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Addicted to Your A

Old 04-13-2012, 07:22 AM
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Addicted to Your A

I see people say that they're "addicted to their addict" all the time, and I don't get what this means. This seems to mean anything from "I don't want to spend life alone" to "I actually follow him around and arrange to bump into him in public". Although I've read the big, recommended co-dependency books and have been reading here for over a year, I still don't understand this piece of the pie. Anyone care to elaborate on their own experiences?

In my own life, I can see in retrospect how I've glamorized my RAH and his addictive dysfunctions, and even how I've been attracted to instability (drugs, booze, drama) over stable, normal, nice people since I was a teenager. But truth be told, when we married I thought all of RAH's wildness was in the past and thought I was settling down with one of those nice, ambitious people I used to avoid. Which makes me feel so naive today.
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:45 AM
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Hmm. Good question. I dont know if im necessarily "Addicted" to my A. I just begun to recognize that he does have a problem. Didnt notice it before because of my own ignorance. Now that I have better knowledge of alcoholism ive been able to make better choices with how I handle things. I don't follow him, stalk him, or show up anywhere he would. I've gone five days with no contact this week. I think if I was addicted to him I wouldn't be able to go even two days without him. Im not addicted to changing him. I left it up to him to assess himself and choose whether or not he wants to do anything about it. If anything im addicted to ME! Addicted to making MYSELF happy. For putting MY needs first. And making sure IM healthy. There are times when I miss the sound of his voice, his hugs, perspectives, and words of encouragement. And my heart hurts when I miss those things. But im not addicted. Perhaps growing up a military bratt ive learned to detach from people easily.
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:02 AM
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I think addicted to your A describes your behaviors before you start recovery. I know that for my focus was on my AW, I had no time to take care of myself or do things I enjoyed doing or even thought of myself as an individual. Everything was Mike and L or us or we. I almost never used I as part of my internal conversations. I actually thought in terms of what should we do tonight or what would she like to do this weekend. I as fading away, I had no independent existence and my needs were unimportant even to me.







Now that has changed completely. But I do think that is what people mean by being addicted to their A.

Your friend,
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:13 AM
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When my sister's husband left her for another woman (a friend of hers), she been married 20 years, she NEVER call him and had no contact ( seven years now), Me, I could not stand not talking to him or making his life misserable just like mine was (he always told me missery loves company).
His belief became my beliefs, his opinions became my opinions, his moods became my moods, his personality became my personality.
He left and had no problem with no contact (17 years together), He has been my fix, if I had anxiety all I needed to do was call him, even if he did not answer the phone, just to dial his number was enough to calm me down.
If something goes wrong in my head (life), my immediate reaction is to contact XAH, for some reason my brain thinks that he will give me the fix I need to avoid the emotion I am feeling.
I am FIGHTING that thought really hard, thanks to all the helpful programs and all my reading and praying is finally working, I am learning to face my emotions without the need to shift the blame to the A.
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:28 AM
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From Wiki: "Addiction may be defined as the continued use of a mood altering substance or behaviour despite adverse consequences."

I think staying with someone who devalues you or makes your life miserable qualifies as adverse consequences.

L
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:43 AM
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I was, most definitely, addicted to XABF#1. I walked on eggshells, never knowing when he was going to have one drink too many and turn from nice guy to jacka$$. I was totally convinced I could not live without him...tried to half-a$$ kill myself 3 or more times when he mentioned breaking up.

I chose to spend time with him, rather than family (though I did see mom and dad some), and when my mom died, bf couldn't make the funeral because he was so "distraught" and had gotten drunk the day before, with one of his other gf's (which I accepted because if I didn't, I would LOSE him!) and was hungover.

I once begged him to beat the hell out of me, because I'd get over that faster than the words and actions I got.

I turned to drugs as a way to numb the pain, but still couldn't imagine life without him.

