the consequences of their behavior. You will wear yourself out “talking” to them, trying multiple different approaches to get them into health. You will spin your wheels with little return, trying to get them to be healthy people.None of those approaches or attempts will work.What DOES work for us:
Focusing on ourselves, being responsible for ourselves and our own self-care, and finding joy and nurturing elsewhere. Setting and enforcing boundaries to keep all the “red flag behaviors” (above) as far away from our awareness as much as possible, is the beginning road to sanity, peace, serenity and a clear path forward towards our best self, our best life and our walking out our values.