So you just discovered your loved one is an addict. You are horrified, angry, embarrassed, frustrated, and almost every emotion known to man. What do you do?
Original image via Bing Creative Commons, courtesy of Christ the Truth http://christthetruth.wordpress.com/2011/07/04/addiction-seminar-for-teens/
It is hard knowing what to do.
My son has been an addict for almost half his life, along with being in and out of jail and rehabs.
At the moment, he is in recovery, and living at home.
How do I do it?
Well, it’s not easy. I had to learn coping skills and what I could change and what I couldn’t change.
You see, it all has to begin with you.
I hear you – You don’t have a problem – They have the problem.
But you can’t change them. You can’t cure their addictions for them. The only one you can change and cure is you.
First off, if you haven’t been to one, get yourself to either an al-anon or a nar-non meeting. Attend six of these meetings and then decide if they are for you. Chances are you will see you in a different perspective. This would be your first stage of change for you.
The healthier you become can open doors for your addict to change. They may not like your new you in the beginning, but so what. At this stage, you probably don’t like them much either.
You become stronger, savvier, and almost fearless. Maybe even a leader by example.
But if you try to change them instead of you, you will only be met with resistance. This will cause things to escalate even more.
So how do you get them to get help if you can’t do anything about their addiction?
You have to let them go – let them fall – the sooner they fall the less likely they will die from their addiction.
They have to get in trouble with the law. They need to learn about consequences. They need to learn how to pick themselves up.
So you wait – They have to ask for help on their own – you can throw ideas out to them as suggestions – The best suggestion is rehab, and it doesn’t matter how many times it takes either. They have to want the help or when it is given it won’t make a difference.
I know that my addict will probably mess up again. Each time he learns something new and takes a step forward in his recovery.
But know that the very first step of asking and getting help is the hardest one to take.
Check out these links on Addiction I think you may find useful.