When a loved one struggles with addiction, it can often be difficult to know how to help and give support without enabling or worsening the addiction. With the upcoming holiday season when families spend more time together, it is especially important to know how to effectively love and support your loved one.
Though there is a lot of information on how to best help the substance dependent partner or family member, much of the advice out there can actually be harmful to recovery. The most popular advice is to not help in order to ensure there is no enabling, including the use of “tough love” or learning to “detach with love”. However, research shows family members play a pivotal role in helping their loved one change and take steps toward recovery. Here are a few practical ways you can walk with your loved one toward health and wholeness.
First, and perhaps most unexpected, is to show compassion. It can be easy to jump straight to giving advice on how to get better and progress in recovery. However, it is essential that your loved one first knows you see their suffering and acknowledge how difficult this journey is. When they understand you love and accept them, they will inevitably be more open to your counsel.
Next, walk with them on this journey. Recovery can be a lonely road, as no one knows exactly what it is like except for the recovering addict. Attend Al-anon meetings, which are specifically for the loved ones of recovering alcoholics in order to better understand addiction. Become educated on this process so they know you are invested in their recovery and you can effectively offer support.
Finally, fight for their recovery when the hard days come. Often, this journey to sobriety can feel like three steps forward and one step backward. When they know you unconditionally love and support them and you are dedicated to their wholeness, it will be easier to get back up when challenges arise in the process.
If your loved one suffers from drug or alcohol abuse, call us today at (888) 238-1038 for a free, confidential, over-the-phone addiction assessment. We can connect you with resources to help better support and understand their recovery and effectively walk with them on the road to recovery.
“Friends show their love in times of trouble, not in happiness.” -Euripides