Watch out for these 5 subtle signs that you could be dating someone with an active addiction.
Here in the Philippines, the perception of what an addict is, or should be, remains typical–disheveled, broke, and emaciated. However, little do most people know that those who are in active addiction are living highly functional lives, as high-functioning addicts, nonetheless. They live normally on the surface, going to work, are responsible and highly regarded person in their community. But it’s behind closed doors that the monster that is active addiction, or substance use disorder, reveals itself.
When someone you deeply care about has an active addiction, which means they are actively seeking out and fulfilling their addictive behavior, it can be hard to believe. You yourself may be in denial. After all, how someone caring, loving, and amazing be addicted?
Still, reality is, recognizing that someone you’re dating, that person you’ve come to love and adore, has an active addiction isn’t always black and white. Beyond the stereotypes, there are still behavior that you should look out for to see if you’re dating someone with an active addiction, as addiction can be really hard to detect in someone who is highly functional.
5 Subtle Signs You’re Dating Someone with an Active Addiction
1. There’s a disconnect between what they say and what they do. Addicts are wonderful and believable storytellers. Aside from being convincing, you also desperately want to believe them, just to keep up with your ideas of romance and love and being in a relationship with the person. However, addicts are also inconsistent. Their stories may be captivating and you’re impressed, but then, you’ll soon realize how inconsistent their words are to their actions. That’s when you start to notice how they manipulate you and other people. They lie, they put up a facade that is different from what you actually see when it’s just the two of you. Their stories change depending on what’s convenient for them, and you’re in the middle, in a limbo.
2. They’re always financially struggling. While money struggles are normal from time to time, people who are in active addiction will always be in a struggle with money, despite having a good job and a good salary. You may even wonder, “Where do their money go?” There may even come a time when they would borrow money from you, and you wouldn’t expect them to pay you back. Soon enough, you’ll feel you’re starting to be used for your money. Then, all the money that they have are just spent on something mysterious because they’re secretive, and maybe even end up to the point when they start stealing from you.
3. Then there’s the mood swings. They’re fun and loving, and that’s why you fell in love with them in the first place. They listen, they’re entertaining, they are exhilarating. However, when the substances they use as they are in active addiction start to take its toll, their brain chemistry changes, and with this their personality. You’ll see extreme mood swings. When they’re high, it feels like you can both do anything. But when the drug crashes, you bear the brunt of their anger, aggression, depression, and may even become an emotional (if not physical) punching bag.
4. They’ve lost touch with family and friends. While everyone may have family issues here and there, those who are in active addiction may not communicate with their families anymore. They want to avoid the issue, they don’t want their family members to know about their substance addiction, or they’ve had a major falling apart. The same goes with other concerned friends. In fact, you may notice that your partner may just be around people whom you know are also abusing substances such as drugs and alcohol.
5. They won’t admit that there’s a problem. You have expressed your concern about their personality changes, their secretive ways, the lost money, and everything else that seems to be out of the ordinary or dysfunctional. However, they would continue to deny that there’s nothing wrong. This, whenever you call them out or express your concern, can be the start of many quarrels. They would be in denial and defensive, and you end up feeling desperate, confused, resentful, and even end up blaming yourself.
Remember, the longer you are with an addict, the harder it can be to recognize and accept that they have a problem. Don’t let yourself drown in their addiction. Seek your own support system and you can also find help for them.