At this stage, the addict’s life is breaking down emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally. this breakdown is as a result of the stress caused by the acting out. The acting out no longer produces pleasure and the pain is inevitable. The addict will begin behaving in ways they never thought possible and they get to a point where their own behavior begins to scare them. By this point the addict will not be able to break the addictive process without some form of intervention(family, employment, legal).
The lifestyle of the addict becomes a ritual and they cling to a very rigid lifestyle. They will become very uncomfortable with any change. The fear of the unknown is overwhelming. The addict becomes comfortable with the pain because at least it’s familiar.New situations become a nightmare for the addict (this includes treatment).
The addict at this stage has so many unresolved feelings that they reach a point of great emotional weakness. This is evident by fits of rage for no apparent reason or uncontrollable crying. Paranoia begins to set in and “why” becomes a torturous question that is constantly asked internally.
The addict begins to question their ability to be around others and they feel people can see right through them. By this stage the only people that stay around the addict are those that feel they have to out of responsibility or pity, or those who feel too guilty to leave.
Addicts may totally withdraw from others and are afraid of intimacy. They believe others cause their problems and they are just misunderstood by everyone.
Deep down inside the “true self” craves an emotional connection with others and the addict really fears ending up alone. Due to desperation they show a childlike quality. They cling to others and may become emotionally dependent. They become very upset if they feel people are withdrawing from them.
The Addict wants to be alone but the Self is terrified of being alone.
During the end of this stage the addict may have suicidal thoughts. The pain is to great and no amount of drugs or alcohol gives them relief anymore. They begin to feel so much shame and hatred towards the addictive side of themselves that they will do whatever it takes to stop the pain.
No one hates the addict more, than the person suffering from the addiction.
To recover addict’s must learn a new lifestyle and begin building trust and relationships with other people. The addict’s work is based on a take relationship and they must learn to reach outward. This learning process can not be done alone.