Could My Loved One or I Be Switching Addictions?
This week, as you look at ways to heal your relationship with yourself, you may want to look back at principle 5: “Keeping Your Focus on Yourself and Off of Your Loved One Will Help You Both.” The lesson that goes with it gives you many ways to look at your own self-care so you can see what is working and where you may want to place more attention. It is filled with charts, tables, and surveys designed to help you map a new path to your most powerful self-care. You can work on this by yourself or with a BALM® buddy, your coach, or your therapist.
(If you are enrolled in the BALM® and would like to have a BALM® buddy to work with send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the words ‘BALM® buddy‘ in the subject line and we will match you up with someone else in the program making the same request.)
Toward the end of the principle 5 lesson, we discuss the idea of Addiction Switching. This concept, of having a struggle with one challenge (such as a certain drug, alcohol, overeating, undereating, spending, sex, porn, etc) and then, upon overcoming it, switching to another addictive process or substance, is important to be aware of for a couple of reasons:
1. you may see your loved one going through it and this can be information to share in a factual loving way through a BALM® conversation.
2. you may be going through it yourself and may want to take a closer look at that behavior and decide upon a different path before you have become totally hooked on your new struggle.
So, you may ask, how can I switch addictions if I was never addicted in the first place?
So may I ask, what makes you so sure you were never addicted in the first place?
While your loved one has been struggling with their drug of choice, you have been struggling with them! And make no mistake about it, being obsessed with a loved one’s comings, goings, and behaviors is addictive! That is why family members are often referred to as co-addicts. Our loved ones are addicted to the drug or behavior and we are addicted to them.
So, how can you tell if you have been addicted to your loved one? Ask yourself:
1. Have i yelled and screamed over and over again even though it doesn’t change things?
2. Have i worried from day to night?
3. Have i had the thoughts “I should kick him/her out” over and over again but they are still there though nothing has changed?
4. Do i have a hard time setting and sticking to boundaries?
5. Have i stopped taking care of myself?
6. Do i hide what is going on in my family from others?
If you answered yes to some of the above, you may see your own way of relating to your loved one as more than just a reaction to a difficult situation, but as something you are actually hooked on.
Of course, if you have been a BALMer for awhile, you are probably pulling away from these behaviors as you learn more productive, loving ways to relate.
And if your loved one has gotten help, they may no longer be engaging in their primary disorder.
But, at the same time, you may have started to see some new behavior (in them or yourself) that is of concern to you such as…
– compulsive shopping
– compulsive debting
– actually taking some different medication at a higher dose than prescribed.
If any of these or other behaviors are entering your or your loved one’s life, consider documenting the facts and having a BALM® conversation.
One of our expert interviews on the Daily BALM® was Dr. Jenn Nardozzi. she talked with us about Disordered Eating. Whether eating is your or your loved one’s primary challenge or a sideline, this is a very interesting interview. Click here to hear her wisdom, expertise and experience if you are already a BALMer. (You will need to be logged into FRA to access) If you are not a part of our BALM® community as of yet, and would like to listen, or you are reading these blogs and thinking the BALM® could help you, click here for more information and to register for a phone consultation. Let’s talk about whether it could be a good fit for you!
In the meantime, Be A Loving Mirror!
Beverly A. Buncher, MA, PCC, MRLC, CTPC
Family Recovery Coach/CEO
Family Recovery Resources, LLC
786 859 4050