Empaths and Addiction

Let me explain what being an empath looks like and then we will combine and discuss what an empath looks like with addiction. An empath is described as “Being affected by other people’s energies, and having an innate ability to intuitively feel and perceive others. Your life is unconsciously influenced by others’ desires, wishes, thoughts, and moods. Being an empath is much more than being highly sensitive and it’s not just limited to emotions.” Insane, right!?! Imagine how many of us walk around like this day to day with no idea that it isn’t US that is depressed, sad, suicidal, but our coworker, child, spouse and we channel it into our energy system looking for antidepressants, drugs, alcohol or any other fix to ease our emotions. MANY of us live exactly like this and the very scary fact is… we are completely unaware!

Because of the overwhelming emotions we look for ways to numb, to cope. This is where addiction rolls into the picture and turns a misunderstood process into a disaster. Because we are not aware that we have collected everyone else’s energy into our already overloaded systems, we meltdown and look for a way to become comfortable. Think about this. Even those coming from the most comfortable homes in America have emotional baggage- it just happens because that’s what life is in moments- a collection of hurt, loss, anxiety and the list goes on. So let’s take those that have all of these amplified by the extreme, add everyone else’s energy to theirs because after all, they are EMPATHIC, and throw them into the world to see how the “deal.” This is where the addict comes into motion. They have no tools for coping and although many of us empaths figure it out, keeping our addictions of eating, smoking, drinking, to a maintainable balance, an addict cannot. They need to be numb because it is overwhelming- they literally feel like they are crawling out of themselves trying to cope. Those of us blessed with an addict in our lives go insane wondering why they cannot get themselves together, why WE are not worth them changing, getting a hold of their addiction. We love them so much, yet we are powerless and watch the tailspin losing parts of who we are with them.

The process does not have to look this way, I promise! We too, are most likely empaths and we are coping, handling things. Even if we don’t understand the full aspect of how we work it out- we do. Because of our own innate ability to feel others’ pain and emotion, loving an addict makes the process harder and each day that we lose a little more of ourselves with them, we ask “why, how”, and scream at the LORD to make it stop. These steps will help release the expectation of how your addict should handle things, what their process should look like.

You have to let them go! An addict will tell you anything to make you believe it is you and not THEM. They will lie to your face, cry, scream and make you believe it is all YOU. Stop all contact with them until they hit rock-bottom and ask for help. This isn’t help with money, a place to stay or anything to enable them. This is “take me to rehab” help. Understand this will be the hardest process of the entire story. Walking away from someone you love more than anything in life is devastating. Life altering. You will worry if they are dead or alive and yes, there will be many sleepless nights but I promise, it will get easier day by day.
Don’t expect a recovery! I know what you’re thinking- “what in the hell, Jess! Seriously?” YES! You have to release all expectations of what your addict will do because it is NOT your story, your life. Being a supportive roll means being there when and IF they hit rock-bottom and not a minute before. Every time you give them what they want, the process and time frame for recovery starts all over again. Stop where you stand! I am not saying give up, I am saying pray for their highest healing and pray for your strength and sanity. Do not try to play their game by manipulating them, controlling them, and cornering them. They win every time; they know their addiction better than you! You have to release all expectation but I do know there is always room for change and some addicts WILL find their way to recovery and healing. Never give up, but step away.
Believe in yourself! Loving an addict is ugly. As I stated above, you do lose parts of yourself with the process and it is devastating. How can someone that loves you sit and lie to you, eye to eye? How can they sneak, lie, and manipulate you into their world and all of a sudden you believe you’re the crazy one? This happens easily because you are an EMPATH, as well. You have to stand strong in your beliefs and know you are doing things the way they need to be done. Your addict does LOVE you and you will feel this, making you second guess everything. Until they are done with the addiction, and I mean completely surrendered, they love their addiction more. As long as they make excuses to keep using, you are not the priority. There may be a point where you have to walk away for good because the addict will never see the truth. They wont want to give up their addiction, no matter how much they love you.
Be STRONG!When your addict is finally ready to surrender and begin the road to recovery they will break and all of the hurtful things they have done will finally surface and it will be hard for them to handle. All of the lies will come out, the hurt they have caused will be raw emotion, and they will be broken. This will bring shame, grief, heartache and you will need strength and patience. They are finally being vulnerable and looking for recovery- support them where they are and give them a safe space.
Most importantly know that if YOU are an addict there is hope and life does not have to be this way. Rehabilitation, therapy, love, and a will for a better life can help you change everything. I was blessed to have a client Monday that has been clean from the needle and meth for six years. She was a junkie and had used since the age of thirteen. She lost her family, friends, and life for years and had no hope. One incident changed all of that for her and her 40 something year old boyfriend who was also a needle user. Though they are not togehter, they are both SOBER and have tools as empaths to handle their emotions and addictions. Never give up!!!

14 replies
  1. Kim
    Kim says:

    jess as I read this …. a door in my house slammed ! This use to happen all the time but has not In years . Freaked me out!

  2. Tiffany
    Tiffany says:

    I am in love with an empath who is addicted to alcohol. I really don’t know how to help him, other than to be strong enough to let him go until he is ready for recovery.

