If you are involved with an addict, you’re putting yourself at risk of being neglected by them. Their entire world revolves around medicating themselves. If you are hoping for an intimate connection with the alcoholic and desire to feel significant through spending quality time with them, be prepared to have a plan B on a regular basis. Many of your basic human needs will need to be met outside the alcoholic relationship.
You will never measure up to the desire within the alcoholic/substance abuser to medicate themselves. As awful as this may sound, if you choose to stay with an addict, get used to being abandoned, neglected and rejected.
You will always be second place to their addictions and they come in more forms than just mind altering substances. That’s why we say change your attitude or change your address because you are wasting your time by trying to force your hand with a substance abuser to change.
One addiction feeds the other and before they know it hours have passed as they isolate in their world of self gratification. Try as you may, you will never measure up to multiple addictions.
Some alcoholics will get plastered and play video games all night. I had a friend who used to love to smoke wacky weed and then they would create things on the computer until the wee hours of the morning. In fact, he developed an entire product line for his company while being under the influence of marijuana.
I had another close friend who had an addiction to prescription pills that would make her speedy. She would stay up until three, four or five in the morning being one with the remote control while watching TV. Then, she would take something else to make her go to sleep.
Have you ever heard of the term “Sports Widow?” Give the sports addict a remote control on a Sunday afternoon and a cold one if he/she is an alcoholic and you will see the dual addicted personality in full bloom.
Every time you make yourself vulnerable and express to an addict that you would like to spend time with them, you are placing yourself at risk of being rejected and even neglected. When this happens your need for significance and connection are being affected. The challenge you are faced with is how will you react to situations where you are being rejected by an alcoholic. Also, how will you fulfill your need for connection and significance?
If we experience anger because we want to spend time with the addict and they continually refuse our offers, how do we rid of ourselves of this negative emotion without letting it out on the addict? Should we become even more vulnerable and share with them that we feel neglected? Perhaps you are the type of person who withdraws into a state of isolation and self-pity when you are neglected by someone you desire to be close to.
Anyway, I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject of being neglected by a substance abuser.
- How do you cope with being neglected?
- How do you fulfill your needs for connection and significance when the alcoholic ignores you and indulges in self gratification?
- What do you do with anger?
- Do you find yourself being depressed?
- Do you express your needs to the alcoholic or internalize your anger?
- Does the alcoholic ignore your request to spend quality time with them?
- Do you find yourself having expectations that only lead to resentments?
- How could you avoid feeling neglected, rejected or abandoned?