Tag Archives: addiction

Understanding High-Functioning Drug Addiction and Its Hidden Signs

Drug addiction, is often shrouded in mystery and misconception, particularly when it comes to, high-functioning addicts – individuals who maintain a facade of normality while battling a dependency. This complex issue demands a closer look, not only to lift the veil on the reality of, high-functioning addiction, but also to provide guidance on how to support loved ones grappling with this invisible struggle.

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Key Takeaways:
  • High-functioning addicts, can maintain professional success and social relationships while concealing their, substance abuse.
  • Recognizing addiction in oneself or others often requires an honest evaluation of dependency and its effects on daily functioning.
  • Effective support for addicts involves a balance of love and boundaries without enabling destructive behaviors.

About the Guest:

Michaela K. Canterbury is both an established lawyer and a writer. Licensed to practice law in Alaska, she serves as the owner, operator, and lead trial lawyer at Kelly and Canterbury LLC, alongside her husband, Christopher. Michaela also holds the role of an author with her notable work titled “Sister Siren: A Field Guide and How to Love an Addict,” a book delving into addiction and providing guidance on navigating relationships with addicts. She resides in Eagle River, Alaska, where she has cultivated her family and career in the valley and woods that she herself grew up in.

Book Sister Siren A Non Fiction about Drug Addiction
Book Sister Siren A Non Fiction about Drug Addiction

The Facade of Functionality in drug Addiction

High-functioning addicts, walk a tightrope of maintaining professional and social responsibilities while secretly succumbing to, substance abuse. The dichotomy between their outward success and private battles often makes it challenging to spot the, signs of addiction. Understanding this dichotomy is vital in acknowledging and addressing the problem before it escalates.

“We're talking about high functioning until they're not. And then they realize they're high performing.”

This statement from the Michaela K Canterbury encapsulates the paradox of, high-functioning addiction: individuals are able to perform at a high level until they reach a point where they cannot without their substance of choice. It's at this critical juncture that the signs become noticeable – erratic behavior, missed deadlines, disheveled appearance, and a desperate reliance on substances to get through the day.

The transformation from functional to dysfunctional can be both startling and subtle—an enigma in the realm of addiction.

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Identifying Internal Triggers and Recognizing Drug Addiction

The road to recognizing, drug addiction, often begins with a moment of self-awareness, where individuals realize their dependency on substances has become a crutch for dealing with life’s challenges.

“…what you're saying is that people that don't know that they're an addict just think that, hey, I'm just recreational and that they've got it under control.”

Society's casual acceptance of certain drugs as a means to enhance performance or relieve stress can obscure the line between recreational use and, drug addiction. It’s not just about losing control; it’s about the subtleteeness with which dependency enters and takes hold of one’s life.

For some, including the story of Michaela's sister as shared on the podcast, her sister's, drug addiction, begins in adolescence through prescription medication. This early exposure can diminish one’s ability to recognize dependency, making it a normalized part of existence. The evolution from pain management to, drug addiction, is a critical area requiring vigilant monitoring and constant re-evaluation of medication needs and effects.

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Supporting Addicts with Love and Limits

Loving someone with a, drug addiction, is a delicate dance of support and tough love. The key is to assist without enabling, to express care without exacerbating the addiction.

“Don't sign contracts with them… Don't have expectations… step in with love with what you can do.”

Direct quotations from the interview underscore the importance of setting boundaries while maintaining a supportive stance. Providing necessities rather than cash, making time for meaningful interactions, and avoiding co-dependency are ways to help while safeguarding one’s own well-being.

Michaela's experience offers practical guidance: creating a loving environment infused with structure and discipline can chart a path toward healing for both the addict and those who care for them. Navigating this journey requires clarity of intent and an understanding of when to step back – an approach that facilitates recovery without fostering reliance.

In reaffirming these principles, we see the transformative power of a well-structured support system in the fight against, drug addiction. It’s not just about saving the addict; it’s about preserving relationships and promoting a sustainable recovery.

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The phenomena of, high-functioning addiction, is layered and multifaceted. At its core, it's a warning about the dangers of complacency in recognizing substance dependency and other addictions like, sex addiction, gambling addiction, or even addiction to tobacco.  It emphasizes the paradox that even those who appear to have it all can struggle deeply. For friends and family, the lesson is clear: be vigilant, be supportive, but also be aware of your own limits. The delicate art of loving an addict involves a dance between empathy and autonomy, care and boundaries, and, above all, an unwavering commitment to seeking a balance that fosters true healing.

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First Ladies of Genesis
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Loving A Drug Addict Family Member

It's very difficult, especially for parents. There's unconditional love in the parental relationship, In most parental relationships. And my mom really thought she was helping. And I also need to caveat this with, now we're way out. Now. My mom suffers from Alzheimer's. We think, in hindsight, that that was beginning to present itself when my sister was in active addiction. So my really thought she was helping.

My sister would say, I need money for my medication. I'm between jobs. So when she would be between jobs, unable to hold a job, she would work at a coffee shop or whatever, and my mom be like, okay, and give her the money for her medication, not knowing the medication was heroin and meth.  Thinking that it's her medication for ADHD or whatever, it doesn't matter. And that ended up evolving into my mom enabling my sister's, drug addiction.

