Their Addiction Has Nothing To Do With You
Most of the time, our loved one with an addiction has demonstrated to us time and again that we are of little concern to them. Our love for them, our fear for them, our attempts to help, our attempts to cut them out of our lives- nothing seems to have phased our loved one’s addiction. It’s of wonder then why it is so hard for us to truly accept that their addictions have nothing to do with us. We’ve spent endless hours trying to understand. Was it something we did? Is it something we do? Are we missing something about what’s wrong with us? Don’t they love us? Trying to rationalize the irrationality of addiction can (and will) drive us mad. We have to embrace the fact that, though they may be acting like someone completely different from the person we know and love, our loved ones are still their own person making their own decisions.
You Can’t Make Them Stop
Which is exactly why there is nothing we can do to make them stop. Addicts in recovery often reveal that no marriage, child, relationship, or job was enough to make them get or stay sober. We can offer help, support, and guidance as much as we can stand. In the end, it is going to be their decision and their decision alone to finally stop using and start recovering. When that moment comes, it is up to you to be there.
It Isn’t Your Fault
There is a good chance they won’t ever choose sobriety. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a good chance that they will. Whatever their decision understand that it isn’t your fault.
There Is An End To Enabling
You might be at fault for enabling. Enabling is a sign of codependent behavior, which can actually harm an addict’s chances of recovering. Common forms of enabling in a relationship with an active addict can include, but is not limited to: covering for their mistakes, paying for legal fees, buying them drugs or alcohol, giving them money, letting them stay in the house, and more.
It’s OK To Set Boundaries
One of the best ways to make it clear to an addict that they need to get help is by discontinuing to indulge their behaviors. With love, compassion, and healthy detachment, it is okay to set boundaries. Boundaries can be rigid or flexible. For example, they may not be allowed to show up to dinner under the influence, or, they have to take an at-home urine test before being allowed to participate in family events.
You Can Still Love Them
No matter what happens, they are still your loved one. It is perfectly reasonable for your feelings of loving them not to go away. Nothing says you should stop loving them. They need all the love they can get. Provide a struggling addict with healthy love.
Avalon By The Sea offers intensive family therapy components for both our mental health and substance use disorder treatment programs. Certified to treat both diagnosis, Avalon provides a comprehensive program for dual diagnosis and co-occurring disorders. For a confidential assessment and more information on our treatment programs, call 1-855-464-8492.