Addiction is a disease that manifests not only in the person struggling with it but also in the lives of those closest to them. Seeing a loved one struggle through addiction is challenging and painful. Family and friends of the addict often ask themselves questions such as: What can I do to help? Where did I go wrong that made this person act this way? Why doesn’t this person care enough about me to stop this behavior?
While there is a lot of uncertainty and fear when it comes to addiction, one thing is true: there is hope. Relationships can be restored and lives can go back to normal. Many addicts do recover, but only after they have made the choice to do so. Until that choice is made, friends and family should do their best to avoid being drawn into the addict’s downward spiral.
As the loved one of an addict, it is imperative to focus on your own well-being. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, helping the addict, or enabling them, can make their problematic behavior worse.
Once you surrender to the fact that you can only help yourself, you will feel a sense of relief. There is a reason the pilot on an airplane advises all passengers to put their own oxygen mask on first; you must take care of yourself before you can help anyone else. Focusing on yourself and your own wellness instead of trying to help or save the addict will be difficult at first. Always keep in mind that you are not alone.
There are various counseling options, whether individual, family, or couple, that are available for the addict as well as for the addict’s family and friends who are suffering as a result of the addict’s behaviors.
If you are ready to get help for you or your loved one, please contact us.