How Addiction Works

It isn’t just the addict

Photo by Myriam Zilles on Unsplash

Reading on Medium, I am very aware that some people have had a family member who is or was an addict. Drugs and alcohol are the usual, although nicotine is the most addictive substance.

I seem to attract addicts. Usually alcoholics who are not quite there yet. Maybe it’s because I have no addictions, maybe it’s because I am a “strong person” according to my friends.

Addiction starts the first time a lie is told in order to obtain the drink or drug. The lie may be about staying longer at school or work, going to the gym or meeting a friend. Lies will become normal for the addict. Deception is part and parcel of addiction.

The second thing that happens is that someone covers for the person who is becoming addicted. They rationalize, make excuses, or confirm the lie. They do this, not realizing how dangerous their complicity is. They have no idea about addiction.

Addiction is a family disease.

  • This pattern carries on, possibly periodically at first. Other times it is continuous.
  • After a while, others adapt to the behavior and treat it as normal. We call these people codependent. The need of the “normal” to continue. They are unwilling to address it or even notice.
  • We call the people who cover for the addict “enablers”.

All the while, the addiction is growing and more people cover for the addict, accept the behavior, or deny to themselves that it is going on. The addict, above all, denies their problem.

With alcohol, the person is seen as a party person, drinking more than others. In time, they hide alcohol in different places.

With drug addiction, the addict gathers phone numbers of dealers and friends who will supply what they require. A network begins.

While this is going on, the people who don’t knowthe addict well will believe the lies and be unaware of the deceptions. If asked for a tiny loan, they will give it but never see their money again. People will like the addict, become friends and buy them drinks as they never seem to have enough money for one.

Alcoholics will empty dregs from glasses at bars or beer gardens into one glass and drink it. They can hide their drinking by having places to hide it or people who will supply it. The same goes with drugs.

If an addict ever reaches the point that they want to stop, the whole family will need help. There are many behaviors that need to changeThe lies need to stop. Patterns that formed must be broken. It is a long process.

By this time, at least one family member will have estranged. Sometimes it is the addict, other times the one who could see what was happening. Friends will feel anger, relief, surprise, all sorts of feelings.

The hardest thing is the denial of the family. They will not believe the truth. They choose to believe the lies.


My Connection With Eric Clapton

He looked wonderful that night

Photo by Gabriel Gurrola on Unsplash

Some years ago, my husband and I were both plus ones at Eric Clapton’s New Year’s party. (I can’t tell you where it was as I’d have to kill you…) I wasn’t driving anyway, so didn’t take much notice. But I know where it was.

Sorry, I can’t remember what I wore at all. Safe to say, it was probably red or blue. They are my go to colors. Hmmm, might have been purple.

There were quite a number of people, I happened to know a few who were not my husband and our friends. We were seated at round tables of eight people.

Strangely, after about half an hour, the fire alarm went off, and no, I did not do that. We all thronged at the door, waiting to go through like liquid through a narrow bottleneck.

We were chatting and wondering aloud what if it were a real fire. Then I felt a hand take my right hand. I paused. My husband was on my left, my hand on his elbow. Who would be so bold??

I looked at my hand as if to check it really belonged to me. Yep, it was mine and a large hand was holding it. My eyes followed the upward path of wrist, jacket sleeve, and a long way up to the connected shoulder. It was a tall man whoever it was. Then my eyes reached the face.

Eric Clapton was smiling down at me.

His steel rimmed spectacles, and that smile. Slightly crooked. The smile reached his eyes. The effect was gentle and inviting.

My husband’s elbow pulled me forward a pace or two. Eric did not immediately release his hold. He stepped forward, and then I think someone on his right started talking to him, and the hand hold became more of a fingers touching sort of thing,

I lost touch of him with next pace forward. His fingers dropped mine.

Later that year, we were visiting my Uncle and Auntie. My Auntie loves pop music, so I mentioned that we had been to Eric Clapton’s New Year’s Eve party.

Auntie Jen didn’t bat an eyelid. “I used to play with him” she responded. “I pushed him around in a pushchair”.

Turns out they both spent their childhoods in a village ten miles from their home. She was a year older and they played together. Hear that, y’all? My relative by marriage played with a rock star!

A few years ago, that Auntie died of a major heart attack. The funeral was in the village where she grew up. My daughter and I arrived a bit early and decided to wander around the graveyard.

The mausoleum to Connor Clapton is there. It is massive. It speaks loudly of grief and wealth. Eric’s little boy who fell from a balcony.

