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Message Board > Families / Partners of Addicts > Lack Addict Independence Lead To Dependence/addict

Posted by: samegame October 11, 2019, 3:58 PM
Does the lack the addict independence and/or self sufficiency contribute to or prolong their addiction? Or the addict being dependent on favors from others to lead their daily life is nothing more than a choice/parasitic laziness.

After years of dealing with the alkie it becomes clear that his life is quite parasitic constantly asking others for favors to lead their daily life. What's your's is mine. It's not just about getting enough money for booze and drugs it's the rides, the handouts and/or expectation for future favors from every single they do.

The biggie is not taking actual responsibility, not just for any crimes, misdeeds, abusive or grifter behavior but actual responsibility for themselves. As a half century old man I don't think he's ever signed an apartment lease solely in his name. He tends to move in with his gfs 'sharing' expenses. But he's not the one with the bills in their name who with a deadline to pay with their money, One gets reimbursed at his leisure, not once a month like clockwork. He's whining now because he's having trouble finding someone who will let them use their house address for his personal car insurance which is rate evasion providing a false address for lower premiums. He also been known to rack up utility bills with above normal because of his "needs". But that's the thing an entire lifetime without really putting his name on the line except for a few cars he really has never had grown up responsibility. He is dependent on his manipulative behavior and/or naive generosity of others. And by the way several of his gf's called him on this stuff and it doesn't end well and of course he's the victim because he doesn't get what he did wrong.

But this brings us back to the OP. Shouldn't independence be emphasized and strived for when dealing with an addict or alkie. Total independence, not just dependence on the chemical but INDEPENDENCE where they can live their life from their own abilities and effort.. Independent to the point where they can handle all those mundane at times stressful tasks an independent sober person can do.

I understand a child or teen having difficulty with this because most haven't lived long enough to fully grasp the concept of independence and frequently emulate what friends and family do. But for the adult addict this is crucial because they never fully grow up or mature. This can be a way of life for adults in particular, especially those partying since their teens.

To me INDEPENDENCE will lead to no more dependence on a chemical or others for their life.

Posted by: Sallyanna October 11, 2019, 10:24 PM
Golly Samegame you really make me think (which I like BTW). I guess I could see it as a cause and effect and I also think they may not be related at all. I think addiction can lead to dependency because they start losing everything. On the other hand, I've seen other people with addictions who were very independent and really had no dependency issues until the addiction causes financial issues, job loss, etc.

To me, what you are describing is a 'moocher'. He's actually so good and successful at it I would classify him as 'a professional moocher'. He's been doing this his whole entire life and getting away with it. I think his addiction adds to it with manipulation and lies. He's never had to be independent because people accommodate him. He's a hot mess.

Posted by: samegame October 11, 2019, 11:18 PM
Sallyanna he is indeed a moocher. You nailed that.

One of the reasons I use him as an example is even when lucid 'enough' he is also a big time delegator. He constantly wants to pay people to do things he could do himself. It's like those tasks are below him. He can't even do a simple tax form like an extension or EZ form and this is a person who considers himself a 'professional' businessman. He constantly wants to pay someone to do things he could do himself. Not doing things in his name I see the mooching there because he is in effect mooching off someone else's sense of commitment by not doing stuff in his name. He simply won't do things for himself.

But this brings up a second point associated with independence. Where's the sense of pride for doing things for one's self or the shame for constantly asking others for 'favors' like a child asking for a ride to and from school. His buddies are taking uber, taxi's etc and he calls his gf or family. Where is that sense of independence of being able to and willing to call a taxi not relying on friends and family like a child getting their parent to pick them up at a movie. I'd be embarrassed and ashamed to be asking for rides etc nor want would I want everyone else knowing what I'm doing in my life down to the hour. Not only is he making people experience his day people know what he is doing, that lack of privacy would drive me crazy. My business is my business. You bring in others to conduct business it becomes their business. Where is that sense of independence. Same for money and legal issues. Here we have a half century old man still on their parents car insurance policy like a teenager who just started driving. Where is that pride. Even teenagers want to do stuff for themselves and be free of their parents grasp. He can't even say he grew up. He frequently talks like a child talking like an adult.

Theoretically by pushing independence and self sufficiency one could assume that time,effort and money doing what has to be done as an individual would stop or slow them down from becoming or recovering from being an alcoholic.

Posted by: Sallyanna October 12, 2019, 9:12 AM
My first thought is what's wrong with his parents? Why at age 50 they would still have him on their car insurance????? Maybe the apple doesn't fall far from the tree?

My personal opinion making someone independent won t necessarily help with their recovery from addiction. In my experiences, unless they want it for themselves, it's not going to happen, for any reason.

Posted by: samegame October 12, 2019, 10:44 AM
They enabled him but allowed it what was supposed to one last time to help him get a car for a job that was supposed to turn around his life. It did nothing but provide more bar money. It was too late by the time they realized he was a full fledged alkie with duis. Although constantly coming to their house visibly drunk should've been THE clue. It disheartened them but hoped time and age would mellow them out. It was too late. Now being forced to get a policy on his own one would think they had a toy ripped from them as child.

