If you have a loved one with a serious addiction, you may feel as though you’ve exhausted all your resources – time, money, energy, etc. It’s natural to want to do everything you can for your loved one, but now your own mental, physical, and/or financial health is depleting; where do you go from here? A study conducted by researchers from the UK titled, “Understanding Recovery from a Family Perspective: A Survey of Life in Recovery for Families” involved many interviews with family members of those with addiction. Between surveys and interviews, the researchers found that 53% of participants identified themselves as ‘in recovery’.
There were a few themes found that many individuals experienced: grief and stress. Many participants reported feeling as though they had lost a person they used to know, even if they were still alive and in contact with them. In addition, elevated levels of stress were reported as a commonality among participants. There’s no doubt that having a loved one with addiction is challenging; here are some ways to cope, build your resiliency to stress, and take care of yourself amid what feels like chaos:
- Seek some type of formal support. Structured 12-step programs such as Al-Anon are created specifically for family groups to help them recover. Online support groups can also be very beneficial and seeking primary care through a therapist is a crucial step towards healing and moving forward with your life. Lastly, family therapy is a great tool to help your family maintain stability during this time.
- Practice self-care. This includes giving yourself permission to say “no” to enabling behaviors, eating nutritious foods, getting adequate sleep, getting plenty of exercise, going for walks, reading a delightful book, and doing more activities that you enjoy.
- Manage your expectations. Many people who have a loved one with an addiction hold onto the hope they will get better. While some may, it’s important to have a clear mind as to what your loved one is going through and exactly what it might take for your loved one to seek help.
- Educate yourself on addiction. The more you understand about addiction, the more you can take an objective stance on your loved one’s situation. Clarity and understanding can bring you more peace as you move forward with your life.
Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.