Watching our loved ones struggle with the pain of addiction can be one of the hardest things we’ll ever have to do. We often try different things in the hopes that we’ll be able to make them quit. We throw out their drugs and alcohol. We punish them in certain ways by withholding money, attention or affection. We give ultimatums. Ultimately, though, these methods are all forms of control and manipulation, and they don’t work. People get help when they’re ready to. They reach out for help when they make the decision to, not when someone else tries to make it for them. Rather than trying to control the situation, we can do some things that might help our loved ones make that important decision for themselves.
One thing we can do is have an honest conversation with our loved ones about their addiction, the effects we see it having on them, and the way it’s impacting you and the other people in their lives. When we have been distraught with worry about them, we can react with anger and anxiety. Try to calmly tell them how their addiction is making you feel. Be honest about how worried and sad you’ve felt. Describe to them the effects you see the addiction having on them and their lives. Perhaps their health is deteriorating. Perhaps their depression and anxiety are worsening. Perhaps their relationships are suffering. Speaking our truth can help us to connect with our loved one, to rebuild some of the connection with them we might have lost. When we can honestly express our feelings, it can help our loved ones see just how devastating and harmful their addictions have become. It can make them face the issue when they might have been trying to avoid it.
Offer to help research services. Anyone who has lived with addiction and depression can tell you that reaching out for help can feel scary and overwhelming. Functioning in daily life can feel impossible, let alone making a call or setting an appointment. We can find the fear so debilitating that it completely paralyzes us, and we end up doing nothing. Help out by researching treatment services, therapists and support groups. Offer to make calls with them. Assist in setting up appointments. Having that kind of support for the very important details of the recovery process can make all the difference. Sometimes taking that first step feels much more doable when we have someone helping us, and from there, we continue to take steps forward in our recovery, steps we might not have been able to take had someone not helped us move past the initial hurdles.
We’re here for you and your loved ones whenever you’re ready. Call (575) 613-4810 for more information on our treatment programs.