Relationships in addiction become toxic and unproductive. Trust is gone, lying, stealing and cheating feature in the dynamics of the relationship and it leaves both or all parties angry and confused. From the loved ones perspective, the person using is slowly killing him/herself and regardless of what you’ve done and said, nothing makes a difference. Against all your advice and love, they don’t seem to want to listen. They repeat the same mistakes over and over again, they lie and hide and keep secrets from you. They dish out false hope and false promises that “this time will be different”. What more can you do?
From the using addict side, it looks a bit different.
Yes the damage is there, you can see the destruction. You will stop this time, you promise and swear on everything you love and cherish that it won’t happen again. The strangest thing about that is, you really mean it!
Fleeting moments of clarity show you just how much damage you have caused, all the hurt, all the dishonesty and all the shame comes to the surface. Determination is running at full tilt, statements like I can do this, I’m stronger and smarter than this problem run through your mind. The truth is your determination is killing you. If you’ve ever been around treatment and a fellowship meeting, you would have heard the word surrender. Cliché’s like surrender to win come up often and it’s very important that you understand the surrender in Step One. Admitting you are powerless over your drug or drugs of choice is a vital factor to actually starting the process of change.
One of the key factors in my early recovery was separation from the substance and separation from those around me that were affected by my relationship with the substance. I needed time to myself to work on changing and the people around me needed me out of their lives so that they could start the healing process. My relationships become so toxic that they were playing apart in me continuing to use. All those around me represented, guilt, shame and control. I needed to break away from that dynamic to be able to see the dynamic. Usually when we are in the thick of the problem it’s very difficult to see the full extent of the problem. Emotions effect our judgement and being manipulated doesn’t help either.
Our family want nothing more than to believe we are getting better and that they will be able to trust us again but years of damage doesn’t allow for that. Only a genuine change and a long period of living that change will begin the process of trust and hope again.