Addicts will break your heart, steal your money, con you into rescuing them and wreak havoc with your lifestyle. They can be sneaky, crafty and controlling one minute and affectionate, witty and devoted the next. A person in a relationship with an addict often feels helpless, guilty and ashamed. They wonder if they are being disloyal, or crazy even, to think that someone they love is an addict. It is common to doubt, question and deny the things that are happening right before your eyes, and even more common to cower before the wrath of a questioned addict. Johns Hopkins University Hospital has developed a 20-question test to help you determine if you are in a relationship with an addict. Be as honest as you can in answering these questions.
Three or more "yes" answers means there is definitely a problem and it is not you. However you need help to deal with it because it is much bigger and more powerful than you. Seek Al-anon, Codependents Anonymous, Gam-anon, or counseling. This could be a life or death situation. Your life. Your death.
Evelyn Leite MHR, LPC, is the author of Saving Face Through Surrender and Grace, a guide for Codependents. She has also authored a number of other books and articles on dealing with addiction, abuse, grief and codependency.
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