I get the person must want to change but all I'm saying independence needs to emphasized. It shouldn't just be about not using/abusing the chemical.

My whole thing where is their sense of pride and self sufficiency when all their friends are taking the initiative to take a taxi, public transportation rather than constantly asking/conning someone for a favor. That's not independence that's relying on others for their personal life.

I should say their are maturity and responsibility issues associated with this so that's part of the problem too.

Posted by: Sallyanna October 12, 2019, 2:21 PM
I see what you are saying samegame. I think when someone is in full blown addiction (as he is and my daughter) the intrinsic concepts of self sufficiency and self pride are pretty much non existent. I think their world becomes very small and intellectually limited. Its just surviving from one fix to the next and creating chaos in the process.

Posted by: samegame October 12, 2019, 3:40 PM
One of things I noticed and I'm sure the alkie and gf know is that they are always the ones going to visit someone else. They aren't hosting anything. They don't even let family or regular friends over to their apartment for a visit. I'm sure their friends notice this too which is why several left them or visa versa. But where is that drive and motivation to get to the point they can host a barbeque. Even his enabling gf wants a house or has brought something she prepared on rare occasion. And this is a guy who is supposedly all about protocol and more importantly appearances. So if he's that worried about the way people view him or keeping up with the Jones's why has he not yet made the move into a rented house( we know why but yet he'll talk about his plans for much more expensive recreational activities, cars etc)

Posted by: Sallyanna October 12, 2019, 4:05 PM
He's very superficial and shallow. Most of his 'protocol and appearances' is just smoke and mirrors. He's a taker not a giver. He's emotionally bankrupt and only cares about himself. Other people are just to be used and manipulated for his own gain. He has no personal integrity and at age 50 his chances of getting his act together are slim to none.

Posted by: samegame October 12, 2019, 5:36 PM
'taker not a giver'. Sallyanna You got that right in more ways than one.

His way to deal with alot of stuff is just throw it out. Not give to charity. A few times over the last 10 years he was finally convinced to get rid of old clothes by giving them to charity. You would've thought he was asked to have all his teeth pulled at once. If it's dusty, dirty or just old(not worn or still usable just old) he tends to throw it out in favor of new a shinny. He's rationalizes his spending by saying everyone should have the latest and greatest. The best example during one of his recent low points he was given pay as you go flip and smart phones by multiple people. Nope had to be an I Phone , 'that's how business is done today'.You also nailed it with shallow and people caving-a few ex bosses from a prior job wound up getting him started on a Iphone. But I think even these people know the real deal because he repeatedly expressed frustration that they would not contribute to or go in on business ideas/ventures for 10s of thousands.

All that being said with someone younger like your daughter is try anything for a while anyway wether it's pushing independence, pride, self sufficiency, no dependency on others or a chemical etc. Tell her adult addicts wind up being a teenager trying to act like a grown pu but never make into adulthood.(slip it in there somehow). You are correct at his age to expect change or progress is not real because at this point his lifestyle and habits are as ingrained as the chemical ones.

Posted by: Sallyanna October 12, 2019, 6:02 PM
Even though I think I understand addiction fairly well, it still baffles me on many levels. I understand my daughter is very messed up and is in the process of losing everything. I know this happens with addiction. I guess what baffles me is if I was homeless or near homelessness I would be considering options not to be. She doesn't even consider them viable options. She's a bright girl and her executive function part of her brain must be compromised or damaged. She talks very well and seems to listen well but doesn't see any options even when they are presented to her in a constructive conversation. I have a hard time understanding this part. I personally think it doesn't matter their age, addiction doesn't discriminate.

Posted by: samegame October 12, 2019, 9:14 PM
The knowledge of addiction isn't issue Sallyanna you got that down. After witnessing it up close I think part of the problem with an addicted person is that they are addictive regardless of the chemicals/drug. And more importantly it's the lifestyle and friends. Throw in entrenched routines after a certain point it will be tough to change because they know no other way or haven't had enough sober experiences and daily life to put things into perspective.

Here he purposely pursues friends/peers that think like him. His current best friend is 1/2 his age but young guys like to party/drink. You also have an elder validating the behavior of a young pup so to speak. To this day he still keeps in contact with an older mentor that helped entrench his drinking/bar life. And they both harp that arrests for drunk driving are unf'air. He purposely puts himself into an echo chamber so he hears only what he wants as do many of his 'friends'.

Not knowing much about your daughter as an outsider I think there is a peer/peer group that has as much influence as a drug because they validate her life. Alot of addict resent sober people and feel people who preach sobriety are judgemental. It's tough in this day and age of pot legalization because it sends mixed signals but in the meantime they conflate drug use with civil rights. I'd say keep trying alternative ways to nudge her into rehab. I'd try and not lecture. Slip it in as quick concise information. I wouldn't let it turn into a debate or argument. I'd also fish for more information about her friends, roommates, job etc , don't sound like you're probing for drug information.It sounds like a second influence in my amateur opinion.

