How do you love an addict?
Loving an addict often feels hopeless. If you have ever loved someone in active addiction, you may feel used and abused. Compassion may not seem like a natural response, and there are times when your own survival and health must take priority over the needs of your loved one. Loving an addict can seem like a lose-lose proposition and washing your hands of the relationship may seem inevitable. If these statements ring true to your own experience, then allow us to encourage you and give you hope.
Guilt and shame are common feelings for the addict, but they are also common for those that love and support the addict. The challenge is balancing helping versus enabling. You may find yourself weighing the guilt of not helping in their times of desperation against the guilt of enabling them to continue their inward and outward destruction. We may experience widely varying emotions regarding the situation. One set of emotions leads us to cut off the addict in anger and frustration, and the other set leads us to avoid confrontations in fear of pushing a loved one away.
It has been proven that isolating an addict and disconnecting them from healthy relationships is detrimental to recovery efforts. The majority of addicts who seek treatment do so because of positive family and friend involvement and intervention. While the first response may be to disconnect from your loved one out of frustration or fear of conflict, it is critical that you work to eliminate barriers to reconnecting with them. Open and healthy communication between the addict and loved ones can be the first step in moving toward a life free from drugs and alcohol.
Our professionally trained team can help you make meaningful connections with your loved ones about the subject of treatment. Please call us; we want to encourage you today and lead you and your loved one on the road to recovery.