When someone you care about is struggling with drug or alcoholism use, it can take a toll on you too. You witness the consequences of their actions and see how substance use is affecting their life in many different ways. It can also affect you because you may feel the need to make excuses for their behavior or try to smooth over challenging situations. You may avoid doing things you want to do in order to look after them.
However, it is important that you not blame yourself for their addiction or take on the burden of trying to make everything better. Make sure you take the time to take care of yourself and ensure that your needs are being met so that you can be a better source of support. It also allows you to stay healthier physically and mentally.
One of the first steps you can take is to find support for yourself. There are support groups designed specifically for family and friends of those battling addiction. There are also some family education and counseling programs available that you may find helpful. See what exists in your community and reach out to connect with others. They can provide much needed support and guidance as well as reassurance that you are not alone.
Try to stop any enabling behaviors if you can. Avoid the temptation to lie or make excuses for your loved one’s behaviors or actions. Stop giving them money when you know it will be used to support their addiction. It can be hard, but they need to realize the consequences of their actions. This can aid in further encouraging addiction treatment.
Don’t stop doing things you enjoy. It can be a great mental break and distraction from dealing with a loved one’s addiction. Plus, you deserve to continue living your own life and not be solely focused on their problems. Let them see that you will continue to care for yourself and your family, regardless of their decisions.
Keep a more positive outlook by engaging in meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises. This can help you to feel more centered and calm. It can help to alleviate stress and allow you to tackle each day with more focus, purpose, and confidence. You can’t “fix” someone’s addiction, but you don’t have to let it consume you.
Stay active and encourage your loved one to participate in activities with you. They may or may not accept, and that is their choice, but at least you are helping them to have healthy options while taking care of your own well-being. You may find more things you can do together once they are in recovery to support their continued sobriety and reduce risk of relapse.
Definitely ask for help, and don’t feel like it is all your responsibility to get your loved one into treatment. There are many professionals who can help you with this process, and family members likely willing to lend support too. The team at Crossroads can guide you through the process and help you encourage your loved one to seek treatment. Crossroads even has programs specifically designed for women and mothers. There are options available, and it is not too late to get someone the personalized help they need for recovery.
[cta]Do you need help getting a loved one addiction treatment? Contact Crossroads today to learn more.[/cta]