When a person is an alcoholic, for example, and is trying to hide an addiction from associates, family, and friends, everyday he/she learns to become more and more adept at becoming deceptive. His/her behavior becomes intricately weaved into his/her addiction until even he/she can’t tell the difference between a cover-up and the truth.
If you have ever spent a day with an addict and didn’t know you were doing so, you may never know that the person is suffering from a behavior problem. But, if you are privy to the knowledge that this person is an addict, and then spend that same, exact day with the person, you can see signs all around him/her that point to the addiction.
I had an interesting talk with a friend today about this very subject. We were discussing how both of us have been fooled in the past by addictive behavior. She shared that there were signs all over the place that would reflect alcoholism in a past work associate. He had shaky hands. He sweated profusely under no signs of duress. And he consistently left early from work, apparently before the time he began to drink, which was early evening.
My friend is very bright and thought that her associate was showing signs of low blood sugar. This is actually the case when one is having DTs from alcohol. Low blood sure is one of the signs.
But her associate never even mentioned for an entire year—not once—about ever having a drink. So, being a rational, deductive person, my friend never assumed anything was out of the unordinary, until circumstances changed. When work started to enter into the path of the associate’s drinking, a problem started to erupt. When the he had to stay past the time he could endure not having a drink, he had a sudden breakdown and actually showed up drunk. So, after an entire year of working closely, it took that long for a very intelligent woman to see that her closest associate, whom she entrusted with large amounts of money and very expensive materials, was an alcoholic.
In my case it had been a couple of people. I once lived with a roommate in NYC who seemed like the nicest guy in the world. Until, one day I discovered that I was missing money. More than just once, chunks of money were gone from my wallet. Then my roommate, who had a good job, didn’t have the money to pay his portion of the rent. When confronted with the issue, he became belligerent. Of course, by that time, six months into the roommate situation, I realized there was a drug problem.
The other situation I had was a person I was dating. He was a binge cocaine addict. This kind of addiction is the hardest addiction to detect. When people can go months without using, then suddenly disappear and you can’t find them for three days, you know there is a serious problem. They often come clean and say they will never use again, but that is not the case. Binge addiction is addiction nonetheless and needs to be treated like common addiction. When this happens just weeks before you are planning to move together, it is even a worse problem.
Detecting deception when it comes to addiction is one of the hardest things that you can ever go through as a parent, a partner, or a friend. One thing you have to realize is that the addiction—the disease—is causing the deception and not the person who you love in your life. Still, that doesn’t make anything easier in the truth bearing and the putting up safety barriers around your self to protect from more lies and more deception.
Honestly, if I had it to do all over again, I would stay away from anyone who was in the midst of addiction if I could avoid it. Anyone who must bear this burden carries the toughest of heartache as they move through the selfishness and the lies to the last ditch efforts to have any relationship at all. Parents usually find themselves in this situation more than anyone. It’s much easier to leave in any other relationship. But parents tend to hold themselves responsible for the problem and stay until the child sometimes commits suicide or robs them blind. I have seen few kids come completely clean. Most parents have regretfully had to put distance between themselves and their children after numerous attempts to help and voluminous amounts of money spent on treatment.
Playing hardball doesn’t even begin to describe what you must do to take care of yourself and put a person on the road to recovery.
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Bo Sebastian is a Hypnotherapist and Life & Health Coach, available for private sessions to QUIT SMOKING, Lose Weight, New Lap-Band Hypnosis for Weight Loss, CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR LIFE! at 615-400-2334 or www.bosebastian.com.
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