When you discover that someone you love is struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, it can be quite a shock. You may find yourself caught in a string of emotions, leaving you feeling helpless and confused. Maybe you even think that if you had done something differently, your loved one wouldn’t have turned to substances. You may begin thinking of ways to help your loved one as a way of curing their disease. However, it is crucial for you to realize that you did not play a role in your loved one’s addiction. You shouldn’t live in guilt or shame, but rather have hope for healing.
You Didn’t Do Anything To Cause the Addiction
Many people feel guilty when they find a close friend or family member struggles with addiction because they think that something they did or did not do might have caused it. You must accept that addiction is a disease, and you couldn’t have caused it to happen. If you recognize this, you may help resolve yourself of any guilt. There is nothing you could’ve said or done that would’ve prevented it from happening.
You Cannot Control Your Loved One or Their Addiction
As much as you may want to take away your loved one’s drugs or alcohol or monitor their every move to ensure they aren’t using, it won’t stop them from getting their hands on the addictive substances. Addiction is a disease that changes a person’s brain, causing them to engage in behaviors they usually wouldn’t. There is nothing you can do to control the situation. All you can control is yourself. Accept this and let go of that need for control so you can properly learn to help your family member.
You Cannot Cure Your Loved One
Addiction is a chronic disease, meaning there is no cure. This can be a frightening statement to swallow, but ultimately it should help you surrender your attempts at trying to cure your loved one. There is treatment available for addiction, but one person cannot be held responsible for assisting the struggling individual in getting better. Let go of your need to cure them and put this in the hands of a higher power, whatever that looks like for you.
You Cannot Pour From an Empty Cup
You cannot be helpful to your loved one if you are not taking care of yourself. Without proper sleep, diet, exercise, self-care, and mental health checks, you cannot expect to be giving to others continually. Look after yourself first to ensure you give your loved one the time and support they need without burning yourself out. Learning to take care of yourself will save you a lot of heartache in the long run, as it will keep you physically and mentally healthy as you are going through this difficult time.
You Are Not a Burden For Asking For Help
If you find yourself struggling, you may be thinking of asking for help. You may find some guilt attached to this feeling because you know your loved one is going through their own struggles, and you don’t want to turn the attention on you. However, remember that everyone needs a little help sometimes, and you cannot compare what you are going through to another person’s journey. Reaching out for support when you need it can keep you afloat and better cope with your current situation.
You Are Worthy of Love and Forgiveness
No matter what you think you did or what mistakes you made, you are always worthy of love and forgiveness. Even if you played the role of the enabler at one point, you are still worthy of love and forgiveness. Keep in mind that everyone makes mistakes, but the goal is to learn from them and move on. However, it is essential to realize that you cannot force someone’s love or make them forgive you. All you can do is apologize, make amends, and do your best. After that, it is out of your hands.
You Are Strong Enough to Get Through This
Having a loved one struggle with addiction or go through recovery is a challenging situation for everyone involved. There will be days when you feel you are at your wit’s end and cannot go on anymore, but you must remind yourself that you are strong on these days. Every single bad day or challenging situation you have had in your life, you made it through. You will make it through this, too, because you are strong and have the determination to keep going.
Addiction not only affects the person struggling with the disease but those around them as well. It can be frightening watching your loved one struggle with substance abuse, knowing that it can be challenging to overcome. Affirmations can be a vital tool on the bad days. They serve as reminders of how strong you are and your role in all of this. At Northstar Transitions, we help the family heal as a unit because we understand how devastating this disease can be. Not only do we focus on healing the person struggling with the addiction, but we work with the family to provide education and coping methods for everyone involved. Our goal is to help you develop critical life skills to build confidence, resilience, and independence. If you are struggling with someone you love going through addiction or recovery, reach out to us. We can provide you with the proper help. Call us today at (303) 558-6400.