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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Fibromyalgia Feels Like Living On A Roller Coaster

Having fibromyalgia can often feel like living on a roller coaster.  When your symptoms are low, you push to get as much done as you can. But doing more than the body can tolerate, you intensify your symptoms and crash. You rest to reduce symptoms, but then, you feel frustrated and try to make up for lost time. This may plunge into another round of over-activity leading to another crash.

The key to successfully managing and living with fibromyalgia is rest. Most people with fibromyalgia tend to push themselves beyond their available daily strength. Often, this results in a push/crash cycle – doing way too much one day, then taking multiple days to recover. Doing beyond what the body can tolerate, you intensify your symptoms and crash. You then rest to reduce symptoms, but then, you feel frustrated and try to make up for lost time. You then plunge into another round of over-activity leading to another crash.

When it feels as though you have a million and one things to do it is easy to end up doing too much.

There are two things that you need to address to pace yourself successfully.The first is the feeling of needing to do everything now. You know, the voice in your head that tells you all these things that you need to do? The one that won’t stop and will make you stress out. Making you feel guilty until you tick everything off your to-do list? You must learn to shut that little voice up. You must change your priorities and expectations. Nothing is more important than your own health. Things can wait! – It’s not the end of the world if you don’t do things immediately. Many times it doesn’t matter if they get done at all.

You need to find a way to stop yourself from getting carried away. Starting a task and feeling like you have to keep on going until it is finished. This has to do with changing expectations. Finding ways to remind yourself to stop before pushing yourself past the breaking point.

Staying in the pocket

One way to explore the idea of limits is through the concept of the strength pocket. You can think of your situation in terms of three factors:

  1. Available strength: The strength you have. It is limited, and is replenished by rest and food;
  2. Expended strength: The strength you lose through physical, mental & emotional exertion;
  3. Resulting Symptoms: fatigue, brain fog, pain, etc.

If you expend more strength than you have available, you will intensify your symptoms. This is called living outside the pocket. 

Living in the pocket.

  • If you keep your expended strength within the limits of your available strength, you will gain control over your symptoms.

Here are several ways to stay in the pocket:

  • Write Down Everything That You Need To Do

Feeling the need to do everything immediately is because of worry that you will forget to do it.  Writing down a to-do list helps to remember everything. You instantly feel more in control while reducing your stress.

  • Prioritize Your To-Do List

Once you have your to-do list in writing, it is easy to see everything that you need to do. It instantly feels more manageable. Then prioritize what needs to be done first and what can wait.

[Tweet “If you accept your limits, you can reduce symptoms”]

  •  Ask For Help

Before you do anything, see if there is anything on your list that you can ask for help with. Don’t try and do absolutely everything by yourself. Asking for help can be daunting and embarrassing but, trust that people want to help you when they can. 

  • Choose One Task Per Day

Decide what task on your to-do list is a top priority. Choose only the top one to work on completing each day. Think about whether you can achieve it in one day and if not, break it up over two or more. 

  • Do You Need To Forgo Doing Something Else

If a task is particularly tiring, even when you limit yourself to doing it for a short duration, you may need to ask yourself if there is something else you can forgo doing. We only have limited strength resources (A/K/A Spoons) each day. For example, you might decide not to do your usual daily walk so that you have more strength to invest in another task.

  • Set A Timer During Tasks

Limit yourself to only doing something for a set period of time and stick to it. This will be individual (some will be able to do more than others) and task dependent but 10 minutes is a good place to start. Using a timer stops you from getting carried away and is an auditory reminder to take a break. If you simply use a clock or watch, it is easy for time to run on without you realizing.

  • Time Rest Too

Do 10 minutes work and then set your timer for 20 minutes of rest. Error towards doing more rest than work. Setting a timer ensures that you rest for that amount of time.

  • Listen To Your Body

Becoming attuned to your body is so important. You will begin to learn and pick up on little signs that are your cue to stop what you are doing. This is when you need to stop. If you don’t, progressively you will become more exhausted, ache with intense pain, feel nauseous, in addition, feeling restless and irritable. If you reach this point you have done too much and you will ‘pay for it’.

