It Is Never Easy To See Addiction Destroy your Loved One
Substance abuse destroys not just the addict’s life, but that of his loved ones as well. Addiction is tough to cure because it takes the concerted efforts of the patient, the significant people around him, and the therapists. Nothing is more frustrating and disheartening than to see your loved one’s life fall apart.
The bad news is that you have a responsibility to help the person find his way to rehab. On the other hand, the good news is that you exert lots of influence in making the recovery journey successful. Although it would be unavoidable for you to feel helpless and desperate along the way, there is a way that you can turn these unfavorable emotions around to make a recovery possible and manageable. Experts advise that you need to take these steps.
“The mentality and behavior of drug addicts and alcoholics is wholly irrational until you understand that they are completely powerless over their addiction and unless they have structured help, they have no hope.” ― Russell Brand
You need to make your loved one feel that you are there for him and that you completely understand what he’s going through. As hard as it may seem for you to do this, the key to getting your loved one’s ‘trust’ is by employing a ‘helping’ approach where you do not insist upon your ways.
Logical thinking is usually nonexistent for someone in addiction. Any attempt to reason out with them or win in an argument will only drive them farther. It would also make them more antagonistic or withdrawn. Empathizing means that you patiently try to discover what they’re feeling, why they think they feel that way, and not putting them on the defensive.
Should you be in a potential disagreement circumstance, leave the situation temporarily instead of forcing your opinion. Active listening plays a very crucial role in this step. It helps you have a better understanding of where the victim is coming from. In turn, it allows them to voice out their thoughts and emotions without feeling threatened. In the end, the victim would be able to admit that they have a problem that needs to be addressed.
Keep a healthy boundary between you and your loved one
It is imperative that you also make a healthy boundary for yourself. While it is true that you tend to become vulnerable and too affected by the plight of your loved one, it is you who is in the best position to set limits – or rules. That way, you can keep your sanity in check and establish some form of control in your lives.
Creating firm boundaries enable relationships to stay healthy. Being the logical one (between you and the patient, that is), you need to be the one to spell out what should and should not be. In this way, you don’t compromise anything. You also have greater chances for your loved one to accept the road to recovery.
Let your loved one take responsibility
Do not dwell on blaming others or yourself for the victim’s predicament. Remember that there must first be an acceptance that there is indeed an addiction problem and that help is needed. You don’t put your loved one in a straightjacket and lock him up. Rather, he has to initiate the move to be rehabilitated. Anything that is forced upon the person is a recipe for disaster, especially if he has not yet fully accepted the reality. This step is also necessary to enable you to set up that healthy boundary that YOU have to create.
While you have the responsibility of taking action when a loved has turned into an addict, you have to seek other people’s help. Do your research and find experts to guide you.
It is natural for you to get counseling first to know the most suitable approach to take and look for support groups that can provide you the enlightenment that you need. Sharpen your helping spears to be better equipped to support your loved one as he embarks on his recovery.
In a nutshell: Not tough, but a firm and kind love
Recent studies have revealed that applying tough love does not guarantee that your addicted loved one will change ways. What does seem to work very well is using a kind, yet firm love when trying to help your loved deal with the problem. It is a rather long process of silent handholding. Yet, it is one that reassures your loved one that you are always standing by and ready to help.
“Scars are not injuries, Tanner Sack. A scar is a healing. After injury, a scar is what makes you whole.” ― China Miéville