Here is the song Eric wrote for Connor;


Mid December…

Yesterday the pain in my shoulder was really bad, so I contacted a friend and told him I wouldn’t be able to go with him to an event today. Then last night, I felt so much better I arranged to go again. This morning I woke, did some stuff and then contacted David again to say I wouldn’t be coming after all. I feel rubbish. The irritation on my face has broken out again. I can’t explain how low it makes me feel.

I always do feel blue in the weeks before Christmas, except for when my daughter was younger. I watch the sun rise and set in the same place, and the knowledge that the days will soon start getting longer comforts me.

This time last year, I was grief stricken after the death of my sister, and then my dog. And I was involved with man who would turn out to be the cause of so many negative things in my life. This year, 2019, has been an awful year on the whole.

So I haven’t done anything I had planned this weekend. I had wanted to get German food for Christmas – cakes and biscuits. Traditional at this time of year. I haven’t spoken to anyone except on the phone.

I don’t know if I will post a blog again this year. I just want to spend time with my daughter and friends, my chosen family.


I had wanted to write about my ex husband. I don’t want to name him for lots of reasons, but mainly because he has remained single and when I see him looks unkempt.

We married for love, we really did love each other a great deal. Things started to go wrong when I was expecting my daughter. He changed completely. Once he deliberately knocked me to the floor. Thankfully, I landed on my back so Lara was not harmed. Another time, he was cross with me and pushed me onto our bed and started bouncing me up and down. I was terrified.

After our baby was born, he believed everyone’s opinion about babies except mine. And my friends began noticing how he undermined me and my maternal instincts. By the time my daughter was two, I had to divorce him. I did not want my daughter with unhappy parents.


Looking forwards…

To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

In the last few weeks I have found myself looking at property in the nearby towns. I found a wonderful apartment with a South facing balcony looking toward the beach. The trouble is one has to go up an external flight of stairs, and then some internal steps to access it. This would be difficult with shopping. And there would be nowhere to charge my trolley. I would be nearer to some friends, further away from others, but could get to more poetry events and other gigs more easily.

This desire is what we would term a ‘geographical’- moving in order to change ones life when in fact one’s life goes there too. Wherever you go, there you are.

I have been feeling like this because of the wind chimes that are so badly affecting my health. I have been in so much pain that I literally jump when there is a spike of pain. And I wince, which is hard to hide. My neighbours are very unpleasant people as they know I am caused pain. Their letting agent couldn’t care less as they have a low opinion of me because of the malicious lies told by the female previous tenant. If only I had not dropped my complaint to the police about Ebsworth’s sexual assaults. I would never have fallen for him.

He said to me recently ‘we have nothing in common’. We do. We had a relationship that was mainly each other’s company and very little intimacy. We talked, we laughed, we enjoyed each other. And then he and the person he shares an address with did a geographical.

I will not be moving. My home is filled with memories and I still need to keep sorting through my late sister’s possessions and my Dad’s possessions. It’s hard to let go, but in the end they are only things. I will continue to sell and take items to charity shops.

It’s hard being the last of my nuclear family which I grew up in. I would give so much to go back in time, but that kind of think achieves nothing. When ever I am writing and I have a brown bang of nuts and dried fruit in my line of vision, I think it is my dog. It’s a continual reminder of him.

Ebsworth threw his family away. His Dad won’t speak to him because he has told stories about himself that happened to his brother, and because he left a long term relationship to be with malice. He gave his dog, Sprock. He’s not sure if his brother has a child. He does. Her name is Ruby.

How does someone just give up one’s roots? I feel rootless, having lived in so many places, but I have loved my family and been there with them when they needed me. I have supported my cousin who lives at the other end of the country. We are in close touch.

I don’t know what will happen about my health. If the wind chimes don’t come down soon, I can’t imagine my future. The pain and the medicine I take alter who I am. I become irritable and short tempered, and sometimes appear rude. I hate this. I am not that person. It shows how much the environment can affect a person. And medicinal chemicals acting on the brain. Some of you may remember my rash on my face in the summer. That’s what caused me to look at the information sheet in the box, It was a side effect together with aggression. (I was never aggressive, just said very odd things that made my friends wonder if I was O.K.

So I continue on this journey with my diagnoses, and be as brave as I can. I know a lot of people care about me. I wish that many of them weren’t on other continents.

The press got me nowhere. They didn’t mention my petition and the lack of background information made me sound like a whinging woman. I have lodged a complaint.


Feeling blue…

Lots of my friends tell me I’m weird but usually with smile on their face. They are my chosen family.

I’m feeling blue because a tablet the doctor gave me has stopped me needing paramedics and so because I don’t need to rest every 5 steps I wish I had not given my car away… And because I saw someone last week. Unexpectedly.