By Cheryl Steinberg
It’s true, when it comes to our loved ones, addiction is a maddening disease that causes frustration to the point of anger. You’ve heard it, “Throw them all in jail” or “put them all on an island” so that they can destroy each other. The glaring problem with that is that there will always be more addicts. I always say, if you go into business, make it a funeral home or else a rehab because there will always be people dying and there will always be addicts.
All of us in our active addiction – whether we’re willing to be honest with ourselves or not – did some pretty terrible things so, it’s no wonder that people become fed up and angry when dealing with an addicted loved one. Here are 10 reasons addicts make people so angry.
#1. Being lied to
Addicts lie. Plain and simple. It might be about where they were last night or what they did that day. And, when it comes to borrowing money (see#9), addicts will fabricate some of the most creative and detailed lies. You know the joke, Q: How can you tell when a politician is lying? A: His lips are moving. Well, the same can be said about someone who is actively abusing substances.
#2. Being stolen from
Addicts also sink to pretty low lows and do things that even go against their own value system, such as steal from their loved ones and strangers. The desperation that comes with full-blown addiction will lead many an addict to steal money and valuables from friends and family in order to support their habit.
#3. They continue to use even when you’ve expressed concern
You constantly wonder, “Why can’t they just stop?” For many non-addicts (“normies”), it’s difficult to grasp the concept of addiction and just how intense the obsessive thoughts and compulsion to use can be. To many, addiction is a matter of willpower; not a disease that needs treatment and recovery support.
#4. Their sense of entitlement
Often times, addicts are quite immature in their thinking because their emotional age is that of the age when they first started using. So, for example, a 50 year old alcoholic who started drinking at 14 pretty much thinks and acts like a 14 year old. And, just like most adolescents, they usually have a certain sense of entitlement, thinking that they have something owed to them because their life is so terrible. It’s no wonder addicts make people so angry.
#5. They use in front of their loved ones, even their children
Another one of the reasons addicts make people so angry is that they drink and use drugs in front of their concerned loved ones and, if they have children, they might even use in front of them, too. And, if they are still hiding their use, they still come around all high and messed up, which tends to aggravate people.
#6. They cause you constant concern and worry
As the friend, family member, spouse, or otherwise loved one of an addict who still uses, their self-inflicted problems will cause you to worry about them. This sort of thing tends to frustrate and anger people. This can develop into resentment for how selfish (see #8) they seem to be acting – constantly using and even flaunting their use.
#7. They relapse again and again
For the loved ones of an addict who is a chronic relapser, the repeated cycle of them getting clean – which gives you hope – only to relapse again, is like being on an emotional rollercoaster for our loved ones. When people are made to feel such emotional highs and lows, they can certainly become angry and resentful of what you keep putting them through.
#8. They’re selfish
When addicts lie to and steal from you, it’s hard not to take it personally. They seem so selfish in their actions because they’ll do anything for that next fix even if it’s at the expense of others. Related to this is another way addicts make people so angry in that when they end up in the hospital or dead from an overdose, we think, “how selfish!”
#9. They ask you for money and never pay you back
If they’re not stealing money from you, they’re constantly asking you to “loan” them some. And by that, I mean, they expect you to give them money; they rarely – if ever – pay it back.
#10. Their extreme denial
How infuriating is it to watch someone run around in circles in their addiction and be able to get them to see what you see?! It’s maddening and frustrating to be the only to see that someone you know and love has a real problem of which you cannot convince them.
If you or someone you love is dealing with an addict and you don’t where to turn, there is help available to you and them. Call us toll-free at 1-800-951-6135 to speak directly with an Addiction Specialist to learn about ways to cope, support groups, and how you can help the addict in your life. You are not alone and help is available. Call day or night.