Essay on Addiction = Conflict

Submitted By nick0636
Words: 2015
Pages: 9

Addiction = Conflict There are different types of conflicts that addiction can cause. It can be a very difficult problem to deal within the family. It can destroy families, friendships, or even your employment. It doesn’t matter what type of addiction, it still has the same effect on many lives. Some people think it only controls the person who is addicted, but it also has an effect on their loved ones as well. Friends, spouse’s, children, everyone is affected and can cause major conflicts and the different conflict management styles they use. “Conflict does not reflect an unhealthy relationship or one that is in trouble. Instead, close, personal relationships are powerfully affected by the way we manage conflict.” (Lane, 294) I will be discussing how addiction can trigger conflicts within self and others around them. One of the aspects of life that addiction can damage is families. Most families realize that the loved one has a problem but doesn’t know how to handle the problem. The hardest thing about being a family member with an addicted loved one is the codependency. Melody Beattie of The New Codependency: Help and Guidance for Today’s Generation defines codependency as “one who has let another person’s behavior affect his or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person’s behavior.” (Beattie, 9) It can lead to many problems. According to Christina Ray of, “Codependent partners will make up excuses for the addict’s work absences or care accidents, clean up the legal messes resulting from an addict’s criminal behavior, and work long hours to make up for the financial shortfalls.”(Ray) As do Gene and Anderson Hawes also stated in agreement, “They tell lies about sickness as the reason for missed days at work. They repeat or even make up excuses about car accidents or injuries or fistfights or arrests.” (Hawes, 92) That kind behavior of the codepender can lead to a conflict they call pseudo-conflict, which according to chapter 11, “occurs when we falsely believe that a relationship partner has incompatible goals or is interfering with our attainment of our own goals”, (Lane, 295) in other words, a conflict “waiting to happen”. Christina Ray also adds, “Codependence is problematic in that it enables the addict to continue on his/her destructive path without dealing with its consequences”. (Ray) They give the addict money when they ask for it because the last thing they feel like they don’t want to do is make the addict mad which would have the chance of the addict disconnecting themselves from the loved one. I personally never had an immediate family member like a brother, father or mother with an addiction problem. I although have had the experience of being a witness of a first cousin with a problem. My first cousin Jack, who is 33, was addicted to a painkiller called Vicodin. I always knew of his addiction, but to be honest, I at one point was the codepender. Since he was older than me and I was younger, whenever he would ask me to hang out, I would be trilled, so I was an easy target to ask for money. I used to lend him money and I would go with him to get whatever he needed to get. I never realized what I was doing was wrong; I just thought I was hanging out with my cousin and thought I was helping him. I knew doing this was going to stir up a problem, hence the pseudo-conflict. There are a number of different styles of conflict management, one of them is avoidance. After the few times I gave him money, my family knew I hung out with him so they always told me to not give him any money. I realized it was a problem. I was personally avoiding the fact that my own cousin did have a problem but I never did anything about it, instead of enabling it. “Value Conflict results when people have differing opinions on issues that relate to their personal value systems and issues of right and wrong.” (Lane, 297) After finally realizing that it indeed was a problem, it