You’re likely familiar with the vampire from books and movies. Known as a mythological creature and one of the walking dead, it is said to feed on the blood – the life force – of the living, claiming and enslaving some victims with just one bite to become one of the same.
But, what about vampire energy? Is it a myth too?
Simply put, vampire energy is a life-draining force that consumes the lives of those who carry it and family and friends around them. However, unlike the legends of the mythological creature, it’s not a shameful existence or a call to judgment. Everyone, at one time or another, has unintentionally exuded vampire energy. We’ve all exhausted ourselves and others with fear, anger, indecisiveness, overanalyzing, complaining and so on.
That said, vampire energy presents in various forms. But, no form is more easily recognizable than active addiction.
Active Addiction: A Life Drainer
Like the mythological vampire, active addiction cannot survive (be active) without feeding off the lives of others. It can literally drain the life out of a person, including their identity, dreams and goals, family, friends, career, holistic health and their existence in this physical realm. And, in line with the vampire myth, once active addiction takes hold, the individual also becomes a draining force required to feed on the energy of others and the substance or process of choice to survive (maintain).
Now, if you’re familiar with Bram Stoker’s Dracula, you’re aware there’s a very sad story behind the vampire’s choice to enter into a world of eternal darkness. Insurmountable grief and loss seemingly drove him to lose faith in God and himself, leaving him enraged and calling on the powers of darkness for acts of vengeance and attempts to control. The trick, of course, was that he then became one of the walking dead, enslaved to darkness and forced to feed on the lives of others to survive. Furthermore, leaving him incapable of giving or receiving love from his heart’s true desire without requiring her to become enslaved to darkness alongside him.
Of course, that is a fictional (and compassionate) account of the origin of a mythological creature. However, the same story – start to finish – is true for many who enter into active addiction. And, though their experience is indeed non-fictional and the reality of vampire-energy consuming them and their families is non-mythological, compassion is no less needed.
A Destructive Cycle
Typically, there is an emptiness and pain of varying categories that precede substance or process abuse and addiction. The attempts to self-medicate and gain some level of control over overwhelming emotions, experiences, situations, and circumstances lead to enslavement to addiction. The latter results in a progressive lack of control and an addiction-forced requirement to feed off substances and the energy of others and remain in a state of constant craving. This too blocks their ability to receive or give love through relationships with others without requiring them to become enslaved to darkness as well.
Suddenly, the vampire myth seems a bit more real.
However, when we consider this parallel with regard to active addiction, family dynamics of addiction and codependency, we need not strap on cloves of garlic or arm ourselves with stakes. This is vampire energy, not to be confused with the vampire. But, it is a call to action for those in relationships (family, friends or significant others) with individuals in active addiction to protect your energy – your life force – by setting needed boundaries to prevent being sucked into the dysfunction.
And what about the person with vampire energy (in this case, the individual in active addiction)? What will best help them?
Well, much like asking how to best help a vampire, there’s nothing you can do to change someone else and to try only potentially endangers and negatively alters you. Remember, codependency is vampire energy too. But, there is something that you can do. Boundaries will prevent enabling and, therefore, is the best protection to employ for both you and them.