  • Appreciate The Small Achievements

Instead of thinking about what you still need to do, think about how amazing it is that you have managed to achieve a small step towards reaching your overall goal. It’s all about changing and managing expectations. This becomes easier to do when you start to achieve your goals and fell well doing so.  

  • Build Up Slowly

The huge benefit of pacing is that when you get it right you will begin to feel better. It is important to resist the temptation to do too much. You need to have discipline and keep on using all of the above techniques, even when you suddenly have a day where you feel better. When you start to have more good days than bad, that’s the point when you can start to do a little more. Make anything extra that you do quantifiable. For example, do an extra 5 minutes only. It might feel frustrating when you want to do more than this but it will prevent you crashing and undoing all of your hard work. [Tweet “Having fibromyalgia can often feel like living on a roller coaster.”]

  • What If I Don’t Feel Better From Doing All Of This

The unfortunate answer is that you are probably still doing too much. Your life is unbalanced and needs to include more rest and you may benefit from doing even less until your body is stronger. I can’t tell you how to specifically go about that. You are the only person who knows that answer. It’s down to you as to whether you think it is worth slowing down even more. 

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New Treatment For Fibromyalgia Helped 100% Of Sufferers

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Women who suffer from fibromyalgia benefit from a treatment regimen in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, according to researchers at Rice University and institutes in Israel. A clinical trial involving women diagnosed with fibromyalgia showed the painful condition improved in every one of the 48 who completed two months of hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Brain scans of the women before and after treatment gave credence to the theory that abnormal conditions in pain-related areas of the brain may be responsible for the syndrome.

Results of the study appear in the open-access journal PLOS One.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome that can be accompanied by – and perhaps related to – other physical and mental conditions that include fatigue, cognitive impairment, irritable bowel syndrome and sleep disturbance.

Read The Full Story Here: New Israeli Treatment For Fibromyalgia Helped 100% Of Sufferers In New Study | Health Aid US

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Core Relationships

Our Core Relationships Define Everything About Who We Are
And
How We Live Our Lives As Individual Human Beings.

Our 5 internal core relationships are essentially our relationship with the various aspects of ourselves, and greatly influence our 7 external core relationships, our interaction with the world around us. Going back to the core is the only effective way to permanently transform ourselves and create lasting change in our lives.

These core relationships not only shape our thoughts and behaviors, but also our very perceptions of ourselves and our world, thus defining the opportunities we are able to perceive and the reality we experience.

Understanding our unique core relationships allows us to experience more freedom and empowers us to create more fulfillment in our lives.

 Our 5 Internal Core Relationships

To better understand the mechanics of our relationship with ourselves, which is composite and complex, we can define separate but overlapping relationships with several different aspects of ourselves. These core aspects are Love, Meaning, Purpose, Power and Coherence/Integration.

Coherence/Integration

Coherence/Integration is the synergy of our fundamental aspects – physical, mental and spiritual, as well as the synergy of finer elements within each of those fundamental aspects. The correct function of the physical systems that make up the physical body is required for the health and well being of the body to become a serviceable power. The integration of the finer aspects of mind are required for coherent clarity and focus, and for the development of self-worth and self-love.

Love

Love can be defined as our ability to accept and integrate all that we are into a coherent and powerful presence. It allows us to transcend the illusion of duality and is the seat of our power to manage our lives and consciously create our reality. Love can also be defined as unity and harmony, beginning within us and extending infinitely outward.

  

Meaning

Meaning is expanded from our underlying beliefs about ourselves, the universe, our connection to it and relevance within it. Our sense of meaning is something we are constantly seeking to expand. Meaning produces resilience and clarity of purpose in life.

  

Purpose

Purpose is derived from meaning, from our definition of self and our connection to the universe which surrounds us. Without a clearly defined purpose we lack the clarity necessary for true success in life.

