It is never easy to watch a loved one fight addiction. Regardless of the addiction, there are proven ways that you can help this special person in your life get the help that they need. Here are five ways that you can support your loved one as they battle addiction.
You cannot expect to provide the support that your loved one needs unless you have established a strong level of trust with them. This approach starts with being mindful about avoiding the actions and words that work to destroy trust. This includes a purposeful intention to avoid name-calling, nagging, and criticizing. All of these actions will quickly erode trust, making it more difficult to connect and provide support.
Remember that it is likely that your loved one uses their addiction as a means to cope with stress. By making things more stressful for them, you are only making the situation worse. It is also important to keep in mind that building trust is a two-way street. By showing them that you can be trusted, they are more likely to let you provide the support that they need.
Learn How to Communicate
Strong communication is key when working to develop trust in a relationship. This effective communication is even more vital when one of the parties is dealing with an addiction. As you approach your loved one to discuss their challenges, be focused on using “I” statements rather than “you” statements.
You should also make a conscious effort to replace negative statements with positive thoughts. For example, it is better to say things such as “I love being in your presence when you are sober” rather than “I do not like how you act when you have been drinking.” Lastly, sometimes the best way that you can communicate with an addict is to show them a great amount of empathy so that they feel heard.
Lean on the Experts
It is important to remember that you are not in this battle alone. There are a variety of resources available to you as you help your loved one through this difficult time. An organization such as the Addiction Experts will connect you with the professional resources that you need to provide the appropriate level of support for a wide range of addictive behaviors.
This support can come in a myriad of ways depending on the nature and severity of the addiction. Possible solutions provided by this network include resources to battle substance abuse, mental health counseling, and access to behavioral health specialists. The key is to take that step to get the ball rolling so that you can find the right avenue of help for your loved one.
Join a Support Group
Many people also find support groups helpful during the long recovery process. While some support groups advocate for abstinence, other groups may focus on moderation of the addiction. Helping your loved one find a support group that fits their needs and personal preferences can go a long way in getting them on the road to complete recovery.
It is also important for the support person to join a support group. There is no doubt that it is stressful to be in a relationship with a person who is battling an addiction. By seeking support for yourself, you will be able to provide them with the support that they need.
Anticipate Bumps in the Road
As a support person, you need to understand that there are bound to be bumps in the road along this journey of recovery. You need to expect difficulties as you provide this support and react accordingly.
Remember that your loved one may not agree that they have a problem at first. There is also the chance that they may not want to change their behavior, fearing embarrassment, shame, or the consequence of admitting that they have a problem. Anticipating these reactions and having a plan to deal with these pushbacks will make you better equipped to deliver help.
Your loved one will have a better chance of beating their addiction if they have the appropriate support from those that care. By providing them with this support, you will be doing your part to help them take back control over their life.