The Other Side of Addiction
When addiction is mentioned, your mind automatically goes to the addict. You start to ask questions like:
- What drugs do they take?
- What did they steal?
- When did this start?
- Why did I miss the signs?
- How can I trust this person again?
- ….and many more.
Do you take time to consider what it’s like for the person the addict is in a relationship with? Do you consider their children? In this episode of the Authentic Wellness Podcast, my guest, Essie Christensen Baines shares what it was like for her to be married to an addict.
LOVER OR ENABLER
Both. In most cases when an addict realizes that their significant other is dedicated to their recovery, it just fuels their addiction. The knowledge of the hope that lies in the heart of the sober person is all the addict needs to manipulate the next few weeks, months, or years. It just depends on how long the sober person takes to hit their own version of rock bottom. It can take what seems like forever for the sober person to realize what everyone else probably knows: there is NOTHING they can do to fix this problem. It’s all up to the addict.
To remedy the situation, the sober person tends to give money, lie to protect the addict’s reputation, concoct excuses when the addict deviates from their normal routine, or all of the above. Despite the anger, anxiety, and frustrations, the sober person still loves the addict. They just don’t like who that person has become. Nor do they realize that getting that person back will either take a very long time or never happen.
A NEW WAY TO LOVE
After you find out the person you love is an addict, you may think the best way to support them is to make sure they have a safe place to stay, food to eat, and the same access to you and your family as they did before. As you will hear in the show, Essie allowed her love for her husband to dictate her dealings with him for many years. She was lonely. She was filled with fear. She was heartbroken. It wasn’t until Essie came to the full realization that there was nothing she could do to change his priorities that she could let go of the guilt and shame of dealing with a broken relationship.
In order to love the addicted person, you will need to develop strong boundaries. Listen to THIS episode of the Authentic Wellness Podcast to get started. Boundaries are necessary because allowing the person to continue with access to you or your life may support their addiction as opposed to inspiring them to get help. Would you change if there were no consequences? Neither would I. If you are fearful of telling the addicted person “no”, then the problem may be bigger than you think. It may be best to seek professional help.
KNOWING WHEN ITS TIME
No matter how much you love a person, sometimes the appropriate response is to let go. You are no longer dealing with the person you knew before. This is someone else. The person you loved may be deep in there, but they no longer have control. There will be times when the original person makes an appearance. You will share a loving look, an inside joke, or a priceless memory. They may laugh a laugh that only you’ve ever heard. That is what makes it easy for you to fall prey to the manipulation, the lies, and the promises.
Now it’s time to concentrate on healing. No matter how long you’ve been in a relationship with an addict, you will need to take time to get back to being yourself. No need to rush the process. You’ve been hurt. The shame and guilt may remain for a little while, but they won’t last forever. As much as you can tolerate it, talk about it. I am willing to bet that it was easier for Essie to talk about her ordeal today than it was when it happened.
It helps to talk to someone who understands what you’ve been through. Book a discovery call here. I was involved with an addict many years ago. I came to realize that I wasn’t in love. I was living in fear. Fear or what people were saying. Fear of what people may know. Fear of what he was going to do next. Fear. Fear. Fear. One day, I decided I was no longer afraid. I went from fear to free. Free from him, his addiction, and his manipulation.
Set yourself free.
Jessica Agbenu Abba
Jessica Abba was last seen on the 8200 block of Northlake Court in Laurel. She was wearing a tan blouse, blue jeans, and open-toed sandals. She was last seen in Laurel, Maryland on June 4, 2022. She has a medium brown complexion. She stands 5’2” and weighs 120 pounds. She is 15 years old.
While Ms. Leath has a tattoo on her left hand, it is unclear what it depicts. Please call the GBI at 800.597.TIPS (8477) with any information you may have regarding her whereabouts.
