Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Helpful Words for Late-Stage Addicts

They say there's nothing you can say or do to help an addict (or alcoholic). But that's not necessarily true.

There's nothing you can say/do to help a narcissist, because they lack experience with any other reality. They have no choice but to process whatever you say narcissistically. But even the most virulent addict had a "Before", and you can try to bridge that for them. That's important, because they may have stopped trying to reconnect with their own seemingly fading reality.

This works best for people you don't know well. If there's a long history of trying to help, it may sound like last-ditch wishful thinking. I sent it many years ago to a musician colleague I'd always respected, who was in legal trouble for shockingly bad behavior completely unlike him:
Just a note to say that I can see you clearly - your kindness, intelligence, and morality. Regardless of where life steers you, I’ll always know who you actually are at heart.

See also this extreme case.

Also: the Depression Resuscitation Kit and the Grief Survival Kit

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