It’s definitely not easy to live with an alcoholic or addict. Constant stress plagues your life. Negative emotions become a part of your daily experience – anger at the addict who doesn’t listen or seem to care, disappointment, fear, shame and guilt.
The individual tries all sorts of control strategies to stop the alcoholic or addict from using his substance, but somehow the addict gets his (or her) stuff and gets high. It’s a never-ending battle, where the sober partner always loses. It is really frustrating, so say the least.
So what does the partner do in such a scenario?
The Three Cs
The 3 Cs are:
- You Didn’t Cause It
- You Can’t Control It
- You Can’t Cure it
You didn’t Cause it: you are not the reason the alcoholic is drinking. Though he may accuse you of being the cause. Don’t fall for it. The alcoholic is drinking because, well, he is an alcoholic. He is blaming you so that you back off from stopping him.
So stop feeling guilty. And put the responsibility where it belongs – on the shoulders of the addict.
You can’t Control it: you may continue to try but if you look at your experience, it is easy to see that you cannot control his or her intake. The addict will get high, regardless of whatever strategy you may adopt to stop him for drinking or drugging.
So why keep on doing something that is not working? Stop trying to control.
You can’t Cure it: Addiction is a disease. It is primary, chronic and progressive. There is treatment available. So get professional help – contact a good rehab or addiction therapist and hand over the treatment part to someone who has the experience and competency to treat this disease.
Stop trying to ‘cure’ the addict – all your ‘treatments’ are likely to fail. Seek professional support.
If you understand the 3 Cs, you will not only be able to help your addicted loved one, but also start a healing process for yourself. Get out of the trap laid by the addict and get some serenity back into your life!