This information was obtained from 𝗯𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗸𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗺𝗶𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗰.𝗰𝗼𝗺
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Life Coach + Podcast Host
𝙎𝙤𝙥𝙝𝙞𝙖 𝘼𝙣𝙩𝙤𝙞𝙣𝙚 𝙞𝙨 𝙖 𝙡𝙞𝙛𝙚 𝙘𝙤𝙖𝙘𝙝, 𝙥𝙤𝙙𝙘𝙖𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙧, 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙗𝙡𝙤𝙜𝙜𝙚𝙧 𝙤𝙣 𝙨𝙚𝙡𝙛-𝙘𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙩𝙤𝙥𝙞𝙘𝙨. 𝙎𝙝𝙚 𝙨𝙥𝙚𝙘𝙞𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙯𝙚𝙨 𝙞𝙣 𝙨𝙪𝙥𝙥𝙤𝙧𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙬𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙣 𝙨𝙩𝙧𝙪𝙜𝙜𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙖𝙨𝙨𝙚𝙧𝙩𝙞𝙫𝙚𝙣𝙚𝙨𝙨, 𝙖𝙣𝙭𝙞𝙚𝙩𝙮, 𝙞𝙢𝙥𝙤𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙨𝙮𝙣𝙙𝙧𝙤𝙢𝙚, 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙤𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙨𝙚𝙡𝙛-𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙚𝙢 𝙧𝙚𝙡𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙙𝙞𝙛𝙛𝙞𝙘𝙪𝙡𝙩𝙞𝙚𝙨. 𝙎𝙤𝙥𝙝𝙞𝙖 𝙚𝙢𝙥𝙡𝙤𝙮𝙨 𝙘𝙤𝙜𝙣𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙫𝙚 𝙗𝙚𝙝𝙖𝙫𝙞𝙤𝙧𝙖𝙡 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙖𝙥𝙮 (𝘾𝘽𝙏) 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙧𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙖𝙡 𝙚𝙢𝙤𝙩𝙞𝙫𝙚 𝙗𝙚𝙝𝙖𝙫𝙞𝙤𝙧𝙖𝙡 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙖𝙥𝙮 (𝙍𝙀𝘽𝙏) 𝙩𝙚𝙘𝙝𝙣𝙞𝙦𝙪𝙚𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙝𝙚𝙡𝙥 𝙬𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙣 𝙙𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙡𝙤𝙥 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙨𝙠𝙞𝙡𝙡𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙮 𝙣𝙚𝙚𝙙 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙜𝙪𝙞𝙙𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙢 𝙩𝙤 𝙖𝙪𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙘 𝙬𝙚𝙡𝙡𝙣𝙚𝙨𝙨 – 𝙙𝙤𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙬𝙚𝙡𝙡𝙣𝙚𝙨𝙨 𝙤𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙞𝙧 𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙢𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙙𝙞𝙘𝙩𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙗𝙮 𝙖𝙣𝙮𝙤𝙣𝙚 𝙚𝙡𝙨𝙚.
𝙁𝙤𝙧 𝙢𝙖𝙣𝙮 𝙮𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙨, 𝙎𝙤𝙥𝙝𝙞𝙖 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙙𝙧𝙖𝙬𝙣 𝙩𝙤 𝙝𝙚𝙡𝙥𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙥𝙚𝙤𝙥𝙡𝙚 𝙘𝙡𝙤𝙨𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙗𝙚 𝙖𝙘𝙘𝙤𝙪𝙣𝙩𝙖𝙗𝙡𝙚 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙘𝙝 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙞𝙧 𝙜𝙤𝙖𝙡𝙨. 𝙎𝙝𝙚 𝙬𝙖𝙩𝙘𝙝𝙚𝙙 𝙖𝙨 𝙛𝙧𝙞𝙚𝙣𝙙𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙛𝙖𝙢𝙞𝙡𝙮 𝙢𝙖𝙙𝙚 𝙥𝙤𝙨𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙫𝙚 𝙡𝙞𝙛𝙚 𝙘𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙜𝙚𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙙𝙚𝙘𝙞𝙙𝙚𝙙 𝙩𝙤 𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙧𝙩 𝙖 𝙘𝙤𝙖𝙘𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙥𝙧𝙖𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙘𝙚. 𝙋𝙧𝙞𝙤𝙧 𝙩𝙤 𝙗𝙚𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙖 𝙘𝙤𝙖𝙘𝙝, 𝙎𝙤𝙥𝙝𝙞𝙖 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙥𝙧𝙞𝙢𝙖𝙧𝙮 𝙘𝙖𝙧𝙚𝙜𝙞𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙝𝙪𝙨𝙗𝙖𝙣𝙙. 𝙃𝙚 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙙𝙞𝙖𝙜𝙣𝙤𝙨𝙚𝙙 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝘾𝙝𝙧𝙤𝙣𝙞𝙘 𝙆𝙞𝙙𝙣𝙚𝙮 𝘿𝙞𝙨𝙚𝙖𝙨𝙚, 𝙚𝙣𝙙𝙪𝙧𝙚𝙙 𝙛𝙞𝙫𝙚 𝙮𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙙𝙞𝙖𝙡𝙮𝙨𝙞𝙨, 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙪𝙣𝙙𝙚𝙧𝙬𝙚𝙣𝙩 𝙖 𝙨𝙪𝙘𝙘𝙚𝙨𝙨𝙛𝙪𝙡 𝙠𝙞𝙙𝙣𝙚𝙮 𝙩𝙧𝙖𝙣𝙨𝙥𝙡𝙖𝙣𝙩 𝙨𝙪𝙧𝙜𝙚𝙧𝙮. 𝙏𝙤𝙜𝙚𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧, 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙮’𝙫𝙚 𝙧𝙖𝙞𝙨𝙚𝙙 3 𝙘𝙝𝙞𝙡𝙙𝙧𝙚𝙣 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙘𝙪𝙧𝙧𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙡𝙮 𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙞𝙙𝙚 𝙞𝙣 𝙎𝙤𝙪𝙩𝙝𝙬𝙚𝙨𝙩 𝙁𝙡𝙤𝙧𝙞𝙙𝙖.