Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional & have no educated background in chemical dependency. The following is a personal account and should be taken as such.
This is the 3rd entry in this series
Holy buckets! When you were little did you ever ride the human gyroscope? Where not only did you spin vertically but horizontally at the same time. Yea, that is how I am feeling right now.
As we are in the thick of Jeff’s rehabilitation so many things are happening not only with him; but with ourselves. I had never realized that the only version of Jeff that I knew was drunk Jeff. He physically looks different; his demeanor is the complete opposite of what I am accustomed to. This evening as the group was talking with the rehab specialist, I realized my entire relationship with Jeff was based on what I predicted was going to happen next in my interactions with drunk Jeff. I had set auto-pilot to become defensive and to never believe anything that came out of his mouth. My brain came to the point where I accepted Jeff was saying what needed to be heard and not always the truth.
As our cluster of friends talked with the specialist, she explained the more we learned about the disease of chemical addiction, the better we will be able to intervene the process and will better cope with the reality that is Jeff’s disease. Here are some points she encouraged us to work on:
We are no longer running from the disease. The addict and the support system are becoming educated about the disease and will continue to learn over time.
We no longer have to blame the addict. The addict did not choose the disease. It is important for all of us to concentrate on our actions and decisions. The only thing I can control is my decisions and my actions; and not that of others.
We no longer have to rescue the addict. We need to start letting them face and be accountable for each and every consequence from their chemical use.
We no longer have to be worried or concerned with the addict’s reasons for use. The reason(s) are not important. Intervening in the disease process and getting professional helps is most important
We no longer have to threaten. We need to start implementing what we say is what we mean, and we do is what we say.
We no longer have to accept or demand promises. The addict’s disease renders them powerless; and they cannot keep even the most sincere of promises.
We no longer have to nag, preach, lecture, ect. We need to start reporting in a factual, nonjudgmental manner the inappropriate behaviors the addict has displayed.
We no longer have to allow the addict to be emotionally/physically/mentally abusive to anyone.
We no longer have to be puppets to our addict. We do not need to revolve our lives around the addict and their disease. We need to start building our lives on the needs, desires, and qualities that are rightfully ours.
We no longer have to take responsibility for the disease. We did not cause the disease, can not control the disease, and we will never be able to cure the disease.
We no longer need to feel alone or like we are going crazy. We are never alone, and there are other concerned families, loved ones, and caregivers who have also suffered because of the disease.
If you have an alcohol dependency issue, please reach out for help. This disease does not only affect you but your loved ones and even complete strangers who pass by you.
If you are the loved one or caregiver of an alcohol-dependent person, there is help out there for you as well. You are not alone, and never will be.
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