My family member is addicted to drugs or alcohol, but do I need help?
Family members of addicts oftentimes struggle with certain mindsets that are quite painful. Let’s take a look:
Lack of Identity
In trying to spend so much time fixing the person who is the addict, you may have woke up one day and discovered you lost your own identity in their problems. There are many reasons for this, but it can be the fact that your role has defined you so much that it has consumed your life. You have lost touch with you are because everything has become “what should I do.” When a person is trying to aid another person in addiction, an entanglement of identity can also occur. This causes the person to focus so much on the struggling addict that they lose their identity in that person. When this happens, you might find that you can’t think, feel or act without first wondering what that person wants or needs. You might become obsessively responsible for this person.
If you struggle with identity, it simply means that God wants you to spend a season of your life being who you were created to be. He wants to position you for a time of healing where you can detach from the crisis to rediscover your identity and purpose. This is why your journey of recovery is vital.
Lack of Boundaries
A lack of boundaries is similar to a lack of identity. It can’t recognize the concept that “I belong to me” and “you belong to you” . Lack of boundaries produces disrespect in relationships and the willingness to allow other people into areas they should not be. It also causes a person to compromise core beliefs and morals, and does not know how to say “no”. Learning boundaries takes time and work. First, you must understand who you are and what you are willing to stand for. Then, it’s important to learn to make a stand for those things that you represent. When dealing with unhealthy family members, we can learn to establish healthy and safe boundaries, while still displaying genuine love. But this takes additional resources. We provide a free resource to help family members with this process.
Need to Control
Life spins out of control when we have dealt with someone else’s addiction. Family members can try to take control by asserting tactics to win over, please, fix or manage the addiction. The need to control stems from insecurity. It is based from the fear that things are falling apart and the desperation of trying to maintain peace in the midst of a storm. But the attempts are futile. Learning to surrender our efforts to God will take a dramatic shift in thinking and mindsets. You can’t do it alone; reach out for others going through the same battle. And mostly, evaluate your relationship with your Heavenly Father. He’s got you and the person you love! He can help you to work out a plan.
Need to Be Responsible
Perhaps you adjusted to being overly responsible in your relationship with an addict. But it’s hurting you and it’s toxic. You can’t go on anymore because it is too much for you to bear. What you might not realize is that what you carry on their behalf is actually preventing them from getting help. Of course you are well meaning! But they are using you to maintain their addiction. Let’s ask an important question: what do you neglect to help ___________________? Now there are two problems. The addict is allowed to maintain their lifestyle, and you are abandoning your own needs for self care. This is a strong indication that you need to engage in a recovery process.
In the eyes of a perfectionist, everything is either “right” or “wrong” with no in between grey area. Trying to adhere to rigid rules perfectly and holding other people to high standards is devastating on relationships. The reason a person is a perfectionist is often rooted in a family where much criticism took place. Perhaps performance was emphasized more then anything else, with little or no affirmation for the attempts to do anything right. While one minute a perfectionist is critical of others, the next minute it turns into self contempt. If you are a perfectionist, you are struggling with fear. You are afraid that if you don’t manage life perfectly, it will fall apart. This is a lie. God wants to own you in such a way where His grace is the gap that fills in the pieces that are missing.
You give and give, but never receive. But why? Do you feel used, abused and unloved? Giving too much in a relationship becomes normal after a while, but not healthy. It will drain you and make you feel crazy. The more you try, the less results you will find work. If you are giving in a relationship with an intention of changing that person, it isn’t based on a healthy relationship style. Giving should be mutual and reciprocated without strings attached. If you find that all you do is give, it means unworthiness has crept into your inner world and you’ve accepted that you need to bring more to the table then the other person. The is an indication of needing deeper healing. You will also have to set boundaries.
Do you recognize some of these traits? The good news is you can find healing, hope and strength! Please let us help you! Call today for a free resource and learn about the other resources we offer.