Addicts are ashamed of the past, but have no perceivable future for which to look forward. With no thought for tomorrow and no worry of consequences, they will plan for only one day at a time and get very upset if that one day deviates from the established itinerary.
“That’s what the lifestyle does to them. They don’t cling. They live only in the present, for they’ve learned the hard way, it’s all they have.” – Lisa Gardner, Fear Nothing.
Addicts are unable to visualize themselves beyond their present standing- future home, future career, future relationships, etc. It’s immediate gratification only- no saving, no budgeting, no long-term planning, no analyzing alternatives and no seeking new opportunities. It’s all about maintaining equilibrium, the status quo and the current balance.
Addicts won’t make promises or commitments for fear they can’t keep them. They will never apologize. Instead, addicts will do things for those they love, in the present, to make up for any wrongdoings in the past. They’ll tout that talk is cheap and actions speak louder than words. In reality, talk is also dangerous because promises made have to be kept.
Unable to learn from the past (or to even remember the past), addicts keep repeating the same mistakes. Addicts cannot be relied upon, they are one-hundred percent there for you until they are completely gone. Back and forth, whatever they find comfortable and convenient at the time. The only steadiness is their addiction. If they overcome one addiction, they will replace it with another.
Addicted to alcohol, addicted to pills, addicted to dope, addicted to trouble, addicted to the “high” of playing “the game” or addicted to the stability provided by “the system.” If you chose to love an addict, just be prepared to deal with a bipolar view of your relationship-all or nothing, no in between. It can be totally stifling or completely lonely but it will never be normal.