Hopium Addiction- How Hope Keeps You Stuck with Toxic Relationship Patterns

Hopium Addiction- How Hope Keeps You Stuck with Toxic Relationship Patterns hopium addiction- how hope keeps you stuck with toxic relationship patterns
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hange is not an easy thing, it is a slippery slope that is hard to climb. It has many obstacles and one of those obstacles is hope. I know you may now be wondering how hope can be an obstacle in your life, by the end of this article we’ll have understood why.

According to Merriam Webster:

Hope is “to cherish a desire with anticipation: to want something to happen or be true.”

It’s more of ‘crossing your fingers’ and wanting your desires to come true. Hope can be very addictive and disappointing, and it can keep you stuck with old patterns in life. That’s why it’s sometimes called ‘hopium’. You can be the dealer of your own ‘hopium’ or have someone else as your dealer. Hope can be a very dangerous thing especially when it clouds your current perception of reality or when it’s facing the wrong direction. When it comes to toxic relationships, hope is the number one drug that may keep you staying in that relationship longer.

The beginning of most toxic relationships is this colorful spectacle with glimpses of a great love story about to unfold. When things start going sour, the memories of how the abuser was in the beginning of the relationship is the first supply to your hopium. You start hoping that they will change to the way they were early on in the relationship. The more you hope the more you get entangled and stuck in the deep end of that relationship. You spend most days reminiscing and hoping which clouds your judgment of the present situation.

When you’re hoping for them to change, you will also be on the lookout for glimpses of changes in them. Hope feeds on hope and so instead of looking at the countless days they’re abusing you, you start looking for the tiny aspects that boost your hope. When they do something that somewhat looks positive or that shows a small glimpse of change, your hope feeds on that. We all know that a toxic relationship will really not be 100% toxic and sometimes you partner may show glimpses of what you hoped the relationship would be. So, when that happens, your hopeful self gets so much glued onto that.

Also, when you are hooked on this hopium, you will ignore and rationalize most undesirable behaviors and only focus on the somewhat positive side of the relationship. And that’s how you supply yourself with hope. You will be on the lookout for ‘hopium’ in that relationship which your abusive partner may sometimes supply you with just to get you hooked. So, your partner may supply you with this drug and you are also supplying yourself with it by constantly sniffing out small instances of change. If you are feeding off hopium supply to keep things together in a relationship then you have to understand that the relationship is toxic, and the best place for you is outside the relationship.


In fact, a common question that people ask when they know they’re in an abusive relationship is “can they really change?” When you’re addicted to hope, you’ll always be asking such questions just to keep hope alive that the relationship may work. Because of hope, you may also learn about narcissism but you will just ‘lie’ to yourself that your partner is not that ‘narcissistic’ or doesn’t meet all characteristics of a narcissist so that you can keep clinging on the hope that the relationship will work.

You will not ask questions that even promote your own wellbeing. When you feed on this hopium, you will forget about yourself and just look at making the relationship work. When we hope so much, we’re looking for an external circumstance in life to make our lives better.

Another thing which mostly happens is when someone finally leaves that toxic relationship, they may just sit there and really hope that their next relationship will not be toxic. It may look okay on the outside but this kind of hope can also be dangerous and insidious.

You may hope that you will find this healthy relationship that you even ‘forget’ or ignore the work that is necessary for you to find that healthy relationship. Hope is not a bad thing in itself but it becomes dangerous when it’s the only rope you’re holding onto. When hope is the only thing that you’re holding onto, it means that you don’t have control of your life and you’re just hoping circumstances will work in your favor. We have to understand that hope is just like a coin and you have to be ready for either heads (what you want) or tails (what you don’t want).

On the other hand, you can have hope while also working yourself and healing, this means that you’re at least taking the necessary action to make your life better or to get the relationship you hope to have.


The best way to differentiate between hopium addiction and the good old feeling of hope is looking at your present actions or present reality and honestly asking yourself a question like, “Will my present actions lead to what I am hoping for in the future?” For example, if you’re just sitting there hoping for a healthy relationship then that’s hopium addiction but if you’re really putting in the work (learning about boundaries, seeking therapy, reading, resolving your traumas) then that’s the good side of hope.

Another thing is even when you have this strong and unshaken hope that your partner will change, do not sacrifice your own boundaries or let someone hurt you while you’re under the spell of hopium. You also have to look at the present actions of that partner and assess if they’re really showing the willingness to change or it’s just your addiction to false hope.

In conclusion, don’t let hope be the driving force in your life till you even forget to look at the steps you’re taking in that staircase. When you cling so much on hope you will find yourself tumbling down and getting hurt by people who will exploit your hopium addiction. So, it’ okay to have hope but you also need to be mindful of what you’re really hoping for.

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these toxic patterns (in less than 2 months) , then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.

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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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