Living with an active or recovering addict can have its challenges at times. We are all human, and have our good days and bad days. Behaviors learned and adapted during active addiction and drinking mode can spill over and become lifelong habits.

One of these habits may include the need to be at “centerstage.” What I mean by this is, when my alcoholic is having a problem, sometimes his behaviors may seek more attention than is necessary. It can feel like there is a fire, when in reality, it is just a small flame.

So when this happens, I have learned a few tricks up my sleeve to keep going on the path of my own life, giving little to no mind or attention to unnecessary fires.

Here are Seven Things I Do Now When I See Him Begin to Spin and The Addiction Seeks Attention

  1. Breathe. I Just Stop and Take a Breath. I think to myself, “Here we go again. I put my seatbelt on, and sometimes I just brace myself. I reassure myself I will be ok. I am my own best friend.
  1. I Go Immediately to My Plan I Put in Place. I created this plan in my head days or even weeks in preparation for the “next time” his chaotic behavior shows up. Now it’s time to put that plan into action.
  1. I Remember This is on Him. This is his behavior, words, thoughts, and actions. These are reflections of him, and he is making these choices. I have zero control over this.
  1. I Stay in My Lane. I keep the focus on my tasks, what I need and want to do. When the addiction is flailing its arms passing me by, I give it no audience. No attention. To be honest this sometimes works, it sometimes doesn’t. Sometimes this causes the flames to get hotter, higher. But I remain steady in my plan to stay in my own lane. This fortitude and self-discipline are key.
  1. If I Need to, I Call my Mom. I tell her I don’t need her to fix it. I just need to tell someone so I’m not alone. And I know she will listen without judgment.
  1. I Seek Socialization Elsewhere. My social hour is the gym, this is just the consistent spot I’ve picked. I surround myself with people whose behavior I admire and respect. This is good for both my mental, physical, and emotional health.
  1. I Remind Myself That This Too Will Pass. I always remind myself that both the good, and the bad, never last. So enjoy the good, and just get through the bad. I’ve ridden these waves before. I know how to navigate it. So I just manage and move on.

These are just a few things that have helped me manage over the years. If you take even just one or two of them, I promise your days will get brighter and things will feel more in your control when they start spinning.

You should always be center stage in your own life. Even when a fire attempts to burn, you have the power to put it out.