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Podcast #77 — How Considering ‘Identity’ Can Improve Things with Your Loved One with Addiction


What does ‘Identity’ have to do with substance use in the family?

Here are a couple examples of how our identity can trip us up:

– I’m so enmeshed with my loved one and their substance use that when you ask me how I am, I tell you about how my loved one is doing, or I’m incapable of knowing what I am actually feeling, or I figure, it doesn’t really matter.

– I may believe that I have the responsibility of punishing, or creating consequences for my loved one’s substance use, and I may keep returning to this approach despite the fact that I see it’s not helping my loved one or our communications.

When we’re too attached to a role we’ve been playing, or think we should play, this often puts blinders on us… we are much less able to take an honest look at the dynamics between ourselves and our loved one.

And why do we want to have a clearer vision of the dynamics? In order to change things up. Even though, as Kayla says, “changing your identity is the scariest things in the world.” 

We hope that listening to this episode will help you see why it’s still important to consider shifting some parts of your identity that simply aren’t serving you or anyone else.



In your comments, please show respect for each other and do not give advice. Please consider that your choice of words has the power to reduce stigma and change opinions (ie, "person struggling with substance use" vs. "addict", "use" vs. "abuse"...)