Today? He's married to one of the gf's (we have mutual friends) and when I mentioned to my friend that I always felt I could "fix" him, she laughed and said "trust me, he's STILL not fixed".

I spent over 20 years with him, became a raging codie, addict, and finally got sick and tired of being sick and tired and found recovery. He and the other two XABF's taught me what I DON'T want...someone who I feel completes me. I thought I was nothing without them.

Today, I can't even see what I saw in him. I know he couldn't handle the person I am today but I may never see him again. If I do, I will apologize for MY part in our dysfunctional relationship and wish him well. I really do pity the woman he's married to...she's more of a doormat than I ever was, but them and their relationship is NMP (not my problem).

Hugs and prayers,

Amy
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:44 AM
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But im not addicted. Perhaps growing up a military bratt ive learned to detach from people easily.
This is just a thought about me Smarrero, but since I went to a different school every year of my life, I wonder if I learned to never get attached in the first place.
I could not have friends, because they would expect to come over, and I could not risk that. My father would be drunk and mean, very mean.

I did not want to be embarassed by him, nor subject them to him. They would think badly of me. Ah, now we are getting somewhere. I must think some more.

Beth
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:00 AM
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I've come to realize this through my first 3 weeks in Al Anon...I don't think I'm addicted to (one of) my alcoholic(s)...but I DO think I've become addicted to the chaos.

Growing up in an alcoholic home, EVERY DAY there was some degree of chaos. Then, as an adult, my first serious relationship was with an alcoholic who provided that same daily chaos.

After starting Al Anon I really tried hard to learn how to bring serenity into my life. Just last Sunday...it hit me.

The weather was beautiful, I had had a perfect day with zero contact from my alcoholics...no problems...no hassles...and at the end of the day...I was MISERABLE.

WHY?! Nothing was "wrong!!"

And that was the problem...I've become so accustom (or "addicted") to the daily roller coaster that when I *am* experiencing serenity...its incredibly uncomfortable.

In this way, I can relate to people who say they feel "addicted" to their alcoholics.
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by wicked View Post
This is just a thought about me Smarrero, but since I went to a different school every year of my life, I wonder if I learned to never get attached in the first place.
I could not have friends, because they would expect to come over, and I could not risk that. My father would be drunk and mean, very mean.

I did not want to be embarassed by him, nor subject them to him. They would think badly of me. Ah, now we are getting somewhere. I must think some more.

Beth
I agree on never really getting attached in the first place. Its nice we can relate. This is a problem im attempting to address in counseling right now. We just got done making a family tree! Which has been incredibly beneficial.

The only beings ive been attached to have been my cat I had for 14 years (RIP) and my Dog. I mean how could we ever attach? People and situations have been so unpredictable. I couldnt attach to my dad cuz he was always leaving with the army, my Mom has severe mood swings so had to stay detached from her. And my Sister has Asperger so she doesnt even like touching people. Not too mention PCSing every couple of years.

Its almost like we chose As because a normal person wouldnt understand us not attaching. As are too messed up half the time anyway to see our attachment styles.
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by RedCandle View Post
but I DO think I've become addicted to the chaos.

Growing up in an alcoholic home, EVERY DAY there was some degree of chaos. Then, as an adult, my first serious relationship was with an alcoholic who provided that same daily chaos.
THIS!!!! I didnt grow up in an alcoholic home but it was incredibly chaotic. My mom grew up in a chaotic household with a father who molested her for years and an alcoholic mother. She keeps the chaos going. She STILL loves the chaos and will follow me around the house trying to argue and fight with me. Not ever wanting to actually talk like adults and come to a solution. I feel like I used to feel comfortable with the chaos. Then I remember how nice it was to live alone lol. And try my best to feel comfort in serenity.
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:29 AM
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Heh. I just came across this comic. Seems appropriate: xkcd: Never

