While treatment tends to revolve around the person in active addiction, it’s imperative that family and close friends are not forgotten. They often endure as much emotional turmoil as the person struggling – they watch their loved ones spiral down a bad path, field phone calls from debt collectors, deal with police and endure many lies and painful arguments. It can feel thankless and isolating.
That’s why the New England Recovery Center places such an importance on incorporating the client’s outside support system into treatment. It’s imperative to mend relationships in therapy, provide necessary education about the disease and work collaboratively on post-treatment plans.
Whether your loved one has sought help or isn’t quite there yet, you’re bound to face some tough days. When you do, remember the below three things.
- It’s Not Your Fault
Addiction is a disease that fundamentally rewires the brain. It alters judgement, personalities, decision-making and so much more.
You didn’t cause your loved one to become addicted to drugs or alcohol. Addiction knows no boundaries, and there is nothing an outside source can do to stop it in its tracks.
- Don’t Be Ashamed
Loving someone who is struggling with addiction may be the hardest thing you ever do. You may feel the need to hide it, sweep it under the rug and put on a brave face for the neighbors. But there is never a need to feel shame. Those who judge simply don’t understand that addiction is a disease.
Focus on yourself, your loved one and the rest of your family. And remember that addiction has affected every community across the nation – you are far from alone.
- Take Care of Yourself
We can’t stress self-care enough. Loving someone with an addiction is really tough, and you need to take time for yourself. Make time to reflect on your own needs. Make time for your hobbies.
You owe it to yourself to take care of yourself, too. If you don’t, you’ll burn out and find yourself unable to be there for others. Taking a time out will benefit everybody around you.