Understand, You Can’t Fix Them, or Any One
If you can just be the best supporter of your loved one’s recovery from addiction, they will never drink or use again…right? This is a thought process that most friends and family members have when their loved one goes to treatment. Treatment will fix the problem. Abiding by all of the rules and using all of the tools will fix the problem. Only your loved one can give themselves the validation and strength they need to find a solution to their problem.
Create and Define Strong, Healthy Boundaries With Strong, Healthy Consequences
Boundaries are what maintain healthy responsibilities in your relationship with your loved one who has become addicted to drugs and alcohol. Consequence is what happens when a boundary is crossed or violated. For example, after your loved one goes to treatment and comes home, there is a clearly defined boundary or expectation that there is no relapse. If there is relapse, there are consequences.
One of the greatest struggles family members and friends have is enforcing their consequences. A lack of enforced consequences could be no greater detriment to your loved one’s recovery.
The way addiction takes over the brain ride the brain of processing and considering consequences. It is critical for supporting your loved one to continuously define, redefine, and enforce boundaries as well as consequences.
Remember to Love Them for Who They Are Despite Their Addiction
You’ll hear sentiments like “Love the addict, hate the addiction,” as the supporting friend or family member of a loved one with addiction. It sounds easy but it is hard to practice and it isn’t entirely accurate. Your loved one’s addiction has certainly created a multitude of problems.
Over the years you have grown to hate their addiction more and more. You see the pain it causes your loved one and your family members as well as other friends. When your loved one decides to recover and enters treatment, tremendous changes start to take place. Slowly but surely, you see your old loved one- the person they were before their addiction- return.
Not only does your loved one return, they grow into a new, better, healthier, stronger, more experienced version of themselves. Who you knew before the addiction has developed a purpose and a strength because of their addiction. For that reason, you cannot hate the addiction in it’s entirety.
The addiction has brought you to where you both are today. However, that doesn’t mean the addiction won’t rear it’s head once in awhile and force you to reckon with it once more. During those dark moments when the characteristics of your loved one’s addiction are outshining the characteristics of who your loved one really is, it is important to remember to love them for who they are. Understanding that your loved one is not their addiction and not defined by their addiction, is key.
Lakehouse Recovery Center sees the family afterward when addiction has finally stopped. Our residential treatment program offers family therapy and family programming so the entire family can heal. There is a solution to addiction and alcoholism. For information, call us today: 877.762.3707