If your usage of a substance like alcohol or drugs, or habit like excessive shopping or sports-watching, ever prompted someone you love to say to you, “Too much,” listen up. The biggest mistake people make with addictions, alcohol and otherwise, is that they deny that they are over-doing it. They get defensive. They insist “I’m only drinking so much because …” They claim, “You do it too..” or “Everyone drinks like that..” They minimize, “I just drink….” Denial is tempting, and extremely self-defeating. Resist this temptation, and you have a chance at averting the potentially marriage-threatening consequences of an addiction that you persist in sustaining. The remedy: Take your loved one’s concern seriously. Seriously reassess your habit. Ask yourself, “If I look at my drinking in the best possible light, what is it meant to accomplish?” If the answer is that drinking enables you to escape from stresses in your life, it’s time to face those stresses head on. Addictions usually are an alternative to addressing and resolving problems, marital and otherwise. Replace running away with talking about your problems with someone you trust. By clinical psychologist, marriage counselor and author Susan Heitler, Ph.D. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/resolution-not-conflict/201110/resisting-the-3-main-temptations-destroy-marriages
Sometimes I feel
as if I’m racing
with my own shadow…
But that’s one thing
I’ll never be able to outrun.
Nobody can shake off
their own shadow.
Less than half of the men with mental health challenges ever get help for them. The reasons for this are many, including lack of information, stigma associated with mental illness, and masculine ideals. Men who adhere steadfastly to masculine norms, such as power, strength, and emotional control, may be most at risk for negative psychological outcomes. In fact, because so few men seek help for their problems, they are more vulnerable to suicide and substance abuse than females. Joshua L. Berger of Clark University’s Department of Psychology in Massachusetts wanted to examine the factors that prevent men from getting the help they need. In a recent study, Berger assessed the help seeking attitudes and avenues of men in need. He also looked at how they reacted to two common clinical terms: depression and anxiety. Overall, Berger found that the men who had the strongest affinity toward masculine norms were the least likely to seek help. They reacted the most dramatically to anxiety and depression, and were the least likely to consider medication as a treatment option. Berger also found that the men were more inclined to going to therapy if a psychotherapist recommended it rather than if it was suggested by a romantic partner or a family practitioner. They also cited individual talk therapy as their preferred mode of treatment. These findings demonstrate that even though friends and family members may mean well when offering help to their loved men in need of psychological treatment, suggestions from mental health professionals will have the most impact. Lowering men’s risk for suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, and other negative behaviors is paramount, and the evidence revealed in this study may bring the mental health profession one step closer toward achieving that goal. “Generally speaking, these results underscore the importance of considering the specific type of help under consideration when discussing men’s attitudes toward help-seeking,” Berger said.
Every man has his secret sorrows
which the world knows not;
and often times we call a man cold
when he is only sad.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
When you date a narcissist, they can be very charming and this is a trap. It’s really up to you to avoid this trap because the narcissist can’t help it. This is an incurable untreatable personality disorder. If you run across a spider who bites you, you can’t blame the spider. It’s your job to avoid the spider as best you can. It’s extremely difficult to avoid a charming narcissist because this is their one huge talent. In the beginning of a relationship, few people are as compelling as a narcissist. It will look as if all your dreams are coming true. Look beyond the charm. How many times has the narcissist been married? How many hearts has this person broken in the past? What are the reasons for the break ups? Question closely, and listen even more closely. In the end, only you can protect yourself from the trap a narcissist will lay. Just remember, once you enter a relationship with a narcissist, you will never get out unless that narcissist gets tired of you. Since you don’t really exist for the narcissist as a human being, it will be nothing for this person to drop you like a stone without looking back even once. No ties, no money, no children, no history, certainly no begging or crying will get this person back. This person will view you with nothing less than contempt and annoyance. You are less than nothing to a narcissist and in danger of becoming less than nothing to yourself. http://www.ehow.com/how_4818960_not-love-naricissitic-personality-disorder.html
So many times it seemed like
there were chances to stop things
before they started. Or even
stop them in midstream.
But it was even worse when
you knew in that very moment
that there was still time
to save yourself, and yet
you couldn’t even budge.