Make sure you hold your mouse over the image to see the text. It's another handy message.
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:15 PM
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What I don't quite "get" is when people talk about another person being their drug, and going through withdrawals and being in need of a fix. Someone once described codependency as "depending on people who depend on you" so maybe that's what they mean by addiction. I don't know.
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:31 PM
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I'm not sure about this one. I know I have 2 sons, my AS and my well adjusted going to college one. I rarely worry about well adjusted son and really get any kind of empty nest with him but cried for days and days when AS left for marine corps(though I love both with all my heart).
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:35 PM
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Yes, in my case, I had an overwhelming "need to be needed." In my family of origin, love was not something that just flowed. It had to be earned. You did chores, got good grades, achieved some sort of recognition--then the love and praise followed. There was no love or praise just for being me. I learned that I must do something for others in order to be loved. And I carried that into my adult life. I worked very hard at pleasing, saving, fixing my A and waited to be showered with appreciation and love. When it didn't happen, I tried even harder, and clung tightly to the crumbs he would give me.

It's been a difficult journey learning that I have value, with or without crumbs of validation from another. There was I time I "needed" those crumbs as much as my AH needed alcohol.

L
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:54 PM
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It can happen in more subtle ways like being compelled to 'help' others to the point where one's own well being is ignored; within a family, work, church or any other gathering or group of people.

I learned that in order for me to give of myself that my top priority was to have healthy boundaries, good self esteem and make a commitment to myself (and my HP) to keep that boundary intact for my own well being- but also with respect to those around me.

In my own experience I think it was also an overinflated sense of myself- that 'they' needed me. Of course I didn't see that until I was in therapy and after going to loads of meetings. (Al-Anon, NA, AA)


edit: LTD! I was posting without reading yours...we must be on the same wave-length about needing to be needed.
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:54 PM
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In this first post, I said,
In my own life, I can see in retrospect how I've glamorized my RAH and his addictive dysfunctions, and even how I've been attracted to instability (drugs, booze, drama) over stable, normal, nice people since I was a teenager.
I just opened up the local newspaper website to see that my first ever boyfriend (I was 13) is in a pre-hearing for a murder trial today. I know I probably sound like an idiot, but for the first time I finally get why recovery for the codependent is so goddamned important. Sure, I have suffered consequences from my partner's addiction that have caused stress and trauma, but damn if I haven't showed a pattern of behavior and attraction to broken people since I was a kid that puts me right where I'm sitting today.

Ho-lee ****.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:01 PM
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Florence- I used to attend as many open NA meetings that I could. I liked the speaker meetings the best and there were more than a few who when they told their story- mentioned the many and various 'hostages' in their lives when they were still active in their addictions. By that time I didn't need to be a brain surgeon to figure out how easy a codie can be drawn into and even offer support to that chaos.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:10 PM
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Holy Moly is right!
RedCandle and SMarrero what you have said really rings a bell with me.
It was not just the people, it was the chaos.
When there was no one else to cause chaos, I would create it.
Damn.
Recovering part of me wants serenity and peace, still, the sick parts say "where is the excitement in that?"

Beth
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:43 PM
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What's interesting is, back before my mom was "ready" to be done with my cheating dad, she'd always be saying, "I don't want to be married to him" but at the same time, "I don't want to be alone. I don't want to be by myself." It drove ME nuts. But yeah, that resembles the whole dichotomy thinking of drug addiction.
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by wicked View Post
Recovering part of me wants serenity and peace, still, the sick parts say "where is the excitement in that?"

Beth
OMG I feel this way when I think of "Healthy" Men sometimes. At times I think...wheres the challenge in that???? I guess the "Challenge" needs to be directed toward changing me for sure. Ive learned to get "Excitement" from other places. And made a decision for home to always be a place that I looked forward to and my future kids. Perhaps thats why I rationalized it being ok to deal with the craziness of my As alcoholism because.... technically he wasnt making MY home crazy he was doing it at his place. New Plan plan is in order lol.
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