The Real Reason You're So Codependent

codependency May 09, 2023

When engaging in these people-pleasing, codependent type behaviors, we're telling ourselves that it's because we don't want to upset someone else. This is a hard pill for everyone struggling with codependency.

Yes, I include myself in this category.

We don't want them to feel rejected. We don't want them to feel abandoned. We don't want them to experience pain and suffering. So we're telling ourselves we're just looking out for this other person, but the truth is quite different.

The real reason why we get stuck in these codependent people-pleasing patterns is that we can't deal with the uncomfortableness.

It's because we feel guilty for not doing something for someone else. It's because we feel like someone else will abandon us, reject us, or get mad at us. So it's not about the other person at all. It's always about us. And this is a hard truth because we've been telling ourselves this whole time that we're kind, caring, empathetic, and caring about the other person. And there...

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Does the Addict/Alcoholic in Your Life Constantly Make You Feel Guilty?

manipulation May 02, 2023

Does the Addict/Alcoholic in Your Life Constantly Make You Feel Guilty?

The number one way you're being manipulated by your addicted loved one is guilt, and that guilt button is causing you to do and say everything you don't and shouldn't be saying and doing. 

You must manage your guilt.

Five ways someone might be pressing your guilt button:

1. "It's your fault!"

The number one is the most direct pathway to guilt when being told or hearing messages implying it is all your fault.

Here are some examples of how that might look in a real-life situation.

"I wouldn't have to drink if you weren't nagging me constantly."

"I wouldn't have to hide my use if you weren't uptight and crazy about it."

"I developed this problem because of what you did to me in the past, and now this is my only way of coping."

"Hey, I was like this when you got with me. You knew what you were in for, and now you've changed your mind."
Those are all straightforward ways a person might press your guilt button.

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What Happens In Late Stage Alcoholism? (*hint, it ain't pretty 😢)

Now, when you saw the title, you were probably thinking about all the medical or physical aspects of alcoholism, like cirrhosis of the liver. But, still, there are many ways that alcoholism destroys our bodies. Yes, it attacks our liver, but it also attacks our heart, mind, pancreas, immune system, and brain, dramatically increasing your chances of having numerous types of cancer.

Now, I often hear people say things like yeah, this partying and this drinking and all this stuff; it will probably make my life shorter, but I will have a lot of fun in the meantime. And if that were true, I'd be OK with it. But in reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

When people say that, it's almost like you're imagining one big giant party and significant time and excitement, and then one day, you drop dead of alcoholism. But, unfortunately, it just doesn't work that way most of the time. It's a much more drawn-out, slow, and painful death than you imagine.

And while all those physical...

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Has Your Addiction Hurt The People You Love?

When you're in early recovery, how do you care for yourself and your family simultaneously?

A lot of people will tell you not to do this. They'll say things like recovery is selfish, focus on you, focus on staying sober. But to do that, you have to avoid your family who's on your butt, who's watching you like a hawk, who's maybe putting down a lot of boundaries and controlling, and so you're trying to ignore them, and this triggers your family and makes them do it more, which is triggering for you.

If you stop ignoring them, they will stop spying, controlling, snooping, questioning, and making passive-aggressive comments. Can you imagine how much easier getting sober will be when you don't have your family breathing down your neck every second?

The first thing you have to do is stop the addicted behavior.
If the addiction continues, you can't heal the family, so you must be solidly committed.

 Once you have the addictive behavior somewhat stable, you want to...

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Exposing The REAL Reason So Many People Are Addicted To Alcohol

alcoholism Apr 11, 2023

The reason alcohol is so addictive is because of social reinforcement.
It is the only drug you will feel embarrassed about
not doing.

Now, marketing companies make it seem cool, sexy, and exciting, and start creating peer pressure from a very early age. So we're getting messages that adults do this to have fun. This will make you an exciting person others want to be around. So we start believing that long before we ever even try it.

There's a placebo effect connected with alcohol; remember when you first started drinking alcohol, and you didn't like it, and it tasted nasty, but everyone around you was telling you you're going to like it and it's going to be great. And everyone looked like they were having fun. So then you start acting like you're having fun with it.

It's reinforced in almost every single direction.

My clients who decide to stop drinking alcohol are worried about not having the alcohol and cravings and withdrawal and stuff like that, but you know what they...

