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Question
Posted by: Wonder | 2010/05/18

Rescueing

I was told that one of the roles than an addict can play to maintain (?) their addiction is that of a rescuer.<br><br>Why is it bad to be a rescuer and why is it bad? And what are the symptoms / signs that someone is a rescuer?

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Our expert says:
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Hello Wonder

Addicts can be rescuers, but it it is mainly their parents, spouses or friends who are rescuers and therefore often keep them trapped in their addiction.

One could also say that most co-dependent people are rescuers. If you are an addict and you play the role of the rescuer, you are most probably a co-dependent and you should discuss this with your sponsor and attend a CODA meeting near you.

You can Google co-dependency and also CODA. I would say that if an addict is a rescuer, it could be that they are trying to deflect from looking at themselves.

We know that addicts hate this of course, that's why we use and that's why we used to use. So, in a sense it can keep you trapped in a cycle where you don't move forward, because you're so focussed on people outside you, that you forget to look inwards.

Rescuing makes us feel wanted and needed. It is a momentary adrenaline rush when for a brief instant we are the centre of someone else's world.

The addiction (yes, I said addiction) of enabling and rescuing others (a family member or the mailman) over and over again is usually found holed up somewhere in the psyche of people that are hiding from themselves.

People that are insecure with themselves or uncomfortable in their own skin may be seeking the attention from others to satisfy these needs.

A wonderful way to fill that void is to enable and rescue someone that you think is screaming out for a life preserver. Whether they are or not you think you know best.

By donning your rescue cape, your hope is that not only will you be praised for your efforts, insights and sensitivity, but you will take a well deserved bow because of your 6th sense.

Being a chronic rescuer can in the end lead to compassion fatigue and resentment or an emotional hangover.

It's not a problem to help people of course, it becomes a problem if helping people becomes like using a drug, a compulsion and an obsession, so much so, that you neglect your own recovery.

Speak to you sponsor and see what his or her feedback is. Maybe do a Step 4 on this specific issue.

Share about it at a meeting, you'll be surprised how much insight you get while talking about something like this in a group.

herman@harmonyclinic.co.za

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Our users say:
Posted by: Addictions Expert Forum | 2010/05/18

Hello Wonder

Addicts can be rescuers, but it it is mainly their parents, spouses or friends who are rescuers and therefore often keep them trapped in their addiction.

One could also say that most co-dependent people are rescuers. If you are an addict and you play the role of the rescuer, you are most probably a co-dependent and you should discuss this with your sponsor and attend a CODA meeting near you.

You can Google co-dependency and also CODA. I would say that if an addict is a rescuer, it could be that they are trying to deflect from looking at themselves.

We know that addicts hate this of course, that's why we use and that's why we used to use. So, in a sense it can keep you trapped in a cycle where you don't move forward, because you're so focussed on people outside you, that you forget to look inwards.

Rescuing makes us feel wanted and needed. It is a momentary adrenaline rush when for a brief instant we are the centre of someone else's world.

The addiction (yes, I said addiction) of enabling and rescuing others (a family member or the mailman) over and over again is usually found holed up somewhere in the psyche of people that are hiding from themselves.

People that are insecure with themselves or uncomfortable in their own skin may be seeking the attention from others to satisfy these needs.

A wonderful way to fill that void is to enable and rescue someone that you think is screaming out for a life preserver. Whether they are or not you think you know best.

By donning your rescue cape, your hope is that not only will you be praised for your efforts, insights and sensitivity, but you will take a well deserved bow because of your 6th sense.

Being a chronic rescuer can in the end lead to compassion fatigue and resentment or an emotional hangover.

It's not a problem to help people of course, it becomes a problem if helping people becomes like using a drug, a compulsion and an obsession, so much so, that you neglect your own recovery.

Speak to you sponsor and see what his or her feedback is. Maybe do a Step 4 on this specific issue.

Share about it at a meeting, you'll be surprised how much insight you get while talking about something like this in a group.

herman@harmonyclinic.co.za

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