Finding out that a loved one is struggling with drug addiction stirs up worries, pain, guilt, and other emotions that seem very difficult to deal with in such hard times. Knowing that there are ways in which you and other family members can learn about addiction and help your loved one can make the family stronger while emotions are running high.
Within a family that has a member with the disease of addiction, it is imperative to always hold onto the idea that love has no boundaries. Though you may find that your loved one has let you down or even hurt you, the way in which you view their addiction and how you continue to deal with it could be an effective and life-altering way of providing the helping hand that your loved one needs.
Through the many ups and downs, there are many strategies and learning moments that can assist in the healing process of damaged relationships. These days, with drug addiction and abuse still on the rise, more and more families are finding that programs exist just for the purpose of helping them stay together as a unit. Family therapies, support groups, and sober activities can provide some of the relief during the process of rehabilitation and further recovery.
What you know now about drug dependency and addiction may not be the best source from which to view your loved one during their climb to sobriety. Your point of view as a family member should be reliant on the emotional hardship that the one you care for has had to endure.
In an effort to gain peace and move forward through the process of recovery alongside your struggling family member, it is better to simply understand that what has taken place is not simple. Many variables contribute to addiction and not all of them can be explained. While it is easy to be angry and easier still to wash your hands of the problem and build a wall around the family that keeps the addiction out, that fortress will never help anyone—on any side—heal. Keep calm through the process while you, the family, and the one you love continue to rebuild the love, trust, and respect.
Understanding the struggle your loved one faces is important both for them and for the family. But more than understanding, it is time for you—as one who truly cares—to gain some knowledge on what addiction really is.
Drug and alcohol addiction is a disease. That being said, there are many reasons why someone would be affected by this disease and other diseases that accompany it. Think about your family member and consider the possible places he or she has been in in life. Has mental illness, even depression, been a factor at any point? Has there been any significant loss or grief that was, perhaps, too difficult to bear? Do you think that you deal with things differently and that makes you stronger or wiser?
Imagine going through life only feeling sad, that same sadness keeping you up at night, that lack of sleep affecting your responsibilities, losing jobs and relationships… the sadness only gets heavier. You may not know what it feels like, but you can imagine what it would be to have something make you a tiny bit happier when you were swathed in depression. Many times this is where drug addiction begins.
While there are other sources from which addiction can arise, such as genetic predisposition and societal pressures, educating yourself and the family on the issue can lighten anger and resentment. Providing a new platform for communication can pull together a lot of missing pieces to the puzzle of addiction while you strive to help the family stay strong and your loved one get better.
In these situations, everyone needs a great deal of support in order to push through the many trying times that will come during the recovery process. While you have much more of a wealth of support to rely on while you learn about addiction and delve into helping your loved one receive treatment, he is probably not as lucky. Addiction can burn many bridges in life, so while you find support for yourself, do not forget to support and find other support for your family member.
There are a number of wonderful support systems to rely on during the recovery process, both for you and for him. Sponsors to keep the pull of addiction minimal, meetings both for NA and AA, regardless of addiction, and attending church if only to find strength in oneself, can all help your loved one on this difficult journey. As for you and the family you care for, knowing that there are groups in your area to join and even begin can be a major part of the healing process. Support groups provide understanding, kinship, helping hands, and shoulders to cry on in times of need. Those who have gone through or are going through a similar challenge can identify with your struggle, listen to you, and give you advice. Soon you may find that you are also helping others with your own wisdom in these matters.
One of the most important ways to move forward when the family is faces with addiction is to attend family therapy. Therapy for your loved one will help him gain some skills he may be lacking, such as positive cognitive behaviors that assist in how he will proceed through his sober life. Therapy for yourself and the other members of your family who have felt the crush of addiction will help guide you all toward a new path as your loved one continues on in recovery.
Family therapy does not have to be only about parents seeking advice in a matter that involves their child or adult child. Therapy can also integrate large sessions with siblings, younger children, husbands, and wives. Much of your knowledge of the addiction, where it came from and how it affects him can be discovered with the professional help of a psychologist. Many psychologists specialize in family therapies as well as therapy for those who struggle with addiction, and for their family members.
Help For The Future
Helping oneself is extremely important while treatment and recovery are underway. Just as important, you must think about the many ways in which you can assist your loved one during this long and strenuous process. Inpatient treatment may be one of the steps he needs to take in order to truly recover and remain sober. This treatment can often be long and rightfully drawn out to provide more time with therapists and self-discovery. While he is away, you may want to think about any assistance you can provide for the future of his life. Could you help him to relocate and find a better purpose in life? Is there a way for you to get him a good job that will stand out on his resume and start building him a nice course of action for his future?
While you think about all that you can do to assist your loved one and perhaps guide him toward a new and safe future, remember that when you are helping him, you are also helping yourself and the rest of the family. What better a way to continue to heal than to be certain that your struggling loved one no longer struggles in this world because he is in recovery and has a bright life ahead of him.
Hold his hand as much as you can and lead him toward the better things in life. Pursue sober activities that everyone can partake in. Remember the past and what tore apart the relationship he needed with you and help mend that so that he has a family to rely on while he begins to rely once more on himself.
Seeking Help For All
Everything that you and the family has gone through will continue to weigh on you all until you seek out help. Know that there are therapists and support groups, treatment centers and places of faith that can give you hope and help mend your family. Contact DrugRehab.org today for information and help for your whole family.