5 Ways Addicts Play the Victim Role

are addicts victims

One of mankind’s largest mistakes is their ability or inability to shut their mouths. Most human beings love to talk and talk as they subconsciously become infatuated over the sound of their own voice. Really, think about it. A large percentage of the time when in conversation, a great handful of people can be lobbed in a category where they are so self-involved that they aren’t listening to a thing being spoken in said conversation. They’re nodding their head and seemingly there, but in all actuality, they are just planning what they are going to say next and could care less about the words dribbling out of your mouth. Personally, I believe that when we are so self-absorbed to this point, it’s easier for us to point fault at others and play the victim role in all the situations that come our way.

One of the most brilliant quotes I stumbled upon in regards to playing the victim role was, “Some people create their own storms, and then get upset when it rains.” This quote couldn’t be any more pertinent to life and the outlook that so many of us start to fixate on. It’s extremely cynical.  In this life of known unknowns and unknown knowns, it’s much easier for us to take a pessimistic approach on things and become surprised if misfortune doesn’t occur- rather than to maintain optimism and be constantly let down in our struggles for life and energy. Thus, through the toils and troubles heaved our way, we become experts in playing the victim role. This mindset is often fruitless, but naturally, addicts and alcoholics take it and turn it into their own version of bull-headed victimization.

Lethal Finger Pointing

As addicts and alcoholics, it’s our natural instinct to justify our chemical dependency and blame others in life as we fall “helplessly” into the victim role.  The amount of complaining that builds up could fill a novel within minutes. As our alcoholic thinking begins to take over and life’s misfortunes are delivered to our feet, we can’t help but bitch and moan about it. It’s so much easier to talk about the would’ve, could’ve, should’ve’s than it is to actually look at the problem at hand and try to change something about it. Why in the world would we want to tire ourselves out and put effort into changing the things that are bothering us? No no no, we would rather dive further into the victim role and carry on in the mindset that the world is out to get us and that unfortunate things only occur in our lives. This is another way that most addicts and alcoholics shift the faults of their lives onto something or somebody else. When we’re so caught up in our usage, it’s hard for us to see that we are the product of our own actions. We start developing this victim role mindset as if there is some force or entity out there that is trying to prevent us from the delinquency and debauchery we so crave to partake in.

stop complaining

Through this, we start perceiving the world as though we are just a pawn in this game. We have to endure and suffer in life because of the choices made by others. Why is there nothing we can do about all these terrible things occurring in our lives? The infamous mindset of being powerless begins to take hold here. By playing the victim role, we are basically handing over our choice of mental freedom and accepting that life has some cruel fate for us that is out of our hands. Addiction and alcoholism take us to the outer edge of insanity where we begin feeling as a prisoner to the substances and that life is completely unfair. In other words, the pilot has now lost control of the flight and we are zooming into oblivion.

As we continue sitting in our throned victim role and feeling sorry for ourselves, our whole attitude and outlook upon life changes completely- but not in the good way that Alcoholics Anonymous promises upon entering recovery. Our whole outlook upon life changes in negatives manners filled with anger and fear. Hostility and passive aggressive behavior are common signs that the addict is becoming defensive. Maybe it’s not correlated to whatever particular situation is at hand, but the defense will be out of instinct from playing the victim role. The addict will indirectly be on guard against life as an expression of their victimization and will be ready to recoil against anything or anybody they feel is threatening their use or way of life. It’s not that addicts are angry people, but that resentment and frustration are building up and becoming harder to ignore.

Once immersed fully into the victim role, most addicts and alcoholics will resemble only that of self-pity in its truest form and will be actively looking for people to feel sorry for them. We are known to dive so far into the victim role that we will do anything we can to avoid ourselves and have somebody cry the tears for us that we are no longer able to cry for ourselves. Addicts and alcoholics will make it a point to put our misery and self-doubt right out on the table so that everybody has to tip toe around us. It gets to a point where we become so caught up in talking about ourselves and how unfair life is that nobody in their right mind really wants to listen. Playing the victim role is a form of self-sabotage that exaggerates the ugly beauty life has in store for all of us. Don’t be the little piggy that cries “wee wee wee” all the way home. You’re entitled to your roast beef too.

Group Therapy Can Help

For this reason, sometimes loved ones can get confused. When we play the victim card, or our loved one who is struggling with an addiction does, it can be extremely easy to sway the people who care about us. Many loved ones do not know how to cope, get the addict help, or just deal with an addicted individual in general. It is for this reason that people begin to enable the addict. This enabling is one of the results from addicts playing the victim card, and swindling loved ones into the game. We may not think this is a bad thing, but it certainly is. It can lead our loved ones to create unhealthy coping mechanisms, not just for us, but for them too. This can cause loved ones such as spouses, children, friends, and parents to be deeply affected down the line. For this reason, addiction is not just an individual disease, but is being referred to more and more as a family disease. The reason it is referred to as this is because those unhealthy coping mechanisms affect us (the addict) them (the loved one), as well as all the other individuals in our sphere. Addiction affects everyone.

For this reason, we encourage you to consider family treatment. Since addiction is a family disease, it is important to treat it as such. This means the whole family gets treated through family therapy sessions and family treatment processes. Although this group therapy may be difficult, if the disease affects the whole family, then the whole family should get treated.

There are many benefits to receiving group family therapy. First, it is more effective for the addict. Since addiction has a high relapse rate, there needs to be a fix to this problem. One of the solutions is accountability. It is much more difficult to relapse when the whole family will know if you skipped a session, rather than you just being on your own. This extra wall of security is helpful when our willpower gives out.

Second, this form of therapy involves family education. Addiction is a very misunderstood topic. Your loved ones may hate your or resent you because they do not understand the complex topic of addiction. However, family therapy provides education, understanding, and empathy. Seeking family therapy helps to educate your loved ones on why you do the things you do, as well as the chemical imbalance in the brain. Rather than just having them see you struggle on your own, they can understand why these situations happen in the first place.

Finally, it opens the door to communication. Communication is the most important thing in order for families to come to a point of reconciliation. Open and honest communication makes it easier to tell your loved ones when you are feeling triggered, as well as have forgiveness when there is a relapse. Open and honest communication will lead to a closer bond, which addiction will not be able to defeat no matter how hard it tries. When considering family therapy, consider detox as well. It is impossible to beat addiction without detox, but that is why we are here–to help you through that difficult first step.

Be the Queen/King and Not a Pawn

Addiction and alcoholism are sneaky little buggers. They come from out of nowhere, tackle you to the ground, and then leave you hogtied and waiting for death. Now you can complain and admit defeat- or you can squirm, loosen the ropes of chemical dependency and walk away like nothing happened. Don’t let addiction and alcoholism win. If you or a loved one has been struggling with the victim role and could use detoxification or a little bit of help, please call 1-866-802-6848 or visit www.coastaldetox.com. Our team of specialists is waiting by and more than thrilled to help rebuild a life full of positivity and sunshine.