Addiction takes a toll on everyone involved. Coming to terms with a loved one’s addiction can be difficult. The steps to take after learning about an addiction can be even more difficult if you are unaware of how to cope with this type of situation. Here are five important ways you can go about coping with and loving someone who has an addiction.
Most people do not have a huge knowledge about addiction. For this reason, you may not understand why your loved one began using a substance in the first place. You may even wonder why they can’t just stop using a substance now. Once you have come to terms with a loved one’s addiction, it’s important to learn as much as you can about mental health and addiction. One thing you may not know is that mental illnesses and addictions go hand in hand. These are called co-occurring disorders. Many people with addictions also have a mental illness. In some cases, the person began using in an attempt to cope with their pre-existing mental illness. You may also want to educate yourself on the warning signs of addiction. Recovery is not a straight line. Your loved one may relapse a time or two before they get back on the right path. Knowing what to look out for is important in helping your loved one stay on track.
Recovery isn’t easy. It isn’t linear, either. Your loved one is going to experience setbacks—it’s part of the process. It’s important to be patient with your loved one as they are trying to recover from an addiction. No one wants to relapse, but more often than not, they do occur. Try not to become too controlling. Give them time and space. Be patient with them. They’re doing their best.
Set healthy boundaries
Setting healthy boundaries is important for everyone, regardless of an addiction. In every relationship you have, there are boundaries that need to be set. When it comes to navigating a loved one’s addiction, boundaries are no different. We recommend not being harsh—but don’t go soft on them out of pity, either. Boundaries need to be set so that you are not feeling like you are being taken advantage of. Explicitly tell them what you expect of them and what you will and will not tolerate. This is important in any relationship.
Talk to a professional
Speaking with a professional is an important step in the process of recovery from an addiction. You aren’t expected to do everything or know everything on your own. No one is perfect, but speaking with a trained professional regarding addictions can help you show up better for your loved one. Having extra support is key in coping with a loved one’s addiction.
Take care of yourself
Self-care is extremely important. You should be practicing self-care on a daily basis. There’s even more reason to practice self-care when you are trying to cope with a loved one’s addiction. Remember that you cannot pour from an empty glass—take care of yourself so that you can take care of your loved one, too.
Pinnacle Recovery is here for you while you are trying to cope with a loved one’s addiction. Reach out to our staff today for more information about how to cope at 1-866-301-0573. We cannot wait to hear from you!