Sanctuary and Serenity

Drama Addicts

Posted on: March 27, 2010

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.

5 Responses to "Drama Addicts"

Some people are drama queens and need a lot of turmoil in their lives!! In a way thats sad, because it is nice to have peace and serenity but alas they need drama all the time!! Drama addicts cant live without stress and havoc, specially in their friends and acquantainces lives to sort out together as a time consuming hobby. We call them dramadicts. They cant live without. On my blog I write also about addicts, but those are cheater addicts. People that are addicted to cheating.

LOL Insane, indeed!
It’s a control thing, I think – in the end. Wanting attention, trying to control how things work – how they turn out…
The sooner folks realize they have no control over anything in life, except maybe house work, if they live alone… the better off they will be. lol You’re only let down by others when you have expectations of how they should be – based on your own views, and experiences… based on how you would do it your own way. Well, folks are all different, they all have different views… and experiences so they will not behave as you do would. lol
And some folks just aren’t happy unless there is drama going on.
It’s a rush…and you get used to that level of adrenalin…especially if you’ve grown up in an abusive home. It becomes normal to them….

Yes, if you grow up with an alcoholic, life is constant battles, and chaotic. When the child grows up, and moves out, there is this uncomfortable feeling that something is missing and it’s the constant adrenaline rush, I think. There’s also this need to try to keep everyone safe from themselves, to feel a responsibility to fix everyone so that life can be normal. It’s two opposing needs that are in constant conflict–the desire for excitement and peace at the same time.

Yes… and it’s amazing – you don’t really know this or see it until you learn about it…then it all makes sense. 🙂

So true. I know of some people like this, that seem to relish and negatively exaggerate the life experiences and situations of others, much like a TV news show, they pump up the drama. They feel the need to step in, unasked, to offer their advice, help, and control of the situation. When there help is refused, they take personal offense and become angry at that person and then take on the role of rebuffed martyr. If a person makes a choice they don’t approve of, they are confused, insane, suffering from dementia, or purposely trying to anger them.

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