How often have you been disappointed by the addict in your life?
With addiction comes disappointment. The promises broken far outweigh the promises kept.
When you live with an addict or an alcoholic do not rely on them to keep their promises. For the addict will always disappoint you even if they sound sincere, the further they get into their addiction or alcoholism the less the promise means and the more disappointed you become. It is truly a viscious cycle. So how do you deal with the disappointment? How do you manage being disappointed all the time when you are in a relationship with someone or have a family member who is an addict or an alcoholic? There is no easy answer and there is no one answer that is suited for every person out there in this situation.
What worked for me was simple. I had to lower my expectations. I was so tired of being disappointed and feeling let down all the time. I had to learn how to stop expecting promises be fulfilled. I had to stop believing in the person that I once trusted completely.
It might sound callous, but I had to do this to protect myself, to protect my heart, to protect my sanity. I had to let my loved one go and do what they need to do and stop focusing on them. I learned how to stop wondering if they were going to come through with the twenty dollars they owed me or if they're going to be home for dinner or if they're going to pick up the kids at school because more likely than not, if I did I would be let down again and again.
Have a back-up plan. Always have a backup plan, for everything. The plan does not need to be elaborate. Simply prepare for the "what if". If you need to get the kids at school and you expect your loved one to do it, have a back-up plan. Be prepared to do it yourself or have your neighbor on standby or grandma or whoever but have some Plan B ready to set into action because the addict will forget that they have commitments.
If you're going to loan your loved money don't expect it back. If they return it that's great, if they don't then you're not disappointed.
Addiction drives the addict to say whatever they need to in order to get to their drug of choice, whether that's coke, heroin, or alcohol, they will manipulate you and promise you the moon until you give in. The substance abuser can be relentless in their manipulations. They will sound sincere and they cry and they beg and they plead, but in the end all they have to offer are broken promises, empty dreams, and disappointment.
You see I learned the hard way. I expected too much from someone who could offer too little during their addiction. I expected them to participate in the relationship when they could not. I expected this person to be a provider of support, a lover, and a friend, but he could not be those things to me. His addiction became his mistress and that was his sole focus. No matter how many times I expected so-called normal behavior from him I would always be let down. The best way to not be let down time after time is do not focus on the addict. Do not expect normal behavior from the addict. You must find ways to live your own life, fulfill your own goals, and live your dreams without relying on that person to help you through it or be a part of it. The addiction will always be their mistress and they will always seek her out until they get help.
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