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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Don't Forget who YOU are! How an addiction affects the family.

Have you ever heard someone in a relationship with an addict say that they feel like they've changed? In someways I think people who have survived a relationship with an addict feel stronger. And in other ways I think they feel weaker.

I've noticed that being in any kind of relationship with an addict tends to TRY and wear you down and strip away your sense of self. Whether it's a sibling, a parent, a spouse, a child. Sometimes they feel like they are different from who they used to be. And not necessarily in a good way. Like they've lost their confidence in themselves. Is that because sometimes family members and spouse's of addicts just try and keep the peace? They keep trying to get their relationship back to a point of at least neutrality? All of your energy is going into just surviving in your marriage instead of thriving in it? I don't know.

And sometimes addicts do that to their spouses and family on purpose. Find the Power and Abuse wheel from one of my posts in February and you'll see what I mean. Sometimes addicts try and isolate their spouse, they try to limit their options, they say things that they shouldn't, they do things they shouldn't. And, lets face it, the basic actions of an addict make their spouses feel like they themselves are not enough. Which, though completely untrue, is what the spouses of addicts feel all the time.

I wonder if all of that numbs you.

It's a mess.

No wonder so many spouses feel like they've lost a part of themselves along the way.

Have you let go of parts of yourself? Are you not doing the things you enjoy? Have you forgotten who YOU are?

Watch the clip.

Every situation is different and I am not suggesting that you "confront the problem" necessarily. Don't take Edna Mode's advice on that one, maybe take your therapists advice on what to do. Every situation is different and "confront the problem" could put some women out there in a lot of danger. (I'm reminded of my anti-50 Shades week last month. There are women who end up in shelters or dead from abusive relationships.)

But what I do suggest you take from Edna Mode, is that you are Elasti-Girl! (Or, you know, whatever your name is) Pull yourself together and remember who you are! Not for "him," but for you. Don't drop the things that you enjoy and lose yourself amid the chaos.

Remember your super-self!

And the truth is, people change, grow, mature, gain new interests and responsibilities and that's ok. But forgetting yourself completely is not a good idea. Having peace in a relationship is important, but surrendering your interests, feelings and steadfastness is a dangerous thing to do.

Make sure you take care of yourself and do things you enjoy.

"You are Elasti-Girl! Pull yourself together!"

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