Unless you’ve been through it yourself, it’s hard to imagine the emotional tangles that life serves up to someone who is married (or otherwise intimately linked) to an alcoholic or drug abuser. Their lives are filled with guilt, exasperation, loneliness, anxiety, resentment, fear, and depression. Their ineffectual attempts to come to grips with their partner’s drinking or drug use may even trigger physical and emotional illness for themselves — one reason that addiction is sometimes called a “family disease.” Ask anyone who’s enmeshed with a drinking alcoholic or an active drug abuser and they’ll tell you they’d do anything to make their partners change. Just don’t believe them. Because as often as not, they’re lying — or confused. The difficult truth is that a husband or wife (or friend or lover) can’t make an addict or an alcoholic change. They can’t control out-of-control behavior or drinking. The only thing they can change is themselves, and the sooner they find that out, the faster they discover how they can really help their partner. Codependents are people who, through ignorance or fear (and maybe even a little chemical dependency of their own), can actually enable a dependent person to keep on avoiding the reality of a drug or drinking problem. It’s rarely a conscious choice, but in trying to protect themselves, their partner, or their children from embarrassment (or worse), a codependent will deny, cover-up, excuse, even lie about the extent of the problem. Too bad, because all they usually get for their trouble is more trouble — and a continuation of their partner’s chemical career. Because the fact is that people generally don’t seek help for problems they don’t admit they have. Gayle Rosellini http://www.doitnow.org/pages/804.html
Wine hath drowned
more people than the sea.