Phase 2 - You are aware that what felt unsettling in Phase 1 is becoming more consistent and hard to just slough off as a bad day at the office or losing a football game.Broken promises, questionable and irresponsible behavior start creeping up more and more.
Nonetheless, the alcoholic/addict admits that he/she might be ready to "get a handle on things".
You are buoyed and hopeful that your loved one has come to this conclusion, and you breathe a sigh of relief. If the alcoholic/addict continues to struggle in "getting a handle on things", you may become an easy target to blame for their problems and lack of commitment.
How convenient to lay at your feet that your attitude, physical appearance or anything you do or say is the reason they are not behaving as they once did or how you would like them to.
Relationships are difficult; whether it is the ongoing give and take of two people sharing their lives, understanding and communicating with our children or just getting along with co-workers and friends. Often guilt, shame, pity, fears of being alone or just plain laziness keeps us in relationships that we know are toxic; whether it is with an alcoholic/addict or not.
Add to the mix a silent partner like drugs or alcohol, and the difficulty factor increases substantially. We find ourselves exhausted at the end of the day from just doing our jobs, getting the kids to school or whatever life is throwing at us.
Often, we just don't have the strength or energy to confront our partner or make waves if we witness their unstable or irresponsible behavior due to substance abuse.
We have become numb to this kind of relationship and therefore have settled by bumping along the bottom holding on to an eyelash width of hope that maybe tomorrow will be different; either they will change or we might find the strength to change these circumstances ourselves.
I have compiled what I call The Pyramid of Change; 6 phases of the alcoholic/addict from the beginnings of irresponsible behavior to full blown wreckage. Phase 1 - Regardless of what stage you are in a relationship, or whether you've started to become aware of your child's unfamiliar behavioral patterns, something tells you that things are just not right.
You are beginning to witness little, almost insignificant spikes of illogical behavior that you accept as mood swings, simple frustrations regarding work, school or just daily occurrences.
It's no big deal, a passing interruption in what you are used to as a normal, stable life.
You might mention something now and then about their behavior being a bit odd, but are easily appeased with their answer and things usually get back to normal..a time.