Loving an addict or someone struggling with alcoholism isn’t easy. These 8 powerful tips will help you learn to cope while helping your loved one.
Is someone you love suffering from a drug addiction or alcoholism?
Are you struggling to stay sane while trying to help them?
When someone you love is suffering from an addiction, it can affect every aspect of your own life as well. Loving an addict or alcoholic can be a very difficult experience and it can be hard to stay strong while trying to help them get through it. Unfortunately, it can be far too easy to let your own wellbeing fall by the wayside.
Luckily, we’re here to help. Below we’ll look at the most powerful tips for staying strong when loving an addict or alcoholic.
- Start Taking Care of Yourself First
When you love an addict it can be easy to start caring only for them and putting their needs in front of your own. However, while this may sound like a kind idea it’s not as good as it seems.
It’s important that you focus on your own self-care first before you take care of your loved one. Believe it or not, it’s not selfish to care about your own needs first.
Keep a check on your stress levels and make sure that you’re working on improving your mental, physical, and emotional health. If you find that you’re becoming depressed or your emotional health is slipping it’s crucial that you slow down. Do some things for yourself to make yourself happy.
Taking care of yourself is crucial if you want to stay strong and continue to be there for your loved one in the long run.
- Set the Right Boundaries
It’s also important that you set the right boundaries when you are living with someone who has a drug or alcohol problem.
When you’re around an addict, they often expect a lot from you and their behavior can easily get out of hand. It’s important to have a place that you’re willing to draw the line so that you’re not taken advantage of.
Just because your loved one has an addiction it doesn’t mean that you should let them do anything they want. You need to set the right boundaries and let them know if they cross them. Practice being assertive to make sure they respect your wishes and understand the difference between “yes” and “no”.
- Learn to Look Out For Manipulative Behavior
People with addictive behaviors have often learned the art of manipulating others to suit their needs. It’s important that you learn how to recognize this behavior and know how to deal with it when it occurs.
An addict who doesn’t want to change may do anything to get out of their responsibilities even if that means manipulating you or others they love into giving them what they want. Be careful of giving in to their demands and be wary of their lying, blaming, or guilt-tripping behaviors.
If you find that they are trying to manipulate you be strong and let them know that it won’t work on you.
- Accept the Reality
When you love an addict one of the worst things you can do to yourself is to deny the reality of the situation. It’s better not to sugarcoat the truth of the situation or lie to yourself about what’s going on.
Accept your life and your loved one for what they are in the moment and work to see the reality of the situation for exactly what it is. If the person you love has a serious problem don’t try to rationalize it to yourself or to others. Don’t act like it doesn’t exist.
Recognize the problems with addiction your loved one has and accept them. Only then can you help them deal with their problems while also keeping your sanity in the process.
- Know Your Limitations
One mistake that people who love an addict often make is to take too much responsibility on themselves. They try to “fix” the other persona and make them change.
As much as you may not want it to be true, you don’t really have complete control over another person’s actions or habits. While you can try to influence them the best that you can, it’s up to them to make real and lasting changes within themselves.
Learn how to recognize the things that you have control over and try your best to accept the things that you don’t.
If you want real change in your loved one, you may want to consider getting outside help from a drug rehab such as Life Transformation Recovery. You can visit this website to learn more about how an effective drug rehab may be able to help your loved one.
- Avoid Enabling Them
Sometimes it’s important to take a long hard look at your own behavior and make sure you’re not making the problem worse. Sometimes people with the best intentions can end up making matters more difficult for their loved one and end up enabling them instead.
While you want to help your loved one there is a difference between truly helping them and simply enabling their toxic behavior. Taking care of them too much, not setting boundaries, and allowing them to rely on you excessively for support can backfire. It can allow them to not feel a need to change.
Consider the way you’re handling your relationship with your loved one and decide if it’s truly helping them or simply allowing them to feel even more secure in their toxic behavior.
- Be Careful With Your Finances
On the practical side of things, it’s important to stay strong when it comes to your finances as well. While you likely have some shared finances with your loved one it’s important to consider getting any money that you can out of their reach.
Addicts often use whatever money they can to buy drugs or alcohol. It’s important that you cut them off from some of this money the best that you can.
Create a separate account if necessary so that you and your loved ones don’t lose the money you need to pay important bills, buy groceries, or deal with everyday responsibilities.
- Join a Support Group
One final tip for staying strong in the midst of loving someone with an addiction is to join a support group.
In your local community, there are likely support groups not only for the addicts themselves but also for people who are friends or family members of people with alcohol problems or drug addictions.
Check with local support organizations in your area and you’ll probably be able to find some of these groups. It’s a great idea to join one of these groups and to start attending regularly.
B joining a support group, you’ll get others who are going through the same experiences as you are. You’ll also learn ways to stay strong when dealing with the problems of your addicted loved one.
Doing Your Best to Stay Strong While Loving An Addict
Needless to say, loving an addict can be hard. It can be very difficult to deal with their toxic behavior and to ensure that you’re doing everything you can for them as well as for yourself. Be sure to follow the above tips if you want to have the best chance of staying strong despite the pressures you’re facing.
Looking for more ways to stay happy, healthy, and strong? Click here to read about 5 natural ways you can start relieving stress today.