Let’s face it—life with an addict is hard. No matter what the outward addiction is, the underlying dynamic of an addict’s life is one of chaos. Addicts who continue to be involved with their own destructive behaviors typically experience many emotional highs and lows, creating a virtual rollercoaster of “pink clouds” followed by severe despondency, remorse, and self-loathing, with every conceivable emotion in between. Unfortunately, if you love an addict, you are likely to experience these highs and lows as well.
For example, many people with addictive behaviors develop health issues over time for a variety of reasons. These could be the result of either the physical strain of eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia, the misuse of toxic substances such as alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes; or the enduring stress they experience from feeling the shame of engaging in such dysfunctional activities as compulsive over-spending, gambling, or Internet addiction.
In many cases, financial difficulties also arise, which can have far-reaching implications. When addicts feed their addiction, they may forget to feed their families. They may also overlook important financial concerns such as paying the rent or the mortgage. Budgets fly out the window, over-spending often becomes the norm, and monetary mayhem ensues. For someone who cares for an addict, this chaos can feel as though it is ruining your life.