How Do I Really Help the Addict?
This is the all-encompassing question. The truth that every loved one is searching to answer. So often these topics of codependency and enabling come up when folks begin making attempts to help their loved one that is an addict. They are not just topics or ideas, but quickly and easily become realities when the family that is helping is not careful and focused in the direction of their efforts to help. I am certain that codependent and enabling relationships are simply healthy efforts to help, turned unhealthy.
Let’s be honest. When the struggle shows it’s face in our families, we are not prepared for it. We don’t expect it and so we have absolutely no clue how to cope with the thought of the children we love and care about living bound by a life-controlling problem.
So how do I help?
We know the addict probably needs rehab of some sort. Whether inpatient, outpatient, medicinal, or non-medicinal. Do they need a doctor? Do they need a therapist? Should I drag them to church? Is this a disease? Is this a moral failing? Why did they do this? What did I do wrong?
Have I covered any of the questions that you have probably asked yourself since finding out about the addiction?
So with all of these questions crossing your mind and absolutely no experience or preparedness in fighting a battle you never expected to fight, why would you attempt to face this alone?
This is a big reason why these healthy efforts to help quickly become unhealthy and turn into codependent or enabling relationships.
Let me clear something up. You are not alone. There are a lot of people fighting addiction. I don’t believe that we are fighting an incurable disease. I firmly believe that we are fighting a battle that can be won when an addict searches for help and finds accountability and a new way to live.
Unless you’ve got unlimited willpower to make the right call every single time or to trust that google will provide you the right answer every time, this process of getting free is not a short battle for any addict. To be prepared for the road ahead, you need some people standing with you. It can be easy to be driven by desperation to simply see a result when we are desperate for hope, but reality is that making desperate moves in the midst of a crisis often leaves us with an undesired result.
In Galatians, the apostle Paul admonishes us to “Bear each others burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
What are a few ways I can get help?
Tonight, we will launch our first support group for Family Members of Addicts in Woodstock, VA. I realize many of my readers are spread out all over the place. These groups are people coming together to bear each others burden - people who have finally found that, while they felt hopeless, today they have some hope and comfort knowing they are not alone.
You might not be quite ready to reach out to anyone locally and that’s OK. Maybe you’ve been reading a few post and our voice has been helpful to you. We would be more than willing to speak with you about your struggle.