When a Codependent starts a romantic relationship they tend to put too many eggs in that one basket. They invest their whole lives in a guy/girl who ultimately turns out to be an addict, a betrayer, a little boy/girl, a rager, a controller, weak, lost, little, and otherwise not coming as originally advertised. Early on the Codependent is way too emotionally dependent way too quickly. Before too many years go by Codependents learn that the relationship they have arranged for themselves does not include a whole lot of goodies for them. Prince charming who put the full court press on to secure her generally is only interested in her these days to try to extract some sex from her. He is too busy and important to take the time and energy to really get to know her on an intimate and daily basis. That simply isn’t who he is. Codependents also tend to arrange their worlds so that they are financially dependent on a man. Mom is taking care of the kids so that Superman can go out and take over the world. In the mean time each year that passes by is another year that she is out of her career field, not developing her earning power and many times feeling not good enough because they aren’t earning their own money directly. Codependents have big hearts – too big. They rescue men, children, puppies, strangers, neighbors and friends. Their first thought is ‘what does my spouse or my kids need, what will work best for them’. They do not think about their own needs enough. A huge part of their Recovery process is learning to take good care of their own needs. Codependents get lost for decades in the meeting of others needs while ignoring what their own hearts were trying to say to them. Codependents many times don’t have much going on in the hobby department. They have no time devoted to what makes themselves happy. Their lives aren’t really about them. They are rest starved, fun starved and inspiration starved. They need to learn to be selfish in a healthy way. They are parched ground lacking in color and joy. http://www.familytreecounseling.com/marksblog/?s=When+a+Codependent+starts+a+romantic+relationship+
… it’s a lot easier to be lost than found.
It’s the reason we’re always searching,
and rarely discovered…
so many locks, not enough keys.
Dysfunctional Relationships are relationships that do not perform their appropriate function; that is, they do not emotionally support the participants, foster communication among them, appropriately challenge them, or prepare or fortify them for life in the larger world. Codependency means that one or both people in a relationship are making the relationship more important than they are to themselves. A classic codependent is hopelessly entangled with a partner who is out of control through alcoholism, addiction or violent behavior; but the term has been more recently used to mean anyone who feel dependent, helpless and out of control in a relationship; or unable to leave an unsatisfying or abusive one. Toxic Family Systems are relationships (beginning with childhood families, and carried into adulthood) that are mentally, emotionally or physically harmful to some or all of the participants. Codependent relationships can also be toxic relationships, although the term “toxic” is usually used to mean the more abusive varieties. In short, all three of these terms refer to relationships that contain unhealthy interaction, and do not effectively enhance the lives of the people involved. People in these relationships are not taking responsibility for making their own lives or the relationship work. Adapted from “Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Squabbling About the Three Things That Can Destroy Your Marriage” by Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. http://www.tinatessina.com/dysfunctional_relationship.html
We are all prompted by the same motives,
all deceived by the same fallacies,
all animated by hope, obstructed by danger,
entangled by desire, and seduced by pleasure.
Knowing how to love yourself is extremely important. Self love is at the very core of wellbeing, joy, self-empowerment, and your ability to create and enjoy the kind of life you want. You cannot enjoy happiness if you are not at peace with yourself. Your relationship with yourself is the most important one you’ll ever have. Not knowing how to love yourself can be severely debilitating. At the very least, you’re plagued by indecision and self-doubt. In more intense cases there is depression and self-hatred, which cripples you in every area of your life. The self-focused negativity cuts you off from your connection to your Life Force. Until you know how to love yourself there will be an inner war going on that divides your energy and sabotages your efforts to move toward happiness. Besides that, if you lack your own love you attract people and circumstances that mirror your negative beliefs and feelings about yourself. We draw to us the manifestations of what we FEEL. So, in order for you to draw in loving people and circumstances, you need to know how to love yourself first. To start building self-esteem, first listen to how you talk to yourself. You first have to be aware of a situation before you can change it. Do any of these thoughts sound familiar? “There is something wrong with me. I’m really messed up.” “I’m bad.” “It’s all my fault.” “I’m incompetent. I don’t know what I’m doing.” “I’m not (good, smart, attractive, rich, etc.) enough.” “I’m not as (good, smart, attractive, successful, etc.) as that person.” Until you learn how to love yourself, this is how you cripple yourself so that you can’t move forward or go after the things you want. http://www.wellbeingalignment.com/how-to-love-yourself.html
My primary relationship
is with myself:
all others are mirrors of it.
DENIAL = a defense mechanism in which the existence of unpleasant internal or external realities is kept out of conscious awareness; refusal to acknowledge painful realities, thoughts, or feelings; an unconscious defense mechanism in which emotional conflict and anxiety are avoided by refusal to acknowledge those thoughts, feelings, desires, impulses, or facts that are consciously intolerable. Denial is one of the most difficult human conditions to deal with. The more old pain and feelings we have “stuffed”, the more difficult denial is to break through. It is important to look truthfully at our past and our parents to realize that everyone did the best they knew how. That way, we don’t get stuck in blaming. It is also important to develop skills in conflict resolution so that we can work through the conflicts that emerge from telling the truth and breaking the “happy family” illusion. With good tools and skills, these conflicts can become doorways to creating real intimacy in a family.
From the book “Breaking Free of the Codependency Trap” by Weinhold and Weinhold
That’s pretty much how we get through
our own lives. Watching television.
Smoking crap. Self-medicating.
