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Friend Fixer Addiction

A friend fixer addict is a person who will do whatever it takes to save their friends from themselves. Whether the friend wants saved or not.

I cannot fix myself, but I know I can fix you. These are the words of a ‘friend fixer addict’. Some would call this codependency, but we all know that everyone can be codependent to some extent.  This goes so far beyond the usual unhealthiness of codependency.

A friend fixer addict is a person who will, to the exclusion of themselves and sometimes their own family, do whatever it takes to ‘save’ their friend from themselves. Simply because, they think they can. You cannot save someone who does not want saved though. No matter how hard you try, no matter what you sacrifice to help them, they will always ‘need’ more and more from you. This is when you have crossed over from being codependent to being a friend fixer upper addict.

The first step to overcoming this addiction, as with any addiction, is to realize you have a problem. Sounds simple enough right? Wrong! In accepting you have a problem, you have to accept the fact that you have to fix yourself. Which in essence is exactly why you are fixing everyone else. To avoid looking in that mirror at yourself.

I’m sure we all know or have at least heard about the 12 step program in AA and NA. I suppose the same basic theory could be implemented here. However, for the sake of reality, those things rarely work unless you truly want them to. And, most people really don’t even know what those steps mean.

So, here is my two cents worth on summarizing the steps to overcome ‘friend fixer’ addiction.

  • Realize that you have a problem.
  • Ask for help, don’t always think you have to be the one giving the help.
  • Once you ask for help…take the help when it is given!
  • Know your emotional limits. (do not allow others to set your limits)
  • Set friend boundaries
  • Take care of you first, only help if you WANT to, not because you feel you have to.

Lastly, and most definitely not least; you need to accept the fact that sometimes what you think is ‘helping’ your friend is actually making things worse. Sometimes the best way to help someone is to let them fall. Let them learn from their own mistakes. They are adults, let them be adults.

Now that I’ve said all this to you. Let me say one last thing:

Hi, my name is S. Rubeck and I am a ‘friend fixer addict’.

I have taken the first steps toward recovery. I am nowhere near being recovered though. This I fear will be a lifelong affliction that I will constantly have to struggle with. I cannot fix you, but my hopes are that I have at least inspired you to look in the mirror and remember to take care of yourself first.

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