Im dating a recovering addict
I feel I owe it to the people I work with in therapy, and others who may be in similar circumstances, to assist with educating the public about narcissistic abuse, so that people can be informed and aware of how to protect themselves in the event they encounter people with narcissistic traits.
The following is an attempt at a primer on such individuals.
Individuals who succeed in getting over the hump of such habit change usually do so by making themselves look ahead to a future and more desirable state which will be the actual and lasting reward of their present, unrewarded efforts.
Everyone knows how difficult it is to do this – and how easy it is to succumb to excuses and rationalizations which permit one to abandon his efforts while managing to save face by telling himself that "I’ll get back to it later" or "Now is not a good time to be doing this – but in the future, when circumstances are more favorable, I will certainly resume my efforts." Addictive thinking is notorious for its smooth and lawyerly ability to "plead its case" and to make the afflicted individual actually believe that he is making a rational decision in his own best interest, when in fact he is simply being yanked around by the addiction like a puppet on a string.
Addictive behavior attempts to repair a state of bad feeling but is a Faustian Bargain that perpetuates itself and often asks the ultimate price.
Addiction can be compared to an unhealthy, fanatical love.
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So just what traits does someone with narcissism have, and what does that person look like in the early stages of dating?Addictive behaviors such as smoking, drinking, drug use, overeating and other "quick fix" maneuvers aimed at rapidly and dramatically changing the individual’s emotional and hedonic state are natural and common targets for resolutions of reform, whether at New Year’s or any other time, to "do better," to "turn over a new leaf" or to "quit once and for all." And even more than in the case of the typical New Year’s resolution, the solemn promise of the substance(alcohol, nicotine, other drugs, food) or process(gambling, spending, sex) addict is well known by just about everyone familiar with such matters to be, more often than not, ‘writ in water.’ In addiction perhaps more than any place else, "The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft aglay." Such natural and only too well justified skepticism about promises of reform on the part of those familiar with the addict does not necessarily include the addict himself, who may fervently and sincerely exclaim "I know I’ve said this before – and I know that you don’t believe me and that you are entitled not to believe me. Or if there is change, it is change for the worse: the addict’s outrageous addictive behavior sometimes seems almost to feed upon and draw nourishment from his passionate promises that "it will never happen again." This phenomenon leaves those who have to deal with the addict in a confused, discouraged, angry and usually depressed state.