Being the loved one of a drug and or alcohol abuser will not be easy. Your loved one may not even seem like the loved one you once recognized. When an addiction consumes someone, it takes hold of all aspects of their life, and the addiction is almost like a new family member. This addiction not only affects the person who is addicted, but it affects everyone in the person’s life. Your loved one is someone you don’t recognize and this takes a toll on everyone who loves them, so loved ones must not be forgotten about through these times. It is not easy to be a witness to this transformation in your loved one but there are strategies to help make it a bit easier on their shoulders.
Learn and Understand Your Loved One’s Addiction
Learning and understanding the aspects of your loved one’s addiction can help build the perception of how this isn’t anyone’s fault and blaming is an ineffective way to cope with your loved one’s drug and or alcohol abuse. Learning that the science behind the occurrence of addiction based on the brain’s chemistry changes can avoid the assumptions that the addict is weak or selfish, and can give a full picture of how this has come to be and how it can be overcome.
Just like an addict isolated from society, it is no different for the loved ones of the addict. Isolating can lead to overthinking, and not realizing that you are not alone. Connecting with others who are in a similar position as you can help to boost you up, and to know that you will get through this with support and strategies to make it through the tough times of your loved one’s addiction. There are programs like Al-Anon, which is a support group for loved ones and friends of alcoholics. Similar to Al-Anon is Alateen which is the same geared towards supporting children of alcoholics and substance abusers. Attendance at these support groups will provide individuals with a safe space where they can learn, talk, and build strategies to cope with their loved ones’ addictions.
Manageable expectations are important for your loved one going through recovery, as accomplishing attainable goals provides motivation to keep moving forward. The same goes for the loved ones of the addict. It takes time for anything to get better, and that time is necessary for behaviours that have been grown into due to the addiction, to be grown out of as well. It is important to manage your expectations and identify that time is necessary for relationships to be healthily rebuilt.
Codependency with Addiction Toronto, Ontario
Codependency is excessive emotional and psychological reliance on someone or something. With drug and alcohol abuse, an addict has a codependent relationship with the drugs and or alcohol. When you as a loved one help the addicted individual manage their lives with their addiction, though it may seem like help is being provided, enabling them to continue the abuse can also be present, as they see they can manage life while still aiding their habits. For a loved one, it can feel tough to not enable your loved one as it is hard to identify other ways you can help. Either way, it is difficult to manage a relationship with your loved one who is addicted to drugs and or alcohol. This is one of many areas which can make you feel as if you are “giving up” on your loved one when in fact you are not, but it still does not negate the fact that you may feel that you have not been there. As a loved one, attending these support meetings intended for the loved ones of addicts, provides you with a circle of individuals walking a similar path, and can help.
My Loved One is Addicted to Drugs and Alcohol Toronto, Ontario
As a loved one of someone who is struggling with addiction, you are allowed to feel all the feelings that you feel. There is no judgement, it is normal to feel the way that you do. You may feel guilty, scared, mad, sad, overwhelmed, or whatever it is you may feel, but whatever it is know that you are not the reason your loved one has developed an addiction. Your loved one is struggling with drug abuse, and you are struggling with your loved one’s drug abuse, the best way you can cope with this is by keeping in mind some of these strategies to help you cope with your reality.
Understand That This is Your Reality
Knowing your reality means that you have accepted what has happened, and what is. Your loved one is struggling with addiction and that can be hard to accept. However, the sooner you accept it the sooner both you and your loved ones can conquer this addiction together and grow. Understanding your reality can help you cope and learn to handle and understand the position you are in as the role of a loved one who is addicted. Learning how to support your loved one, and learning how to support yourself during this time.
Learn to Love Your Loved One as an Addicted Individual
You may not recognize your loved one as they struggle with their addiction. Their behaviour can alter, and their daily habits change, and it takes its toll on everyone involved. As hard as it may be, it is important to try and separate your loved one and their addiction. What pieces are the person you love, and what changes have occurred for them to be the person they are right now? An individual is not their addiction, it is a piece of their story that does not define who they are. On the flip side, to keep yourself healthy, and support your loved one as they struggle with their addiction, make sure you look after yourself too. Without filling your gas tank, you can’t help those around you, let alone yourself. Your identity is not the “loved one of an addicted individual” just like an addiction is not someone’s identity, so reinforce that by keeping up with your routines of work, school, hobbies, friends, exercise, meals, and fun.
You Cannot Control Your Loved One
The only thing within your power is how you choose to act and react in any given scenario. How someone else behaves or reacts, is not something you can control, only they can. At the end of the day, the decision to achieve sobriety is on the addicted individual, not you as the loved one. Remembering this can alleviate some extra weight you may be carrying.
As was shared earlier, learning and understanding the aspects of your loved one’s addiction can help build the perception of how this isn’t anyone’s fault and blaming is an ineffective way to cope with your loved one’s drug and or alcohol abuse. Learning that the science behind the occurrence of addiction based on the brain’s chemistry changes can avoid the assumptions that the addict is weak or selfish, and can give a full picture of how this has come to be and how it can be overcome. On the flip side, taking ownership of your actions can support your loved one in taking ownership of their actions down the road. It is a way to show support in the long run and can provide an opportunity for absolution for both you and your loved one.
At Addiction Rehab Toronto, we can help you and your loved ones in every aspect of your addiction. We are will help you on your road to sobriety.
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