Redirecting our attention.
by Chuck Palahniuk
There is a major characteristic about depression that we must always be aware of when turning our minds to fighting and defeating it. Depression feeds on itself. In other words, we get depressed and then we get more depressed about being depressed. Negative thoughts become automatic and are difficult for us to challenge. Being in a state of depression can then, itself, become a bigger problem than the difficulties that caused it in the first place. We need to break the hold that the depression has on us. Depression can manifest in many different ways and we don’t always realize what’s going on because the problems seem to be physical, not mental. Perhaps we tell ourselves we are simply feeling tired or affected by the weather. To recognize depression in ourselves, a friend or a loved one, read through the list below which are the most common signs. Identifying with more than three of these makes depression highly likely. Richard Gosling http://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/counsellor-articles/recognising-and-overcoming-depression
* Being restless and agitated.
* Having difficulty sleeping, or feeling tired and lacking energy.
* Realizing that we are doing less and less.
* Self-harming or being occupied with thoughts of suicide.
* Developing physical aches and pains with no physical cause.
* Not deriving pleasure out of things which we usually enjoy doing.
* Blaming ourselves and feelings of guilt about day-to-day actions.
* Loss of self-confidence and a preoccupation with negative thoughts.
* Using tobacco, alcohol or other drugs more than usual.
* Not eating properly and losing or putting on weight.
* Noticing that we have started to cry a lot.
* Being unusually irritable or impatient.
* Loss of interest in sex.
* Finding it hard to concentrate or make decisions.
* A sense of feeling numb, empty, despairing or helpless.
* Having difficulty remembering things.
* Feeling low-spirited for much of the time, every day.
* Distancing ourselves from our friends and not asking for help.
* Taking a bleak, pessimistic view of the future.
Depression is nourished by a lifetime
of un-grieved and un-forgiven hurts.
A bad relationship is one that involves continual frustration; the relationship seems to have potential but that potential is always just out of reach. In fact, the attachment in such relationships is to someone who is “unattainable” in the sense that he or she is committed to someone else, doesn’t want a committed relationship, or is incapable of one. Bad relationships are chronically lacking in what one or both partners need. Such relationships can destroy self-esteem and prevent those involved from moving on in their careers or personal lives. They are often fertile breeding grounds for loneliness, rage, and despair. In such relationships, individuals are robbed of several essential freedoms; the freedom to be their best selves in the relationship, the freedom to love the other person through choice rather than through dependency, and the freedom to leave a situation that is destructive. Despite the pain of these relationships, many rational and practical people find that they are unable to leave, even though they know the relationship is bad for them.
Signs you may be addicted to the relationship:
- Even though you know the relationship is bad for you (and perhaps others have told you this), you take no effective steps to end it.
- You give yourself reasons for staying in the relationship that are not really accurate or that are not strong enough to counteract the harmful aspects of the relationship.
- When you think about ending the relationship, you feel terrible anxiety and fear which make you cling to it even more.
- When you take steps to end the relationship, you suffer painful withdrawal symptoms, including physical discomfort, that is only relieved by reestablishing contact.
If most of these signs apply to you, you are probably in an addictive relationship and have lost the capacity to direct your own life. To move toward recovery, your first steps must be to recognize that you are “hooked” and then try to understand the basis of your addiction. http://www.counselingcenter.illinois.edu/?page_id=186
I was your cure
and you were my disease.
I was saving you,
and you were killing me.
Detachment refers to separating ourselves from whatever we are obsessed with so we can begin working on our self. Since codependents are typically overly involved or attached to some problem or person outside of themselves, growth must involve giving up that over-involvement or preoccupation with trying to change, control, or please someone else. This requires letting go of the energy you are expending on worry over the other person. This is not hostile withdrawal, indifference, or avoiding your responsibilities to others. Instead, it is giving up your efforts to take other people’s responsibilities so that they can learn to take responsibility for themselves just as you are learning to take responsibility for yourself. We cannot fix problems that are not ours to fix, and all of our worrying, obsessing, and trying to help only perpetuate the problem. After all, as long as we are trying to fix someone, they don’t need to fix themselves, and we don’t have to fix our self! This may mean staying out-of-the-way as an alcoholic spouse or friend loses his job. It may mean getting a separate bank account and letting your mate suffer the consequences of his or her financial irresponsibility. It may mean giving up your role as a people pleaser. And it may mean saying no when you are asked to take on one more responsibility. These can be frightening steps, but you will never break the cycle of codependency unless you take them. You must disengage from your old codependent patterns. Jason T. Li. Ph.D. http://lifecounsel.org/pub_li_overcomingCodependency.html
When he has the power to see things
detached from self-interest
and from the insistent claims
of the lust of the senses,
then alone can he have the true vision
of the beauty that is everywhere.
Then only can he see that what is unpleasant
to us is not necessarily unbeautiful,
but has its beauty in truth.