Today’s blog post is on the process of dealing with a loved one who is in addiction. This topic hits close to home, and if you are on our web site you most likely have or are currently in the throws of “dealing” with a close one whom is an addict.
This is my story. I come from a family of alcholics/addicts. My father passed from addiction in 2009, and my brother is, currently active in his addiction. I am in recovery.
One of the hardest parts of my recovery has been my brother. Watching him struggle. Watching him go to rehabs. Watching go back out. Trying to be there for him. Trying not to be there for him. Being confused. Then beginning to understand. All of these things have been very cyclical before and during my own recovery. The understanding came from being involved in Al-Anon, and AA.
For years I blamed everyone and everything around me for the addiction I had and the addicts in my life. I could not understand why we just couldn’t stop doing the addictive behavior we were doing. I would tell myself that I was ok because “they” were so much worse than “I” was. In all reality we were all sick.
Sickness takes on different forms and different strengths in addicts. Just like a seasonal cold that sweeps through the valley. One may have just a few sneezes, a little red nose and be better in two days. Another maybe coughing, and hacking up every color of the rainbow, later is hospitalized because it has turned into a walking pneumonia. We can never compare anyone’s addiction to another’s. This is a mistake that is made quite often, even by people who have “recovered”.
My father was never going to change his addictive behavior. I knew that and so I never even tried to give him a solution, hell how could I have, I was deep in my own addiction at the time, pointing my finger at the world telling it how messed up it was. With my brother it was a different case. I loved him so much and knew him before he was deep in his addiction. I remembered the good times we had together as children. I couldn’t lose him like I had lost so many friends, or my father. It was up to “me” to save him. This was my “first thought wrong”. I cannot help, nor save, nor do anything for someone who is not willing. We can give them guidance or suggestion, but the most important first step we need to take should be our own self-care. If we are unable to care for ourselves then we are unable to be there when our help is truly needed.
Good ways to begin this road to a positive and supportive lifestyle can be obtained by contacting anyone at any of the help lines that are listed on our webpage. Plan and execute attending an Al-Anon meeting. These rooms of understanding people (Al-Anon) can do wonders for someone who feels lost and alone in the confusion of a love ones addiction. Counselors are also great tools. They give us a place to vent and they also have a third party perspective. No matter what you can always find help through A Way Out.
I have included a few links that I found while searching around for answers and some understanding. I have included them below. Please feel free to share your strength and hope in our comments section below. “We will love you till you can love yourself.”