Addiction Will Affect Your Relationship

EDITORS NOTE:

CITB focuses on chronic illness. I have personally experienced and live with the chronic illness of substance abuse. This is a guest post by Caleb Anderson of RecoveryHope.org. RecoveryHope.org was started by Caleb and Molly Anderson after Caleb received treatment for opiate addiction. Molly has made it her mission to learn how to help Caleb fight his battles and support him in his recovery. Together they now help others by providing research and resources about the many challenges of overcoming drug and alcohol addictions.

We thank Caleb and Molly for their contribution to  CITB. We know you will enjoy their insights. Please visit their website RecoveryHope.org for more information on substance  abuse and recovery.


There are plenty of ways relationships can become strained. It’s possible to have a strong, healthy relationship, but it’s not easy. It takes work.

When you add an addiction to the relationship, things get much harder. Substance abuse can challenge even the strongest relationship, and many couples break up over it. Thankfully, there are actions you can take to both help your partner and save your relationship. But before you can help, you need to know whether your partner has a problem.

Substance Abuse Leads To Unhealthy Relationships

How do you know if your partner is struggling with addiction? Medical News Today lists a number of signs and symptoms of addiction to watch for, including: bouts of moodiness, bad temper, poor focus, a feeling of being depressed and empty, frustration, anger, bitterness, obsession, denial, etc.

The Mayo Clinic has an exhaustive list of signs related to specific addictions, including marijuana, opiates, and cocaine.

Having a relationship with an addict can lead to pain and stress. It can also lead to heartbreak because addiction can lead to infidelity. Swift River explains this is due to several factors, including a higher chance of risky behavior such as sex with others. Some even use sex as payment for whatever they need.

How You Might Be Enabling

Whether it’s secrecy, anger, or infidelity, the addict is responsible for their own behavior. However, there are ways you might be enabling your partner’s addiction. Enabling is when you help your partner to continue abusing substances even if you don’t realize it. Here are a few ways you might be contributing to the addiction:

  • Ignoring evidence that they have a substance abuse problem.
  • Helping them avoid the consequences of addiction.
  • Buying or using the same drugs and alcohol along with them.
  • Failing to hold them responsible when you’ve set boundaries or rules that are not met.

Even if you mean well, you can enable addiction because your partner has no reason to change. Addicts often need to get treatment or hit “rock bottom” before they realize how bad things have become due to their addiction. Protecting your partner makes it harder for them to get help.

Helping Your Loved One

Then how can you help your partner get better? Many people think about staging an intervention, but as Psychology Today notes, these should be last-ditch efforts as there’s no evidence they help an addict in the long-run. Instead, you need to politely and gently convince your partner to go to a doctor or therapist. Focus on how it’s hurting the relationship and ask, not tell, if they would consider getting help.

Once they have entered addiction recovery treatment, you need to be loving and accepting of your partner. Work with your loved one to find healthy habits and activities. This can mean social activities with friends who don’t use as well as healthy ones like yoga, exercising, or just taking a nice walk. Not only will this help your partner get better, but it can heal the relationship as well.

Don’t Let Addiction Ruin Your Relationship

The worst thing you can do when facing your partner’s addiction is to ignore it. This actually enables substance abuse. Instead, understand how addiction impacts your relationship. Then you can focus on getting your loved one the help they need to get sober. By helping your partner, you are also helping your relationship.

 

Please visit RecoveryHope.org for more information on substance  abuse and recovery

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5 Reasons You Procrastinate and How to Overcome Them

Procrastination: To delay, stall, hesitate, put off, or lag.

We’ve all suffered from procrastination at one time or another. Probably the worst part about procrastination is its uncanny ability to rob of us time, while simultaneously making us feel miserable about it. As much as we may dread the task we’re avoiding, putting it off rarely provides much relief. We know we’re just delaying the inevitable – sometimes with serious consequences.

If you doubt this, let me refer you to a good friend of mine who kept putting off scheduling his vasectomy. It wasn’t until his family grew by “one more bundle of joy” that he finally had the guts (aren’t you glad I didn’t say balls) to schedule the procedure. Of course my friend loves his kids and wouldn’t change a thing. But now, more than ever, he understands that delaying action can sometimes have sobering outcomes.

One of the major challenges with overcoming procrastination is that there’s no single cause, and therefore no single solution. The key to moving beyond procrastination is learning how to clearly identify what particular type of procrastination is plaguing you. That way you can focus on the appropriate remedy.

Below I have listed 5 common causes of procrastination and strategies for conquering them:

Repulsive Tasks: Let’s face it, some tasks just aren’t any fun. Paying bills, cleaning the garage, washing dishes are all activities that rank pretty low on my list of favorite things to do. But that doesn’t matter – some things just have to be done.

One strategy I’ve found particularly useful for completing “dreaded” tasks is learning to BANJO. BANJO stands for: Bang A Nasty Job Out. And yes, even the musically challenged can apply this strategy. When you find yourself with a backlog of “nasty” tasks, chose just one per day and knock it out as your first order of business. Why first? Because saving dreaded tasks until last is great incentive to never get all the way through your list.

Mental Mountains: Complex projects or tasks that have many steps can be especially overwhelming. Not to mention the mind’s unfortunate knack of making “mountains” out of “mole hills.” Even tasks that aren’t particularly difficult sometime “seem” that way when you try juggling all the steps in your head. The key to moving past mental mountains is breaking larger projects into smaller, more manageable steps.

Try using the “Brain Dump” strategy. Despite its rather grotesque sounding name, the technique is quite liberating. First, grab a sheet of paper and start listing all of the steps necessary for completing the project. Then identify JUST THE NEXT step. Finally, begin with that step. Keep in mind, every marathon begins with the first step. If you focus on the whole process it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Remember one step at a time!

Emotional Avoidance:  Gaining traction on emotionally charged tasks is particularly difficult. Whether its fear, grief, resentment, or whatever, emotional obstacles are barriers that will always hold you back, until you decided to cross them.

Lack of Energy: Probably the most underappreciated, but very real reason many people fail get started on projects is that they’re just too tired. Life in the modern world can be exhausting. There’s so much going on, so much to do, so many things vying for your attention, that some days it just drains you.

That’s why, rest, exercise, and nutrition is more important than ever before. If you want to run at full capacity, you have to be well rested. Trying to tackle projects when you’re mentally or physically fatigued is a bad idea. The one time procrastination is actually appropriate is when you consciously decide putting off a project for the sole purpose of getting some extra rest. That way you can attack your project with a recharged body and mind.

Help is Needed: Some tasks are just too large for you to handle by yourself; others require expertise you don’t posses. If that’s the case, don’t kid yourself – it’s time to get help. As admirable as the pioneering spirit is, it’s not always possible to go it alone. Whether the job’s too big, you don’t know what you’re doing, or you’re just not any good at it, asking for help is sometimes the only way to get some things done.

Remember, nobody’s good at everything, and there’s nothing wrong with asking for help. Sometimes it’s the only way to get unstuck.

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