Addiction is a family disease, and trying to navigate life around it can be incredibly difficult. It is important to remember to take care of yourself first and foremost. As much as we wish we could force our loved one into recovery, or fix everything that is wrong, we can’t. You are powerless over people, just like your addict is powerless over their drug. No one ever wished they would grow up to be an addict, and your loved one’s addiction isn’t about you. It’s a disease, and the following are suggestions to help you cope with life’s challenges that involve loving an addict:
- Learn About Addiction – There is a lot of research on addiction, and learning about how it is rooted in brain chemistry and electrical impulse alterations, can help stop the blame game of thinking addiction is due to lack of willpower or weakness. Education can also bring hope. Researchers are finding and developing new treatments for addiction that could treat and quite possibly prevent addiction in the future.
- Connect with Others – You are not alone. Other families are facing the same situation you are in, and connecting with them can be very beneficial. Programs such as Al-Anon, Nar-Anon, and Alateen are safe, non-judgmental places for families to learn, discuss, and share about addiction and its impact on their lives.
- Family Therapy – Communication amongst family members is often decimated by addiction. Attending group sessions can help break down the anger, guilt, stress, and distrust brought on by addiction, and can begin to rebuild relationships into a supportive family unit.
- Get Together – Making a habit of doing things together helps bring cohesiveness to the family. Meals are a great way of pulling everyone to the table. It’s a good time to talk about what is going on in everyone’s lives, and keeps everyone informed and involved.
- Manage Expectations – Recovery is a process, and while you may be thrilled that your loved one’s addiction has finally been addressed, it will take awhile for them to adjust to living without the substance. Try to be patient, and remember to take care of yourself.
- Nutrition, Sleep, and Exercise – All three of these are imperative to your own well-being. Eat well, get enough sleep, and hit the gym for a good dose of stress relief. Remember, recovery is a journey, and it will get better.
If you are struggling with addiction or a loved one needs help, call The Lakehouse Recovery Center. Addiction is a family disease, and we treat it as such. You don’t have to suffer any longer. Give us a call, we can help. We are available 24/7, toll-free at (877) 762-3707. You are not alone, and recovery is possible. Call today.