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Which is Better for Treating Alcohol Use Disorder: Interlock or Soberlink?

alcoholism Apr 04, 2023

Interlock device or Soberlink device, which one is right for your situation?

I'm still going to give you my objective opinion about both of these devices because each has its pros and cons, and each one fits a slightly different situation, and I want you to make an informed decision about what's right for you. So the most natural place to start is to tell you precisely what Interlock and Soberlink devices are.

An interlock device is an alcohol breathalyzing device that gets installed into your car, and the car doesn't start until you've taken a blood alcohol test, like you blow into the thing and pass it.

Once you do that, then you can start your car. Now, it's not just for when you start the car; you must continue to take breathalyzing tests as you drive down the road. A lot of my clients call this the blow-and-go. Most of the time, people get an interlock device after some legal issue, like a DUI.

A Soberlink is also a breathalyzing device, but it's not attached to your car....

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You've Stuck By Them Through Their Addiction, and Now They Decide To Leave You

This situation came up in one of our groups recently. Someone posted about how their boyfriend of five years left them for another girl, and now he's sober, they're together, and this person is left feeling like, what does she have that I don't have? Of course, it always hurts if somebody breaks up with you or leaves a relationship. It hurts when someone breaks up with you if you don't like them. So it digs in when someone you've put up with all of their crap and forgiven them a million times, stood by their side, had their back, fixed their problems. It is like a jab in the heart when this person leaves you.

Because not only does the loss hurt, but the pure rejection of it feels massive. So I want you to understand how and why that happens.

Their addiction has been wanting to get rid of you for a long time because you're the one standing in the way between them and the addiction. In most cases, someone's addiction will trigger you to act crazy, be the bad guy role, yell,...

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Why I Refuse to Believe Addiction Equals Powerlessness

I have a lot of mixed feelings about the term POWERLESS. I believe in the concept in some ways, but it's a hindrance in other ways. For those unfamiliar with that concept, it comes from Alcoholics Anonymous, the first of the 12-steps reads to admit that I'm powerless over alcohol and that my life has become unmanageable. "We admit to ourselves that our lives have become unmanageable and that we were powerless over our addictions." If you're in AA, you say powerless over alcohol.

When you're in Al-Anon, the AA version is for the family member. In that case, it reads, "We admit to ourselves that our lives have become unmanageable and that we are powerless over our loved one's addiction."

Why I moved away from this concept
Before I tell you why I've moved away from this concept, I want to tell you what I still like about it and believe in related to this term, powerlessness.

Most people, when they're in the beginning stages of trying to overcome a drug or alcohol problem, they go...

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Does Couples Therapy Make Things Worse? A must-watch for couples!

Here's what usually happens when people go to couples counseling and there's an addiction involved. Naturally, the person with an addiction problem doesn't want to discuss it. They're incredibly defensive about it, and if you bring it up in a couple's counseling session, that person will feel very much ganged up on whether they are or not, they're going to feel backed into a corner. Guess what will happen? They're going to quit going, and the only other option would be not to bring up the person's addiction. In that case, why are we ignoring the big elephant in the room?

Suppose the counselor doesn't realize this vast giant addiction problem is happening. In that case, they're probably going to be giving lots of bad advice because they're going to be working on the wrong things, even though I don't think that traditional couples counseling is beneficial when it comes to one or more other partners having an addiction I am a big believer in the idea that the whole family system...

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5 Life-Changing Skills NEVER Taught at 12 Step Meetings!

The problem with 12 steps is that, even though they do teach a lot of things well, they do it in a real indirect way, and they're hoping you pick up on the vibe and you learn the lesson, but sometimes if you're like me, you can be a little dense, and miss it. So they're having you practice the 12 steps and call your sponsor, but they could better connect the dots.

If you follow the plan, you will likely figure out most of the steps. Still, I want to make sure and call your attention to these five skills because not only are they not talked about directly, they're just not talked about, and you need them if you want to stay sober and get past the first month or so of recovery.

The rest is mostly about sanity management. How do you stay sober? You keep your sanity intact. So, many recovery skills have nothing to do with the substances. How do I keep myself in a place to not need those? You have to keep yourself in a healthy place, which means you need to keep your life somewhat...

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