Posted March 27, 2010on:
Many codependents become what some people call drama or crisis addicts. Strangely enough, problems can become addicting. If we live with enough misery, crises, and turmoil long enough, the fear and stimulation caused by problems can become a comfortable emotional experience. In her excellent book, Getting Them Sober, Volume II, Toby Rice Drews refers to this feeling as “excited misery.” After a while, we can become so used to involving our emotions with problems and crises that we may get and stay involved with problems that aren’t our concern. We may even start making troubles or making troubles greater than they are to create stimulation for ourselves. This is especially true if we have greatly neglected our own lives and feelings. When we’re involved with a problem, we know we’re alive. When the problem is solved, we may feel empty and void of feeling. Nothing to do. Being in crisis becomes a comfortable place, and it saves us from our humdrum existence. It’s like getting addicted to soap operas except the daily crisis in our lives and the lives of our friends and family. “Will Ginny leave John?” “Can we save Herman’s job?” “How will Henrietta survive this dilemma?”
After we have detached and begun minding our own business and our lives finally become serene, some codependents will occasionally crave a little of the old excitement. We may at times find our new way of life boring. We are just used to so much turmoil and excitement that peace seems bland at first. We’ll get used to it. As we develop our lives, set our goals, and find things to do that interest us, peace will become comfortable – more comfortable than chaos. We will no longer need nor desire excited misery.
We need to learn to recognize when we are seeking out “excited misery.” Understand that we don’t have to make problems or get involved with others’ problems. Find creative ways to fill our need for drama. Get enjoyable jobs. But keep the exited misery out of our lives.
Tags: Drama Addicts