Category Archives: Jekyll and Hyde Series

Living With Jekyll and Hyde – Keep Yourself Healthy

In my first post in this category, I listed this bullet point as “Eat Right and Walk For Your Physical and Mental Health.

I wish I had understood this better when my dad was alive.

He was always on my case about my weight.  I wasn’t really that overweight and it was more just baby fat, but he used what he knew I was most self conscious about against me.  Then my ex-husband took over where my dad left. Continue reading Living With Jekyll and Hyde – Keep Yourself Healthy

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Living with Jekyll and Hyde – Get Educated

Is Addiction Really a Disease? | Psychology Today.

I start this weeks post on Getting Educated on addiction with an article by Lance Dodes, M.D.

He has written several books on the topic under the premiss that addiction is not a disease, but a symptom.  I haven’t read his books, but I was impressed with this article.

I have been saying that addiction is not a disease for years.  I have had the opportunity to talk with hundreds of people suffering from addiction.  I have felt that the problem is just a symptom of  depression or a low self esteem which is a precursor to depression.  It  often leads to suicide because “self medicating” just didn’t work and things kept getting worse.

40 years ago the medical industry decided that addiction was a disease.  I think that was a mistake.  It gave addicts an out or an excuse as to why they have the problem and since it has no “cure” they often give up trying to get the problem under control.

Now this being said, I don’t believe that by being educated on the “disease” as it is labeled or “situation” as I like to call it, will give you the tools to make your loved one change.  It won’t.  That is completely up to your loved one.

Only you know, if it is possible, to feed your loved one the information on how to get help.  I have found it can be a dangerous thing to offer that help.  I must be a glutton for punishment though, because I keep on sending it their way.  You never know when the timing might be right and they will welcome your help.

I want you to be educated on what the symptoms are, what kind of support is available, and how to know if it is out of control.  There comes a time when we do have to step in and a time to back off.

I don’t believe that an addict is unable to control themselves.  I don’t believe an addict is a selfish self centered person…..all the time.  I don’t believe that we are responsible for their recovery.  I do believe, that they can overcome the addiction and we just have to love them for who they are behind the addiction.

I mentioned that I have spoken to hundreds of addicts.  I am not exaggerating.  I am glad to say that a good portion of those addicts were “recovering”.  I am one of them.

I didn’t meet these people in an AA program.  I was able to do it on my own.  I found that MOST of them had tried AA or similar programs and it didn’t work for them.   What does work……well a true desire to be done with the agony of the addiction.

For those of us living with Jekyll and Hyde it is important to understand what they are going through, but even more important to protect ourselves.

Educate yourself on local support groups for you.  Find out how others have not only survived in the same situation, but found a way to thrive.  You can’t just ignore the monster and expect to be ok.  It is there and until your loved one takes control, it will try to take over your life.

You CAN have a good life.  You DO DESERVE to be happy.  Don’t let the monster control your happiness.  That is yours to find and nourish.

The Best thing YOU CAN do for the monster is to stay happy and be the example of what a good life can bring.  Be the light and beacon so your loved one sees the way out of addiction….all on their own.

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Living With Jekyll and Hyde – Find A Support System

This week we are talking about a support system.

The first thing you need to determine is what kind of support system will work for you.  Do you have an abuse issue,  a substance abuse issue, will a therapist work for you or do you just need a friend who will listen and not judge?

Once you determine what kind of support you need, the next step is to do your research. What is available to people and families in your situation?    Start by asking people, who are in the same situation as you are, what they do to get advice.

If it is a physically abusive situation, contact your local battered woman’s shelter or clergy.  You don’t have to tell them who you are or be a member of a church to find the information you are looking for.

If it is a substance abuse issue, the local AA or NA                                               ( Alcoholics Anonymous  or Narcotics Anonymous) can refer you to their family support groups.  You can usually find support groups for all kinds of situations if you contact your local hospitals and do a simple google search.  There are many colleges that even allow groups to meet on their campus and supply meeting times and contact information.

You may need to try several options before you find the one where you feel comfortable.  That is key!  This is about you and getting you some help to find a source of strength and comfort.

You may find that your support doesn’t even know that is what they are.  For example, a group of people you play a sport with, meet once a month for lunch, or just hang out with.

Sometimes, all we need is a friend.  We just need to get our feelings out in the open with no advice or judgement.  So how do we do that?

Friends are your best support system.  Friends care.  Friends listen and friends find a way to help you be happy.  If you don’t have many friends, now is the time to develop new friendships.

Join a sport activity, a book club, or take a course at the local college. In other words get out there and meet new people that have a similar interest.  I need to stress here, that whatever you do, it needs to be open and honest and not something you have to hide or that by doing it you could hurt someone else.

A support system, does just that….supports you in what you are doing.  It doesn’t tell you what to do, it is just there to give you strength and comfort.

The best way to have a support system or “unit” is to be part of it and offer support to the others in the unit as well.

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Living With Jekyll and Hyde – Take Time For You

This week I am going to cover the topic of Taking Time For You.

I am going to spend a lot of time on this post because I find it to be the most important.  It actually leads us into several of the next weeks topics.

When you live with a Jekyll and Hyde, you seem to take the back seat to all the drama and emotion.  Your wants and needs are often the topic of ridicule or you may  be made to feel that you and your needs are not important.  That is soooo not true! Continue reading Living With Jekyll and Hyde – Take Time For You

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