Learning how to deal with reality is the most important first step in “surviving” when you love an addicted person. Although it may seem easier to stay in the “fantasy space” where you can continue to believe that things are going to magically get better, there is no such magic. Things will not get better just because you wish they would.
Coming face-to-face with reality means accepting that parts of your life may be out of control as a result of loving someone who is engaging in addictive behaviours. These addictions can include mind-altering substances such as drugs and alcohol, as well as mood-altering addictions such as eating disorders, compulsive over-spending, smoking, being “glued” to the internet, gambling or codependency in relationships.
You may be feeling a constant, gnawing worry that you live with every day. You may find yourself being asked for money often, and feeling guilty if you say no. Perhaps you are watching everything you say and do, in order to “keep peace” in your home and not make the addict angry. Or you may be asked to do favours for the addict on a consistent basis, such as watching their children or doing their errands, and you may not know how to say no.