When someone you love is struggling with an addiction, it can be really tough to know how best to be supportive. In this post, we’ll go over some key ways you can be there for your loved one, through educating yourself about addiction, setting boundaries, practicing patience, encouraging treatment, and taking care of yourself.
Addiction is a complex disease, and it can be difficult for loved ones to understand what their loved one is going through. Learn about addiction and the different types of treatment options available. This will help you to better understand your loved one's situation and to be more supportive. There are many resources available to help you educate yourself about addiction, such as books, websites, and support groups.
Get clear on what you can — and can’t — offer in support of your loved one. This means not enabling your loved one's addiction and not letting their addiction take over your life. Think carefully about whether or not you’re willing to lend your loved one money or offer them a place to live. As difficult as it is to accept, remember that you are not responsible for your loved one's addiction. You can only control your own actions.
Encourage your loved one to seek treatment for their addiction. This could include therapy, support groups, or medication. There are many different treatment options available, so it is important to find one that is right for your loved one.
Recovery is a process, and it takes time. Be patient with your loved one and with yourself. There will be setbacks along the way, but it is important to stay positive and supportive. Cultivating patience can help you remember to not take your loved one's addiction personally — their addiction is not something they are doing intentionally to hurt you. Addiction is a disease, and it is not something that they chose.
Take care of yourself
It is important to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. This means getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly. It also means taking time for activities that you enjoy. Taking care of yourself will help you to be more supportive of your loved one and to cope with the challenges of supporting them.
If you're feeling overwhelmed in supporting your loved one, it might be time to consider getting your own mental health treatment. At Salt River Therapy, our experienced professionals are ready to help you learn how to understand what you’re going through and learn how to cope. Start now — click the button below to schedule a free phone consultation.