A co-addict is someone in a destructive relationship with an addict, who may unintentionally enable their loved ones drug addiction instead of helping them get sober. Are you a co-addict? Read on to find out the six signs of co-addiction.
Watching someone battle an addiction is heartbreaking. I have known many people, both distant and close, who have struggled with addiction, and it always tugs at my heart. If I could take it away, I would, but I can’t. I can sympathize on many levels, but the one that hurts to watch the most is a co-addict. The personality changes and direct impact on self-esteem are devastating. As you get involved with an addict, by choice or not, there are always going to be direct consequences. Co-addiction is rarely talked about, but you might be one and not even realize it; you could be a friend, partner, sibling, or child.
Co-addiction is a serious illness that requires the help of a professional. The relationship you have with an addict is extremely unhealthy, and if it is not severed, it can ruin you mentally, physically, and emotionally for many years. Many co-addictions are developed as a child or adolescent and can go undiagnosed until adulthood. Once you have become a co-addict, it is hard to shed the illness even after a relationship has ended. You might even seek out other addicts to continue on being the victim. This is not something you are born with or forced to struggle with forever. With the proper treatment, you can overcome co-addiction and learn to form healthy relationships throughout your life.
Here are six co-addiction characteristics that you can look for:
Lack of Self-Esteem:
As a co-addict, you struggle with self-esteem issues. You give up on life goals, dreams, and desires. Your attention is completely fixated on the addict, and you leave no room for yourself
Urge to Control:
Manipulation is a powerful tool you use to control the addict. When they mess up, you use guilt to control them and get what you want. You might use alcohol or drugs as temptation to get the addict to do whatever you ask.
Playing the Victim:
You are willing to suffer and enjoy being the victim without even realizing it. Many times, children of addicts have been the victim for so long that they don’t know what else to be. This carries with them into future relationships.
You obsess over the addict to avoid facing your own emotional and life problems. You check emails and the phone and every detail of the addict’s life whenever you get the chance. You question the addict’s decisions and whereabouts. You react without thinking and struggle to focus your attention on anyone else.
You believe if you work hard enough, the addict will change. You are in denial about the seriousness of the addiction and believe you have control of the situation. You try to force them to stop, but no matter what you do, the addiction continues.
The stress, obsession, and self-esteem beating wreak havoc on your emotional well-being. You cry at random times, get angry quick, feel overly fearful, and lose yourself to emotions.