When we don’t hold an addict accountable for their unhealthy behaviours, we prepare them for a world that doesn’t exist. They begin to believe that they can act in whatever ways they choose and get away with that. It can be a huge shock when they are held accountable by the societal systems that are in place – for example, being fired, arrested or incarcerated. We can actually love the addicts in our lives by setting – and maintaining – appropriate, respectful boundaries, so they can see that … [Read more...] about Holding the Addict in Your Life Accountable
Archives for 2021
For those of you who have been following me for a while, you know that I love the Serenity Prayer. I’m not a fan of the way it’s recited at the end of every 12-Step meeting, in a quick, sing-song kind of way. In fact, even as I said it that way with everybody else for the first 10 years of my own recovery from many addictive behaviours, I began to feel curious about this Prayer and what it really meant. As I dug deeper, I discovered it to be one of the simplest, most profound pieces of writing I … [Read more...] about Am I Helping or Enabling? The Wisdom to Know the Difference
If you love an addict who is in active addiction, you are likely experiencing passivity and aggression from them – usually in a back-and-forth manner. They can go from hiding out quietly in their rooms to loudly demanding what they want in an entitled way – and they can make that shift very quickly. If you are codependent with them, giving in so that you can avoid conflict, you may never know when the next shoe will drop – when the next aggressive, entitled demand may come your way. But once … [Read more...] about Dealing with Conflict When You Love an Addict
I was recently talking with the parent of an addict who is still in active addiction and didn’t appear to be stopping any time soon. This father was concerned about his daughter, who was in her mid-twenties and had been using drugs for a number of years. Some of the many mind-altering substances his child was abusing, at various times, included alcohol, weed, cocaine, meth, heroin and other opioids she was buying on the street.
Lisa (names have been changed) was still living at home, with her … [Read more...] about Setting Boundaries with an Addict:
“I Just Don’t Have the Heart.”
Ah, Valentine's Day, the fantasy-filled holiday that comes right after we've managed to get ourselves through another year of Christmas and New Year's Eve! Have you ever wondered whose bright idea it was to have those three holidays in a row? For many people, the 3-month period of December through February can be the most difficult and depressing time of the year, and this is especially true for those whose significant relationships are problematic. For people with addictive behaviours, as well … [Read more...] about From Fantasy to Reality on Valentine’s Day: Loving Yourself with Healthy Self-Care