It's a like war. It's best to chose the battles and tactics very carefully.

Posted by: Sallyanna October 12, 2019, 9:38 PM
Thanks samegame you make some really good points. Like you said, there is much more to it than just the drug. Its everything around it too. Right now with all her issues being sober is probably the last thing on her mind. Its not appealing. Its boring and being drugged is what gets her through her day to deal with everything that's falling apart. Its a horrible coping mechanism, an escape from the pain of the past and life in general. I know it's hard, it would have to be. It reduces her anxiety and the pile of problems that are mounting. Its a way to avoid and it's a relief. No wonder she does not think detox and rehab is an option. I hate addiction.

Posted by: samegame October 13, 2019, 2:43 AM
'coping mechanism'

See that word coping alot with addiction. Specifically the lack of coping skills. I think this is one reason people obsess on certain things, topics, issues etc. Throw ordinary personalty traits, the chemical of choice, obsession and personality/person make for hardcore addiction. But one thing can turn into an obsession. Some over think and react to their own thoughts. As you noted she uses the drugs to control those obsessive thoughts. I see it here with his contrived image of always being in the know, right etc. Some say those are self esteem issues. Everyone has issues but most don't force their way of dealing with them on others.

But that all goes back to the op, Independence means not being dependent on what people think or how one views their self. Being independent also means obsessions, emotions don't rule or regulate ones life. An independent person can set those issues aside to be law abiding, respectful, courteous rather than obsess. I think some call it getting their priorities straight. Or living a more "normal" life. That "normal" life should be used as diversion of sorts because if one's primary goal is living a "normal" life rather than dealing/acting on their emotions we all would be much better off.

Posted by: Sallyanna October 13, 2019, 7:58 AM
In Psychology there's an expression 'you have to meet people where they're at' in order to start working with them. You can't meet them where you think they should be or where they should be. Of course, this only applies if they really sincerely want the help.

I think addiction is complicated because there are many, many factors involved. They are all interrelated and one affects another. Plus the brain changes that occur from the drug or drugs involved. Then add in the laws that get broken, jail, homelessness, etc..It's not a pretty picture. In fact, it's a total destruction of self.

As a parent, from my own experience, its a damned if you do and damned if you dont. There's no peace. Its a very sad and pathetic situation to watch and be involved in. I really hate it. I love my daughter I hate her addiction.

Posted by: samegame October 13, 2019, 10:12 AM
-changes from drug-

I think this is a big one. I don't think as much change as exacerbate existing conditions which might have never been an issue.

Not many want to hear to it but the alkie here already had issues/personality traits by the end of high school that show up times 10 as an intoxicated adult. He had attention span and temper issues, always trying to play or beat the system, liked to party then(partially wrong crowd but even they moved on) etc. Then he got in with the wrong crowd as an adult. Found out some people from his early 20s have failed marriages, numerous trips to rehab. Their group culture was 'the party' wether it be bar hopping or sitting around chugging beer. All this validated and entrenched his current behavior. Seniors kept on hoping that the next job or gf would mature him. Long story short a lifetime of being a job or peer group short of sobriety has led to the alcoholic life. He was short because friends, family and himself waited rather than pursue these factors.

Want to note one thing on his early 20s peer group. One of his parents never liked the guy who had the failed marriages and numerous rehab trips. Most others couldn't see it but they kept on saying that guy's trouble and really didn't want him in the house. Even I was fooled. Although never hung out anytime he was around I never picked up on anything. But an old school adult smelled trouble right away. I talked to the parent they just said he's trouble I don't like him. I already knew his peers and culture were trouble but I wish I knew what the parent saw.

But sooner or later the individual has to take responsibility and realize they need to and want to change. All this analysis shouldn't give them a free pass. There are still individuals making decisions here. Sure there are influences like peers, family or the drug and drinking culture itself but it comes back to the individual.

Posted by: Sallyanna October 13, 2019, 11:06 AM
Yes, I agree samegame, it comes down to the individual. The thought of that scares me. However, it's their life. I can make all the suggestions I can...I wish I could change things for her...only she can change. I pray she does.

Posted by: samegame October 13, 2019, 4:34 PM
Sallyanna sounds like you've done all that you can. You don't have to give up on daughter but you can detached and remove yourself from the addict, the life and culture because that is not her or how you brought her up.

To become self sufficient and independent they have to be able to make their own decisions good or bad. I often hear it's not how badly one loses, suffers or get's knocked down it how they recover/get back up-that is the true test/result one should look at. She's still alive so what destroys many hasn't done in her in yet. There is still a chance and may even be a testament to what ever she took from you.

Let's all hope. Lessons to be learned from yourself and her.