Having a family member in recovery can take its toll on an individual as well as the entire family. It is important to engage in self-care while supporting the family member battling addiction or alcoholism. Playing caretaker to another person can be overwhelming, and it’s important to realize that we can’t do the work our family members need to do while in recovery.
The Weight of Addiction on the Family
Addiction can rip a family apart. Not only is addiction a selfish disease, but it is a consuming disease. The addicted individual creates worry, may create serious financial issues for his or her family, develops strained relationships with family members, and more. Not only can addiction cause a family to break, but it can also cause individuals within the family to struggle as they become increasingly consumed by trying to care for the addict and make up for the addict’s behavior.
Why Getting Help for Yourself is Important
Remember that while on a plane, you need to put your mask on before you can put anyone else’s mask on in the event of an emergency. It’s important to learn more about addiction, to learn more about what you can do to support your loved one without compromising your own boundaries, and to work out your own feelings and emotions that have cropped up because of the family member’s addiction. Without doing so, it’s too easy to get caught up and have your own health, relationships, career, and life suffer.
Codependency and Enabling Help No One
We all want to make our family members feel good. However, it’s important to ensure we don’t become codependent upon the individual or an enabler to the individual in recovery’s bad habits. Not only does this harm you, the family member, but it also harms your loved one who is making efforts to get better. You need to make your own health a priority and ensure that you are healthy – mentally and physically. You also need to be very clear about boundaries. Be honest about separating yourself from the loved one struggling with addiction. Remember, you cannot fix your loved one’s problems, but you can encourage the individual to get help and seek treatment.
The Best Way to Help Your Loved One is to Help Yourself
When you spend time tending to your own emotional and physical health, it makes it easier for you to stand up to the addiction. It’s important to tell the truth about how you are affected by the addiction or alcoholic behaviors. You’re going to need your own circle of support – groups like Al-Anon provide a place where you can discuss what you’re going through with others who have been there. Be sure to enjoy yourself during this process – take yourself out to a movie or go to a place you enjoy eating.
Get Support for Your Own Journey with Your Family Member’s Recovery
You don’t have to go through your family member’s process of recovery alone. You can take advantage of many of the support groups available for family members of addicts. If you would like to learn more about the services that we offer at Turning Point Recovery Center to assist family members of those in addiction, don’t hesitate to contact us.