Why You Should Support Your Loved Ones Instead Of Resorting to Anger
If you have someone in your life that you care about and if that person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, you may be feeling great frustration, despair, and even anger. You may want to support them but perhaps don’t know how. You might be angry at the fact that they are not doing what they can to help themselves. Meanwhile, you might want to do everything and anything to keep them well.
As you may already know, you can’t force your loved one into rehab. You can’t demand that they get help for their addiction. They have to make the decision themselves. In fact, sometimes, even if someone were to get help because a loved one wanted them too, it’s possible that they might only relapse.
It’s very common for a person struggling with addiction to experience ambivalence. One the one hand, they may want to get sober, but on the other hand, they’re invested in their drinking and drug use. It brings them emotional stability, boosts their self esteem, and serves as a way to connect with others – not to mention that they may be physically and psychologically dependent on drugs and alcohol.
So, although they may want to get help, they may not feel capable of doing so. And instead, they continue with their life as it has been.
Here Are Suggestions to Support Your Loved Ones Through Addiction
- Show respect for your loved one. If your loved one is addicted to drugs and alcohol, there may be things that he or she is doing that pushes your buttons. You might get angry, frustrated, and lose your patience. But treating your loved one with respect can maintain a close relationship. And at some point your loved one may listen to your urges to get help.
- Avoid making accusations or demands. Along with showing your respect, avoid putting yourself in a place of authority. On some level you may not thoroughly understand what your loved one is going through. And he or she may only distance themselves from you with demands and accusations. Instead, openly express your concern with care.
- Become an active participant. Let your friend or family member know that you will be actively involved. This can ease his or her feeling of having to go through this alone. The thought of treatment itself might provoke anxiety. Communicate that you will accompany him or her each step of the way.
- Put a limitation on treatment. If your loved one continues to refuse to get help, see if he or she is willing to participate in at least 3 weeks of drug rehab or one week of 12-step meetings. By highlighting the short-term nature of treatment, he or she might be more willing to agree. If your friend or family member can see the end to the experience, it might be easier to accept.
If you’d like to best provide support for your loved one, it’s going to require a great deal of patience. Stay respectful but firm and continue to express your concern. You might also learn about addiction and recovery yourself so that you can better understand your loved one.
If you feel you need support, contact a mental health provider to help both yourself and your loved one through this process.
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