Addicts and manipulation go hand in hand. Family members of addicts cannot see how powerful the manipulation is because they have hope the addict can change on their own. The family does not want it to be so “hard” on the addict. Drug addicts do a great job in selling everyone “hope” that they will one day be better.
Addicts manipulate their family and friends by convincing them they can fix the problem by going to meetings, seeing a doctor, or promising they will just stop using. How many times have you believed they “mean it this time?” They are so good at selling hope they even can sell it to themselves.
However, most addicts believe the problem is with everyone else. They are in denial of the truth. The truth being, the addict is stubborn, self-centered, self-absorbed, and takes no accountability for their own actions. They blame their problems on everything and everyone else. It is very rare to see an addict take ANY responsibility for their actions or usage without the proper rehabilitation. Addicts actually believe that if everyone would just act the way they want all would be well with the world.
Substance abusers are always looking for instant gratification which involves the path of least resistance. Drug and alcohol addicts are almost always willing to do the easiest, shortest treatment they can do and usually want to do it close to home. They convince their family that they can beat the addiction with the least level of care such as outpatient, doctors, psychiatrist, or meetings. Again, I ask, how many times have you believed they “mean it this time” only to be disappointed with another broken promise?
Let’s face reality. The addict is the least qualified person to make any decision in regards to their treatment or diagnosis. The addict’s idea of “fixing” the issue thus far has been to self-medicate with drugs and/or alcohol. Allowing an addict to manipulate the situation leads to a more serious problem because this is one of the many reasons why they chose their drug of No Choice. (The reason why I call it the drug of NO CHOICE verses the drug of choice, as others refer to it as, is there is a physical dependency along with a mental one for the addict.) They DO NOT have a choice whether to use drugs or not. If you know of someone that has an addiction, stop allowing them to control the situation. Would you allow a cancer patient to diagnose themselves, take the least aggressive path or refuse treatment altogether? Addiction is a disease that requires aggressive treatment.
As a recovered alcoholic myself, I was great at manipulating everyone around me. It is through “true love” that sanity was restored in my life. It is often talked about as “tough love”; however, I believe it is better said as true love. Restoring the power to the people most afflicted by the addicts destructive behavior is the beginning of the healing process. Do not allow an addict to manipulate you and control your family.
If drug intervention is not sought for the family, the addict will continue to manipulate the family and get deeper into their addiction. We at HEALing sea turtle often hear, “They will never go for it and we can’t make them go”. It is important to understand that an addiction intervention is far easier with a professional because the interventionist will teach the family to recognize all of the addict’s manipulations.
Don’t wait until tomorrow because the reality of it is, tomorrow never comes for the addict.