Our addictions not only harm us, they also adversely affect our loved ones. Addiction rips apart our lives and the lives of everyone who cares about us. Since we don’t live in isolation, our addiction can touch anyone who has any involvement in our lives. Our partners, friends, family members and co-workers can all be affected. On top of the concern and worry they feel for us, there are some common ways in which we hurt our loved ones as a result of our addictions.
Living with addiction can cause us to behave in ways we might never have otherwise. Our emotional and physical dependencies can cause changes in our emotional responses. We can be easily triggered and more reactive. We can feel heightened anxiety, anger, restlessness and frustration, especially when we can’t obtain our desired fix. Our loved ones are most often on the receiving end of our changed behavior. We might be more emotionally reactive, cry and scream more, and display signs of depression. We might be irritable, aggressive, hostile and volatile, particularly if someone is threatening to interfere with our high. We might be unkind, dismissive, disrespectful and abusive to the people showing us the most support. We might shrug off their concerns and hurt them with our nonchalance. We may look back on these times with regret and remorse, knowing that our addictions caused us to behave in ways that are unlike our real selves.
Addiction is known to cause us to do whatever we need to do in any given moment to be able to keep it going. Whether it’s stealing drugs or finding a new sexual partner, we’ll do whatever we have to in order to keep our high. This can mean we use our loved ones to help ourselves get what we want. We might lie to them, steal from them, or coerce and manipulate them into helping us. We might feed them untrue stories of our progress. We might tell them we got a new job, or started therapy, or are looking into treatment. We’ll do anything to get people to leave us alone so that we can continue our addictive behaviors unbothered, including hurting the people we love most.
At Riverside Recovery, we encourage family involvement in our treatment programs, to help you and your loved ones work through your recovery process together. We offer weekly family therapy sessions and monthly family workshops. Call (800) 871-5440 today for more information.