When you get married, dealing with the aftermath of a childhood with addicted parents is probably one of the last things you think you’ll be doing for your spouse. Especially if your new husband or wife is not an addict themselves. However, the effects can run deep, and often require a lot of patience and work on the part of both halves of the couple.
First things first, you’ll want to understand what growing up with parents with substance abuse issues is like. Just because your spouse has a parent with addiction, does not mean that they themselves have a mental illness. They are still dealing with the repercussions of a difficult childhood fraught with instability. These effects often run deep throughout your partner’s entire life. As a child, they may have experienced some social issues, depression and low self-esteem. Growing up in a family dynamic where fear and anxiety have a regular presence has a profound effect on how romantic relationships develop in adulthood.
The fall can be a wonderful time of year, but it brings with it the looming specter of winter with its shorter days and colder weather. It can be a difficult time of year for people with seasonal affective disorder, and people with depression often struggle during the winter months as well. If you have problems with addiction, these seasonal blues can be especially difficult.
If you have a history of addiction, the winter blues could potentially lead to relapse. A relapse prevention plan is an important part of recovery, and it’s important to be more diligent when the risks are higher. Fortunately, there are a variety of measures you can take to help offset the effect of the change in seasons and help prevent depression from worsening or a seasonal depression from taking hold.
Taking Care of Yourself
It seems pretty simple, but self-care goes beyond the basics when you’re coping with addiction.
If you’re suffering from survivor’s guilt, you may feel the need to regain control but aren’t sure how. Though challenging, it’s certainly worth the effort to repair the pain in your heart. You can find support and strengthen yourself.
What Is Survivor’s Guilt?
If you’ve never heard the term “survivor’s guilt” before, you’re not alone. The condition is not discussed frequently enough. Simply put, it’s a condition where you feel sad and possibly even to blame for surviving an incident others did not make it out of.
You might be experiencing it as a result of a military encounter, where others in your group died and you escaped unscathed. You might also have developed survivor’s guilt from a civilian circumstance. For example, you might have been caught up in the middle of criminal activity where others were killed by the perpetrator, but you weren’t.
Addiction recovery stirs up many emotions, but one common emotion people with addiction feel is fear. The idea of giving up the substance that has become such an important part of life leaves many unknowns. The potential for a negative outcome is what often causes fear in people facing addiction recovery. In essence, you fear what might happen, not what is actually happening to you. While fear can have a negative impact on the process, managing fear in recovery is possible with healthy coping methods.
Definition of Fear
What is fear? You know it when you feel it, but putting fear into words is more of a challenge. Fear ranges from feelings of uneasiness to complete and overwhelming anxiety, and it can cause panic and stress. Fear relates to your concerns about the future. It is an emotion that causes distress over the possibility of pain, danger or other negative outcomes.