Additional Resources

How To Heal From Childhood Sexual Trauma and Addiction

How To Transform Your Relationships Using The Power of Now!

In this episode of 5 min Fridays with coach Myrna, I share how to use, the power of the now, to change dysfunctional negative relationships into positive ones and how to use the, power of now, to transform your relationships.

Relationships are one of the most important aspects of our lives, and it's easy to let them get out of control. Today we study Eckhart Tolle's book “The Power of The Now” on how to improve your relationships. By learning how to use the power of now, you'll be able to align yourself with what's really important in your life, and your relationships will start to improve as a result.

Eckhart Tolle says that everything happens in the now. There is only one point of access and it is the now.  And until you access the now, all relationships are deeply flawed. They may seem perfect for a moment when you are in love, but that perfection is lost when disappointment and dissatisfaction set in.  If we look at the divorce rate, it seems that most love relationships become love hate relationships.

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Relationships bloom when we access the power of  now

If we look at the divorce rate, it seems that most, love relationships, become, love-hate relationships.  

When we don’t access, the power of the now, love can turn to hate with the flick of a switch.  

Sometimes the relationship continues for a while between the polarities of love and hate. It gives you as much pleasure as it gives you pain. 

Some couples get addicted to the drama because it makes them feel alive, but when the negative events occur with increasing frequency, the relationship collapses

Here is some, relationship advice, you may think that if you remove the, negative cycles, then the relationship would flower beautifully, but this is not the case. The polarities are mutually interdependent, you cannot have one without the other. The reason we want to be in the now in our relationships is that you can’t access the, pain body, of what he did to me and then bring it forward and relive the pain.

The, power of the now, means unless the event is happening now, it is in the past.  The reason Eckhart Tolle teaches that the polarities are mutually interdependent is because your pain feed his pain. Your triggers, trigger his triggers.  

Podfriend Transform Your Mind Podcast
Podfriend Transform Your Mind Podcast

The Power of the now eliminates dysfunctional relationships

The negative side of a relationship is more easily recognized as dysfunctional. It is also easier to recognize the source of negativity in your partner, than to see it for yourself. Negativity and your past pain can show up in many forms in your relationship as: 

  • possessiveness,
  • jealousy,
  • control,
  • withdrawal,
  • resentment,
  • the need to be right,
  • insensitivity and self-absorption,
  • emotional demand’s,
  • manipulation,
  • the urge to criticize,
  • judge, blame, anger, and unconscious revenge.

Quite a list. None of these things happen in, the now.

Transform Your Mind Luminary podcast
Transform Your Mind Luminary podcast

The power of now in love

The positive side can be just as bad.  This is the, power of love. When you are in love, someone needs you, wants you and makes you feel special.  The feelings of being in love can become so intense that the rest of the world fades into insignificance.  

You become addicted to the other person; he acts on you like a drug. Even the thought of that person no longer loving you, illicit jealousy, emotional blackmail, blaming and accusing, because of fear of loss.

If the other person does leave you, it can lead to the most intense pain from grief or the most intense hostility. Was this love in the first place or just addictive clinging?  

Transform Your Mind Podcast Pandora
Transform Your Mind Podcast Pandora

Survival relationships can be addictive clinging

Then , survival relationships, comes along.  It seems to meet all your needs, at least that is how it appears at first. You now have a new focal point, the person who defines your identity. The person you are in love with. Your world now has a center again, you are loved.  

Then there becomes a point when your partner fails to meet your needs. The feelings of fear and lack now resurface, they had been covered up by the love relationship. Like any drug, you are on a high until the drug no longer works for you. When the feelings of fear return, you feel them stronger than they were before and you now perceive your partner as the cause of those feelings. You attack your partner and this awakens their own, pain body, and he may counter your attack. Every attack is manipulation to get your partner to change their behavior.  

This is because you refuse to work through your pain. Every addiction starts with pain and ends with pain. Whatever you are addicted to, whether it be alcohol, food, shopping, sex you are using something or someone to cover up your pain.  

Google Podcast Transform Your Mind
Google Podcast Transform Your Mind

Romantic relationships do not cause unhappiness

That is why there is so much pain and unhappiness in, romantic relationships. Romantic relationships, do not cause pain and unhappiness, they bring out the pain and unhappiness that is already in you.  

Avoidance of relationships in an attempt to avoid pain is not the answer either. 3 failed marriages are a source of awakening more than if you shut yourself off in a room and refuse to engage in a relationship.

The power of the now, must be strong enough so you don’t get taken over by the thinker or the, pain body.  

Bringing, the power of the now, to your relationship means, first you stop judging yourself then you stop judging your partner.  

The greatest catalyst for change in a relationship is complete acceptance of your partner as he or she is without needing to judge or change them in any way.  

You are in a, love relationship, if that person feels the same way about you; other than that you are in a relationship with yourself. Don’t let this love turn into a, love- hate relationship, by constantly bringing up the past. Embrace, the power of the now.

Additional Resources

How Single Women over 40 Find Love