  3. shawna
    shawna says:

    I am 46 years old and have put a name to what I am. Empath. I have used it in my life to find the enemies in my life, but at an expense. I had become tired of KNOWING. And with that have used alcohol to quiet the feelings. I know I should stop, but I can’t risk it.

  4. Shauni Turnmeyer
    Shauni Turnmeyer says:

    I am a recovering addict and I am about 99% sure that I am a true Empath. If I am in a different room and my fiance is having a night terror, my anxiety gets terrible and I have to run to the bedroom to make sure she is okay. They tell me I have Borderline Personality Disorder and that’s why I feel more strongly than others and they medicate me of course but none of the medications help. I don’t feel any different. I don’t know what to do. I don’t ever want to go back to my addiction but I also want to learn to grab hold of this and control it. I am clean now. I shot up meth for 5 years. I haven’t touched it since May. But being an Empath makes it hard to live day-to-day life. I need to learn how to get in control with my inner Empathy and gain some type of control.

    • Tom Ubl
      Tom Ubl says:

      Find someone less fortunate and serve them. Empty self and serve, by doing so you have to maint for the sake of those you serve. To empty self of ego, I as the center of the universe, keeps you as an emotional antenna true to self while insulating with external jestures of love. The orphans, widows, widowers, poor and displaced need you. Go to any nursing home. There are many who have no one as they enter into their last days. Take them flowers and sit for 15 to 20 minutes talking to them about whatever they want. Watch what happens, all of a sudden you will be displacing the empath burden because it is engaged. Its what makes me go and keeps me from getting plowed under. Peace to you.

  5. john
    john says:

    this was an interesting angle on the addict. Some of us are truly just lacking some control mechanism in the cerebral cortex or deep in the pineal gland, the limbic system? there is a limit to the healing power of language, yet all that is thrown at the addict is language, words, thoughts as words and language. What heals? The addict goes down deep to escape the limits of language. Does language heal? I don’t think so. Love heals. Love is silent.

  6. Angela Spadojevich
    Angela Spadojevich says:

    I have come to realize i am a truth genuine impath. I am not an addict but feal otner pain strongly.. and i am forst to do nothing about it i am also in to holistic nutrition and have a book that prooves thete is a natural cure everything…

  7. Nicole
    Nicole says:

    I am an alcoholic, I can so relate to this reading. I am a true Empath! I never knew how to really explain to my husband how I would take on all emotions that he sent out, like if yelled because the house wasn’t picked up, I would instantly take all of what he was saying out loud and blame it on me instead of my children helping with their chores. Things at work it’s the same thing. If someone is in a bad mood and is yelling things out and I am in the next cubicle then it just puts me in a terrible mood because I can’t fix it. I just need to tune them out as best as possible. I am very codependent as well. I have put my family through hell as they have watched me slowly die inside as they couldn’t do anything about it until I was ready to deal with my problem. I am 50 years old and proud to say that I am 8 months sober. I feel so much more in tuned to myself. I am learning, growing ,and getting more in touch with my spiritual self and trying to figure out my life’s purpose here on earth. It is one of the best experiences I have ever had. Plus my kids are seeing such a better role model, mom, and friend. I am slowly starting to believe and build up my self confidence. When I notice that I am starting to cave in to someone’s demands or take on all of the other persons pain or insecurities, I pause and think about if I have done this in the past where did it get me? I have been to 3 different treatment centers and had been in and out of AA for about 30 years and it feels so good to say I am a recovering alcoholic and I love going to AA.

  8. Heather Stringer
    Heather Stringer says:

    I can’t barely breath right now. I don’t know what to think, say. I am 41 years old and for the first time ever…after seeing doctors, therapists, and treatment centers… Medications galore and NEVER finding peace, THIS article shines a light on my life. I’ve always been called a chameleon; that I’m always absorbing others in a way. But it’s so much more. I always have had it. I could see colors around people and it wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized not everyone could see them. I just KNOW people. My mother died 7 years ago and afterward my life took a major nose dive. Got divorced, got fired, got a DUI; completely destroyed my life and I felt like I was sitting on the inside asking “what the hell?!” My mother was kind of a sad person, image driven but sad. Could I have absorbed her emotions when she died???

  9. Heartbroke Mom
    Heartbroke Mom says:

    All sorts of psychic strangeness has run thru five generations of my family. My daughter is a meth addict AND it has caused her to have zero control of the high strangeness. Yes, some dillysion is present but too many solid facts she had no knowledge of. She won’t stop and it keeps increasing. She says she feels as though she has one foot in each world. So sad.
    In the meantime, I pick up sometimes on words she says or where she is but worst of all, what she thinks and feels. Guess I need to work on turning it off too.
    I’ve rarely seen this as a gift…more like an intrusion. Sometimes I have helped solved crimes or eased peoples minds but it mostly makes regular daily life in this world difficult.

  10. teva collins
    teva collins says:

    Thank you for this because I have bee trying to find ways to describe what I’ve gone through in my life before realizing my gift. Now that I know I can protect my energy.


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