When your addict isn’t feeling well, and his or her mood changes to frustration, anger, or irritability, it can be hard to not take it personally when their mood changes from one second to another.

If you’re the only one sitting next to them, it’s hard to not think, “What did I do?”

The answer, I’m learning, is nothing. 

The addict’s addiction, moods, or mood swings are on them, not on you. 

For many addicts and alcoholics, there is usually some underlying condition that is the main cause of them turning to alcohol. For some depression, others anxiety, or others maybe a mood disorder.

Either way, their condition and their addiction is theirs to own, and theirs alone. 

Just like our role in this disease, whether it be denial, enabling, or codependency~ it is on our shoulders, and it is not about them. It is our responsibility to own our role in this disease, no matter how big or small, and therefore free them from responsibility and attachment to our “stuff.”

So the next time you’re feeling responsible, guilty, or confused when your addict gets lost in their addiction, disease, or underlying condition, know that it has nothing to do with you.

Some things you can actively do to help yourself stay centered and focused on yourself:

  1. Walk away. Literally go take a walk and remove yourself from the sticky situation.

  2. Purchase books that focus on your personal development, keeping the focus on you and bettering yourself. Actually read them instead of keeping them in a pile on your nightstand. And, taking it a step further, put into action the strategies to build on your own personal development.

  3. Practice positive affirmations about yourself when you wake up and before you go to bed. Three things that you like about yourself to keep your thoughts and mind positive within you. 

  4. Work with a therapist to help you define your role in this disease, whether big or small. Acknowledge and accept your role, and work diligently on righting behaviors that need to be changed.

  5. Surround yourself with a community that builds you up, and helps you to become a better version of yourself. Stay committed to taking chances to meet new people. Have the courage to introduce yourself to new, positive relationships. You might surprise yourself with who and what you find.

If you begin with even just one of the strategies above, you will see and feel your life changing for the better. So let’s get started!