Not the Normal Faces of Addiction

There is a specific feel in most messages about addiction and what the addicts’ life is like. It’s filled with despair, a lack of ability to function, damaged relationships, loss of family, work, homes, and life itself. And while these are all unfortunately very real issues faced by addicts with high severity there are still so many other faces of addiction that deserve acknowledgment. You may even be able to identify with one or more of them.

I’m talking about that attentive mother who has it all together. She makes every school function and every practice. Always has meals ready and keeps the house in order. Yet what nobody, I mean nobody knows is that in her gym bag she keeps a daily supply of small white wine bottles for drinking during the day while everyone is gone. Never noticeably intoxicated- well at least not until after she has had a few with dinner – claiming it must have gone to her head because she didn’t eat enough.

Maybe she doesn’t drink or use pills to manage her mindset during the day. Instead, when she goes out for those daily three items the kids needed for school or were missing from the pantry she has to hide or justify the 15 plus other items she felt in the moment were necessary.

Even more discreet is the use and meaning hid around food. When something good happens there is always a treat to be had. Same for when something has gone bad. Every gettogether is centered around munching on something. In fact, if you think about it food is a top topic of conversation always and eating is always happening- even when nobody is looking.

And finally, what about the mom who is super fit, always body conscious. Yet when she indulges she goes big. Before a function, she must shop for all new everything. At the party, she got blackout drunk. Ate at least two of everything. Talked about and said things she never would normally. And for two days after was seemingly angry or depressed. Perhaps even admitted to feeling embarrassed.

These faces of addiction don’t fit the standard treatment models. They are functioning, their lives are not in a shambles, they don’t need to leave for 30-90 days or attend group therapy 3 days a week to talk about cravings. They need help understanding themselves. They need guidance and support to help guide them toward making the little shifts that will correct the inappropriate and impulsive decision making. They need educated answers to why their perceptions are skewed differently so they can identify where modifications need to be made. The list goes on and on. But truly equates to developing effective life skills to empower and improve their quality of life.

If you identify with any version of this blog, I get you. I understand exactly where you are. I lived my own versions of these scenarios in multiple renditions for 30 years. Let me show you how I was able to change my life without completely changing my life. How I have found complete content with just being exactly who I am with authenticity and integrity.

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