Living with a loved one who is dependent on alcohol, drugs, gambling, food, shopping or sex has an enormous negative impact on family members which leaves them feeling lonely, angry, confused, hurt and exhausted.
When conflict in your family is caused by someone’s drug or alcohol use every family member is affected. We learn how to think, behave, act and feel from our family of origin and when the behaviors in an addicted household go unchallenged the legacy is passed on to the next generation. Each family member will adapt different ways to cope with what is going on in the home.
The partner/ spouse may doubt themselves questioning their sense of self and sanity. The focus becomes about the person who is abusing drugs/alcohol, worrying, waiting, hoping for things to change. In the process the partner can lose themselves trying to control, change or fix the person in order to improve the situation. They may take on extra responsibilities to compensate.
Children can adapt different roles to cope with what is going on in the home. It may mean being the responsible one, the funny one, the quiet one or the rebellious one.
When it’s a child that has the substance use problem the family unit can fall to pieces. Parents can be at logger heads as how to handle the situation with ongoing arguments that lead to nowhere. The other children in the home can be ignored or blamed for the situation while all the focus is on the dependent child. Nobody knows what to do or how to handle the situation so the whole family is been torn apart.
Family members who live with the effects of someones substance use need support to understand addiction, the vital need of self-care and healthy boundaries. It is important to know you do not have to deal with this on your own. At Inner Healing Counselling I support you in recognizing the impact someones substance use is having on you and your family and what you need to do to take care of yourself.
As a trained drug & alcohol (addiction) counsellor I can help you. Phone me on 087 6402715 or email me HERE
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