Seeing us struggle with addiction is a painful experience for our loved ones. They can feel totally powerless to help us conquer this debilitating illness. They might be afraid to confront us about our problem, for fear we will react out of anger and then push them away altogether. They want to help us, but they also don’t want to lose us. They may have already confronted us, prompting us to remove them from our lives. We may have denied vehemently that we have a problem and accused them of lying or overreacting. We may have tried to convince them, and ourselves, that our substance use is under control and that we don’t have actually have an addiction.
Sometimes when we separate from our loved ones and isolate ourselves, they might be concerned for our well-being but have no idea how bad things have actually gotten. If they knew the extent of our challenges, they might try to intervene, but we have removed them from our lives so forcibly that they don’t have the opportunity to. Our loved ones might try to enlist the support of other people in our lives to try to convince us to get help. They might stage a full intervention with other people who know and care about us. They might seek out the support of a therapist, intervention specialist or treatment program to help.
Until we’re ready to get help, nothing our loved ones can do can force us to. Their concerns might help us to be aware of our problem, and their worries might push us to admit we have a problem, but the will to get better can only come from us. We have to want to get better. We have to make the conscious decision that we don’t want to suffer anymore or cause suffering to our loved ones. Up until this point, our families and friends might be forced to watch us as we deteriorate. They might have to witness our decline. This can be excruciatingly painful for the people we love. They want desperately to be able to save us from our pain. They hate to see us suffer. As a result, our loved ones can become depressed, panicked or angry. They might be dealing with mental health issues of their own, which can be worsened from having to watch us suffering.
Addiction affects everyone in our lives. The challenges we face have a ripple effect and touch the lives of the people who care about us, no matter how much we might try to isolate ourselves, distance ourselves or spare them the hurt.
Bayview Recovery offers family therapy, to help you and your loved ones heal from addiction together as a family, to receive education about addiction and to learn how to support one another. Call 888-570-7154 for more information.