“I CAN HANDLE IT”

These are the four fatalistic words spoken by an alcoholic who is absolutely drunk…

And these are the very four words that more often than not take him to the grave.

“ I am sorry I will not do it again ..” after breaking the furniture for the umpteenth time the night before after getting drunk

“ He forced me to have a drink.. it is after all his birthday… I only had two.”

“  How can I not drink/use drugs… I was neglected as a child, my parents were never there when I was growing up… “ how old am I today? 30

“ I promise I will stop drinking from tomorrow itself.. today  I am feeling a little disturbed .. I need it.”

“  If you do not allow me too drink I will jump from the balcony”

“ I love you only, I will not look at another female..”  a guy high on drugs to his wife before calling his girlfriend after a minute.

“ Marijuana is not a drug . It is a herb , it is not addictive, it is legal in many countries in the world.”  A student who is stoned the entire day, grades are dropping and has auditory hallucinations as a consequence of using weed.

“ I will drink only 2 drinks today.. not more” this after having downed 4 drinks before coming home and kept 4 at the bar counter to gulp apart from the two had with the spouse.

“I can quit anytime”  “ I am not an alcoholic because I don’t drink since morning “  “ I don’t drink hard liquor hence I am not a alcoholic.”

“If you did not fight wth me so much I would not drink “ “ you never appreciate me hence I took to drinks” “She broke my heart.. what could I do but drink?”

“You need treatment not me”

“ I cannot go to a rehab now, I have my business to look after, my children need me”

Sound familiar ?

How many times have you been caught in these web of apologies promises emotional blackmails et al…..  all  the web of manipulations spread by the person suffering from addiction . .

As a doctor I have seen clients of cirrhosis of the liver with fluid filling in their abdomen and vomiting blood and telling me I will be fine … I am waiting to attend the New Years bash at so n so’s place … it will be rocking! …. n soon drinking again without accepting help and not living to see the new year in . This is where the manipulation of the person addicted kills him …

By being socially manipulative they manage to keep their relationships alive on false promises, persuading partners to take on their responsibilities and take care of them . Plans and family outings  are made around using .. lies and deceptions and excuses made in order to drink/ use.  Many times parents and spouses even comply and get the alcohol and drugs themselves to prevent a fight or thinking if he/she uses at home he/she will remain safe . Thus the family unwittingly ends up enabling the addict .

Many times the addict starts believing his own fabricated stories which makes things worse as the lines between truth and falsehood blur.

The person risks reaching a state of mind in which the lying , making up stories and conniving are not considered wrong and seem to be a natural way of thinking and behaving. The masks become one with the face.

Causes of manipulation

– Controlling those around

– Thinking that one will not be accepted or loved if one does not control

– Attention seeking

– All these lies and manipulations are to protect, guard, progress one’s usage of alcohol and drugs and throw a smokescreen on the same.

Consequences of manipulative behaviors

–  Loved ones around soon cry wolf as they see through the lies and deception

– The person addicted to alcohol/ drugs soon finds oneself isolated from friends , social dos and family and gets trapped in his/her own self deceptions and lies.

– The disease of addiction progresses as the person addicted keeps putting up blocks and obstacles in seeking or getting help through these manipulations.

Ways to avoid being manipulated for the co dependent

– You are not responsible for the drinking /using of the person addicted to the substance nor are you responsible to get him to stop doing so.

– From your own experiences with the person suffering from addiction identify and recognize when you have been manipulated.

– Realize you have the right to say no without feeling guilty even if made to feel so

-You are not responsible for keeping the addict happy so if you see the person being extremely polite to someone then in a split second being extremely rude and abrupt you are witness to classic manipulation . Keep a safe separation and detachment for your self preservation

–  If something unreasonable is being asked of you question it and probe and ask questions thus showing the mirror to the person addicted to the substance. If the person is a bit aware will realize that their manipulation has been seen through.

– Avoid self blame

Treatment

In treatment in order to get beyond one’s manipulative behavior

– Residential alcohol/drug rehab stay

– A treatment program that involves acceptance, inclusion, counseling, meditative techniques and other alternate therapies to enable the person addicted to identify, admit, accept and work introspectively towards taking responsibility of one’s actions and get beyond them thereby leading a joyful, honest full life not finding the need to use any alcohol/drugs.

Addiction to alcohol/drugs is literally a life or death situation. The manipulations , lies and deceptions are primarily self directed and are cries for help. By the time usage reaches addiction, the alcohol and drugs hijack the individual physically, mentally and spiritually.  Professionals who have the experience in treatment that is voluntary can facilitate the person into receiving help.

Reach out. Help is available.

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