  

Power

Power can be described as our ability to master our lives in a way which serves us and produces the results we desire. Our level of Power is reliant on our other internal relationships with Love, Meaning, Purpose and Coherence/Integration. Authentic power derives from being authentic, or true to ourselves, which in turn requires that we know and understand ourselves intimately.

Our 7 External Core Relationships

Each of the 7 external core relationships is associated with one of the 7 basic areas of life (or aspect of our interaction with the world around us) which can be developed into a power. As individuals we have a natural affinity and interest with certain areas, and a natural tendency to ignore or avoid other areas. These 7 core relationships are arranged in a hierarchy of varying priority dependent on our interest in the specific areas. Knowing and understanding this hierarchy brings clarity to the apparent chaos in certain areas of our lives, explain why we express certain behavior patterns, and why we have been unsuccessful in certain areas in the past.

In each of the 7 basic areas of life our level of empowerment can range from extreme disempowerment to extraordinary empowerment. This level of empowerment in any specific area is not measured relative to other people, but rather relative to our specific needs, and the level of empowerment of the other 6 areas of our own life. Areas neglected become challenging, the more disempowered we are in certain areas the more severely we are challenged in these areas, with extreme disempowerment leading to challenges overflowing to affect even the empowered areas of our life.

Health & Vitality

It is pretty self-evident that our relationship with our physical body is important, as having robust physical health and vitality will obviously benefit us regardless of which areas of life we choose to specialize in. There are of course people who specialize in the physical realm of health, vitality, strength, endurance and beauty, etc. Some of them develop these qualities to levels where these qualities become a source of power in their life. World class athletes, super-models, health & fitness gurus,

Knowledge & Wisdom

Knowledge and wisdom are essential ingredients for success and fulfillment. Being empowered in this area simply requires that we have accumulated the knowledge and wisdom we need to fulfill our life goals. Of course, as with the other areas, there are those who are focused on this area and dedicate themselves to accumulating vast amounts of knowledge and/or wisdom. These people are often labeled geniuses, but in truth we all have our own unique brand of genius, its just a matter of recognizing, appreciating and expressing it to its full potential.

Spirituality & Evolution

This area is a particularly broad area, because although “spirituality” generally describes a connection to a higher intelligent order, our spiritual mission in life can be expressed in any of the other areas as well. Here the question of authority comes into play, as there is in reality no authority above our own because each of us is uniquely connected to the spiritual source. Disempowerment in this area would entail suppressing our desires because they are not condoned by the spiritual authority of the day. As Einstein said ‘my contempt for authority made me one”.

When we become our own authority, listen to our own inner guidance, and follow our dreams we become an authority unto ourselves. Extreme empowerment would be having developed a high level of awareness and connection to the higher order intelligence, being able to “download” information in the form of inspiration, and would also include an unwavering clarity of purpose.

Partnerships & Family

Relationships with family and life partners can be developed to a high level of power, or they can be disempowering. If we suppress or repress our desires for fear of losing loved-ones we are disempowered. If they are supportive and encouraging, mutually fulfilling relationships, then obviously they are empowering. The concepts of compromise and sacrifice have no place in truly empowered relationships, where each is appreciative of the others qualities, strengths and empowerment, while also accepting of each others weaknesses and less empowered areas.

Connection & Influence

Social connection & influence as you may have already guessed, can range from disempowered reclusiveness and lack of influence, to celebrity status with huge influential power.

  

  

Vocation & Business

Vocation in this context is far more than your chosen profession, it is your calling, or your self-defined life purpose. Some people know from a young age what they want to do with their lives, while others take many years to figure it out. In the end, we all have within ourselves a purposeful and meaningful calling in life.

  

Wealth & Finances

Financial empowerment is today one of the areas in which we are most pressured to succeed. Of course wealth is used here in the broadest possible context, including our accumulation of relationships, influence, knowledge, wisdom, health, self-worth, and fulfillment, etc.

  

  

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