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Alcoholic/addict traits (versus Narcissist)

UserPost

2:28 pm
January 21, 2006


angel4U

New Member

posts -1

All,

I have read many threads lately where people are labeling someone as a Narcissist, when I believe they are simply describing the traits of an alcoholic or other addict-type (or possibly a controller/abuser or very insecure person thathas to brag about himself to feel good) instead. And I think this mislabeling is dangerous. (Note – I am basing my thoughts on the other information I read in the threads.)

Supposedly true Narcissists are VERY rare, and it is very difficult to respond to them (even therapists have a hard time with them). On the otherhand, responding to an addict or insecure person (mainly with boundaries, assertive communication, sometimes simply patience & compassion, etc. can help).

WD – maybe you can help me out on this one?

angel4u

2:48 pm
January 21, 2006


lollipop3

New Member

posts -1

Angel,

I agree with you 100%. I have cautioned many times against "us" as non-professionals trying to "diagnose" others.

Alcoholics do tend to be very selfish people which is but one of the characteristics of a true Narcissist, which as you mentioned, is not as common as it may seem by reading these boards.

My b/f, also an alcoholic, can be very selfish as well as immature and insecure. He has also been known to be abusive at times (verbally/emotionally) but is not even in the ball park of being a narcissist.

I'm not saying that there are no narcissists out there or that there are not people here that are in fact dealing with one…but I think this thread is a good reminder that we need to keep the focus on ouselves as opposed to labeling others trying to figure out why they behave the way they do.

Love,
Lolli

4:06 pm
January 21, 2006


StronginHim77

Member

posts 453

I think what we frequently see are individuals who suffer from the "B" cluster personality disorders (Borderline, Narcissist, Sociopath, etc.) and "self-medicate" their inner pain/anguish and emotional turmoil with alcohol or other substances. Thus, when an alcoholic stops drinking, his/her difficulties with relationships, mood swings, anger, etc. do not go away. This is referred to as a "dry drunk." If the alcohol abuse, alone, were the root cause of their personality difficulties, the removal of that factor should "cure" them. However, the true root cause is usually a personality disorder which must be addressed through therapy, and sometimes medication, in order to restore the patient to normalcy (or near-normalcy) in both personality and relationships.

I am currently dating a Borderline Personality Disorder alcoholic. His psychiatrist is treating the BPD, in order to help the patient get free of the alcoholism. This will be achieved during the process of recovery from BPD.

- Strong

6:00 pm
January 21, 2006


bump

New Member

posts -1

I have involved with an alcoholic/addict for almost 10 years. it is truly an on again off agin relationship. right now it is off (by my own doings) but i have a very difficult not wainting him back in my life. i hate life with him or without him…..help ….is this normal for a co-dependent?

6:05 pm
January 21, 2006


lollipop3

New Member

posts -1

Strong,

I do agree that most alcoholics/addicts DO have underlying issues which contribute to the self hatred, hence self medicating. But I also agree with Angel, that underlying issues do not necessarily mean a rare and/or serious disorder such as Narcissim or Borderline Personality Disorder.

Alcoholics/addicts are selfish, abusive, manipulitive, controlling, insecure, etc.etc. They have to be…it's the only way they can assuage their own guilt while feeding their addictions. As long as it's someone else's fault…it doesn't have to be theirs.

Lolli

6:24 pm
January 21, 2006


Rasputin

New Member

posts 0

Bump –

Invite your bf to AA or Al-Anon or 12 steps or Coda meetings. Any of these programs is equiped to help people with addictions to unhealthy lifestyle. All these meetings are free of charge.

If you want to break free from him and want to work on your own healing, I would recommend you to logon http://www.coda.org to find out the meeting that is closest to your district.

Also, you may educate yourself with some literature about codeps such as: "Codependent no more" by Melody Beattie; "Women who love too much" by Robin Norwood; and "Boundaries in Marriage" by Dr. Henry Cloud.

Keep reading the posts on this site and you will notice that you will be able to identify with many folks here.

Welcome and happy recovery!!!

~Ras~

6:32 pm
January 21, 2006


bump

New Member

posts -1

ras

thanks so much for the information….believe it or not i have done all your suggestions but never an on-line group. it helps when you can identify thing with other people immediately and vent when you are feeling like you need to….

7:14 pm
January 21, 2006


whidbey

New Member

posts -1

I sure wish I could say mine wasn't a true narcissist, but going down the lists I've read, he is poster boy. He was born to an older couple who thought they could not have children, was completely doted upon and smothered by his mother. He went from that right into fame in the rock world in his early 20s, which, in my opinion cemented it. Honestly? I was hoping against hope that that was not what I was dealing with, as in the beginning, I was holding out that there could be some sort of reconciliation between us. Sadly, he fits the ENTIRE profile to a T. I then knew there would never be a chance that anything could be "fixed" or resolved with him. I think that is what broke my heart most of all.

