Addictions can be extremely hard for some to overcome while the people on the other end of the addiction are being greatly affected. I grew up in a family with an alcoholic and know first-hand how an addiction can destroy the addict and the family deteriorating around it. Addictions can bring out violence, disconnect, disrespect, numbing, disharmony, and deterioration within the addict and the people living with them. Some of the more common addictions are alcoholism, drugs, sex, food, work, gambling, technology (games/cell/face book), and shopping.
If you think someone you love is an addict, you must talk to them in a safe place and require that they get professional help with someone who specializes in whatever addiction they have and if they choose not to seek help, you may have some very tough decisions to make. Keeping yourself and family safe is priority! If an addict truly seeks help and is in recovery, there is hope, but if the addict is in denial or you find yourself in an abusive situation, it is time to leave and get somewhere safe!
When the addiction is addressed the addict and those living with it will go through the grief cycle in no particular order which can start with denial. Both the addict and loved one may deny that there really is an addiction. Once past denial, anger usually sets in and then bargaining, which if not addressed, can turn into enabling the addict, and then depression may set in, with the final stage of acceptance, which is usually the hardest in the grief cycle.
Fortunately, more resources are becoming available to the person or family living with an addict, while there are many resources for the addict. There are groups that can be helpful for both the addict and the people living with them for example, Al-Anon (alcoholics) and S-Anon (sex addicts). Some families living with an addict and the addict may find great support in these groups while others may be turned off by them. These programs can be very beneficial to some while making the people living with the addict feel as if they are partly to blame for the addiction! The word codependency is thrown around and is often times not well received in the family of an addict. Some may see themselves as codependent while others fiercely deny the label. There are people who enable the addict by ignoring it while others may have a codependency in the relationship. Those who are supporting an addict should know that it is absolutely not their fault that someone they love has an addiction! People living with the addict may have been traumatized by the addict’s behavior and will need professional help to heal the trauma. A lot of time and resources are spent on helping the addict while the people living with them do not get or know how to get the help that they need.
I’ve listed a couple of resources below to help those living with an addict and for the addict, just click on the links below. Sex and porn addiction are highly debated whether it is an actual addiction. Please take the time and research to come up with your own conclusion. There are resources on the internet and books that can help you with the particular addiction you are struggling with. As you know, it will be in your best interest to take the time to get the help and resources you need to heal. It is true that addiction is a family dis-ease. It not only affects the addict, it affects the entire family. If you are the one helping an addict, please get the help and healing that you need as well as the addict. I wish you the best on your journey to healing.