Addiction is a lifelong struggle; one that the can be experienced with or without sobriety and recovery. Without sobriety, it can be and very often is fatal; directly or indirectly. Addiction is very powerful and should not be underestimated.
There are many types of addiction including alcohol, drugs, sex, and gambling. There are also many stages of addiction and depending on how much it has progressed, depends on the problems it has caused in the addict’s life.
Alzheimer’s is often referred to as the “long good-by” because it’s a disease that slowly invades the brain, interferes with the person’s ability to function normally causing them to become more and more confused, forgetful, agitated, aggressive, angry, and eventually completely dependent on others. It is progressive and fatal. The person afflicted with Alzheimer’s suffers because they know what is happening and they are scared because it is beyond their control.
Most of us spend our lives in pursuit of a happy, healthy, fulfilling, exciting, loving, relationship with a partner. Some of us find it and some of us don’t, but most of us enter one relationship after another in search of it, trying to figure it out. After all, it is a basic human need to want to share our life with someone. There are some common problems most couples are challenged with including poor communication, money management, different parenting styles, and growing apart. Infidelity often creeps in as well.
Codependency was a really common term in the 80’s and ’90’s that came out of the addiction field to describe anyone involved with an addict (includes alcoholics and will be referred to as a male) who tends to “caretake” and “enable”. They generally lose sight of themselves the more wrapped up they get in the addict’s life, making great efforts to meet his needs and calm his chaos. Their life revolves around his while their own needs desires are put aside and sacrificed.
There are many forms of abuse; emotional, verbal, sexual, and physical abuse (and some books specifically site social, financial, religious/spiritual abuse as well), which people suffer at different times of their lives by perpetrators they know and usually trust. This could happen throughout childhood and/or in adulthood. When it occurs in adulthood between intimate partners, it is called “domestic violence”. Of course, the children of that household then become victims as well. The perpetrator (referred to as a male) needs/exercises power and control over his victims. He may control them by restricting who they can see, when they can leave their house, how much money they can spend, and imposes ridiculous expectations and then insults them and punishes them for not being able to meet those expectations.
Many people are aware of their mental health problems and have been successfully treating it most of their lives, while others have been struggling and battling their symptoms with less success for years. There is also a high percentage of people who suffer unnecessarily with undiagnosed mental health problems, especially depression. Many symptoms become exacerbated during difficult circumstances that would otherwise be manageable. This can be a gift because it’s a big enough problem that you or your friends notice and you seek help either from your doctor for a medication or from a therapist, or both.
Personal growth is a process that produces personal change and progress. It must start from within you. Self-exploration and honesty are key.
We are all looking for answers and solutions. We want to improve our lives and become a better person. We are all seeking abundance, healthy relationships, and most of all happiness and love. It is precisely while we are in the process that we learn and grow with each of life’s experiences, gain valuable lessons, set healthy boundaries, heal old wounds, build our self-esteem and self-worth, recover our sense of self and become empowered.
Our family of origin is at the core of our being. It is the source of the majority of all of our beliefs, behaviors, interests, traditions, culture, attitudes, childhood and adolescent experiences, traumas, praise, our sense of self, our attachment to others, our approach to life. However much it damaged us or enriched us, it was a key component in our development of self. We have our family to blame or to thank.