7:25 pm
January 21, 2006


lollipop3

New Member

posts -1

(((whidbey)))

7:37 pm
January 21, 2006


angel4U

New Member

posts -1

lolli – I am in agreement with you 100% on everything you said as well … =))

bump – I unfortunately don't have time to write more right now about what might help you to work through your emotions, but Raz gave some great advise that I think can help you get started. I have lots of information I can share later about what I learned about alcoholics that helped ease my confusion. But the #1 advise I can give is to try to ease up on trying to figure him out and instead work harder on trying to figure yourself out (who are you, what do you like/not like, what kind of relationship do you want, why have you settled for being treated poorly, are there things about yourself you would like to improve, are there things in this relationship that helped you to learn more about you and realtionships (there always is!), etc.). Focusing on me more than them has helped me grow and feel more secure and confident.

I have to run, but if you'd like to talk more later feel free to start a thread highlighting my name (or yours) in the title so I can find it. Lolli, ef, AW, and many others have also had similar experiences with alcoholics/addicts and are great sources for easing the confusion and pain as well.

Many hugs comin' atcha all!

angel4u

8:26 pm
January 21, 2006


bump

New Member

posts -1

angel4u

i can hardly wait to hear more from you and your experiences with the awful emotions i have felt and am still feeling due to this toxic relationship, thanks so much for your support

12:26 am
January 22, 2006


hopeful for change

New Member

posts -1

Well i definitley don't have any info on the N. However I am realizing finally that me as a codependent have many controlling, manipulative ways as well. Maybe not selfish, but selfless. I mean I am as sick as the alcoholic just with out the alcohol. Ofcourse I don't like to admit this. Just realizing it that all of my "suffering" and giving etc etc are choices I make and that I am wanting a payoff. I am not giving selflessly like giving to starving children and it just makes me feel good. I think I twist it into something that good when all it does is make me seem like the saint and I am far from it.

8:49 am
January 22, 2006


whidbey

New Member

posts -1

Very insightful, Hopeful. I, too, had to come to that realization as well. Ex-N kept wanting me to be "the one who would save him from his cage of loneliness and despair." I kept telling him in the beginning that only he could save himself (though, don't think he ever got it). When he was injured in his motorcycle accident last August, I fell into that role anyhow, first on a physical basis of actually taking care of his physical needs. However, it was never enough for him, and more and more and more was asked, and sadly, I now realize, given, to the point of almost losing my self spirit. Luckily, I was able to get out of it. So, I guess there IS something to be said for a long distance relationship, in that it allowed me the distance I needed to process exactly all that had gone on during that six weeks, as well as throughout the entire relationship. That six weeks of hell turned out to be a blessing, as it hammered home to me what I would be dealing with if I had stayed with him any longer. It's been tough these past months coming to terms with that, but when I see people who have stayed for years, I suppose I feel pretty lucky that I got out when I did. It hurts like crazy, but still, I have to give myself credit for walking away, and then doing the work I needed to do on myself and see what my "contribution" to this whole mess was.

10:13 am
March 1, 2006


Liamo

New Member

posts -1

Hi Whidbey.

I was married to an alcoholic for 15 years. We had four children, I naturally raised the kids by myself even though he lived in the house. You all know the usual stuff!
We separated as I could not take anymore, and six years later he drank himself to death. When I met my recent ex after about 9 months I started to have strange feelings of familiar behaviour in both him and myself. I had been an Al-anon member for years before my husband died. I stopped attending when he died, cos I thought Im finished with all that stuff right?? (oh boy was I wrong??)I found myself going to meetings again, but I was not sure why? I just knew I was going crazy with this guy.
I had never heard of Narcissism before, but I certainly saw traits of addiction in my ex.When I found this site and learned about Narcissism I saw huge traits of it in my ex. I also read that alcoholics/addicts are narcissists anyway by their very nature.They have to be to keep the addiction going they use people to keep it all together so to speak!!
I found an amazing book its in 3 volumes and called
Getting them Sober. The author is Toby Rice Drews. I would recommend anyone who has experienced either a narcissist or an addict of any kind to read these books. They make huge sense.

Liamo

10:38 am
March 1, 2006


sunshinetrisha

New Member

posts -1

Thanks so much, i have been trying to decide if my bf is a narcicssit or just a drunked, selfish a-hole.
i will get the book and again thanks for the info


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