j and hAddicts often see themselves as two people, the honorable and good Dr Jeckyl and the evil and wicked Mr Hyde.  They can be baffled by the co-existance.  Even on the inside, watching the drama play out, they do not understand how they can present two so diametrically opposed personalities.  If it is hard for them, consider the plight of family.

They admire, respect and love the good twin, they are often shocked, hurt, betrayed and embarrassed by the evil one.  They often admit they have come to realize they do not know this person.  For spouses it is especially difficult.  The person they had come to love, the one they came to trust and put their safety in, evidently does not exist.  Death, the complete loss of a partner can sometimes be less of a trial than the revelation of a “secret addiction.”

Even if recovery work ensues, the spouse is often left without much help and support.  The addict feels as if the page has been turned, the spouse feels like the page never got read, they feel left behind and alone.  One of my most difficult clinical challenges is to help the addict get to the place where they truly comprehend what they have done to their spouse and feel empathy for them.  It takes a powerful amount of the Attitudes of Humility and Accountability.

The creation of Mr. Hyde takes place over time.  He is made of isolation, the reality bending benefits of denial, the mistake of seeking comfort in the wrong places, and the emotional centers conditioning process.  The addict, living beyond accountability, has what seems to him to be the innocent belief that he was only trying to blow off a little steam, seek some comfort, medicate some pain, or relieve stress.  Mr. Hyde was not the intended creation.  But he is the reality.

The extinguishing of Mr. Hyde is the work of recovery.  Unfortunately like the rest of us, he does not wish to die, he will put up quite a fight, often the fight of our lives.

Blessings, roger