There is no doubt that it is a humbling experience when you have been to rock bottom and made your way back to the top.
As a grateful recovering addict, you now have a purpose and it is your passion.
- To help other people suffering from addiction to rise up and overcome their past.
- To help people create a new life after addiction recovery.
- You want to show them that recovery is possible and you are proof.
But what happens when it’s your family or close friend?
How do you help an addicted loved one who is on the same destructive path that you were once on?
A Swift Kick In The Ass
I always said that if one of my family members became a heroin addict that I would beat the shit out of them. Without hesitation.
But seriously? Do you think that would make a difference?
Most likely, NOT at all.
There is NO amount of physical pain and brutality that is going to cure that person of their addiction.
Of course, you can sure as hell take that route but, we both know that it isn’t going to help the situation. In fact, it will push them either further away if they think that anytime they see you, they are in for an ass whooping.
So what do you do? How do you help an addicted loved one?
You can start by becoming a member of Unjunkiefied’s online family. Sign up below and get a list of valuable online resources you can use. Now you don’t have to waste time looking. It’s all here.
Here are two things that you must keep in mind when trying to help:
#1 – You are not to blame
In recovery, you are still growing yourself. So am I. As recovering addicts, you and I both are constantly working on self-improvement.
Addiction recovery is about discovering what you can do. You will finally see what you are made of, especially when overcoming your past addiction.
You know how damn hard it was to leave that chaotic lifestyle, to quit getting high, to own your bullshit, and to eliminate the junk.
I don’t know about you but, I wouldn’t wish drug addiction on my worst enemy. I especially don’t want to see someone I love become addicted to drugs.
Initially, I would blame myself. Maybe, if my loved one never saw me get high, never witnessed my struggles, and how I managed to survive, he or she wouldn’t have taken this path.
ALSO READ: How To Stop Playing The Blame Game
All the hell, the torture. It all comes flooding back. Not the good times. All the bad times.
# 2 – Recovery May Not Happen
What scares me the most about trying to help an addicted loved one is their success.
Let’s be honest, not everyone survives addiction. Many people don’t. Your addicted loved one may never see recovery, no matter how hard you try to save them.
How many people in active addiction do you know? How many of them are now in recovery? Now, how many of them are deceased due to that addiction?
I know what the statistics are in my life. So I’m assuming it’s a similar case for you and the outcome is not good.
That is why as an addiction recovery success, you have to try. You can’t just walk away. Especially if it’s someone you love. You don’t want them to become another statistic of the epidemic.
If recovery doesn’t happen for your loved one then at least you know that you really tried.
Here’s what you can do to help an addicted loved one.
Simple Ways For You To Help An Addicted Loved One
Use Your Experience
ALSO READ: How To Use The Power of Your Story
The first and the best thing you can do is explain in detail how bad it got for you. Then, explain how you overcame your addiction.
Get real and be honest. You must explain how to stop drinking alcohol or how to quit using drugs. Use your experiences to help them through and do not sugar coat anything.
Explain the pain, the emotions, the things you thought would never happen to you or that you would never do. Go on to explain how that shit happened and how bad it hurt you. Give them the nitty-gritty details that they do NOT want to hear and don’t want to know.
Don’t forget to explain your recovery. This is not a war story.
Give them useful information and tangible steps to take. Make sure they are aware of how to take action.
Plus, don’t forget to provide your loved one with recovery resources to use. To make it easier, I also put together a thorough list of online recovery resources to help you out. Sign up below and they are all yours.
Provide Moral Support
You could try to take them under your wing and attempt to guide them to sobriety. Yet we all do things differently and we all recover in our own way.
In this situation, the best thing you can do is to provide the moral support and emotional care that they aren’t getting elsewhere.
This is something you can do better than anyone else at this point. After all, you were once on this destructive path, you understand better than anyone.
Remember what it’s like to be in active addiction?
At times you feel like the whole world is against you. Especially those you love. By providing this support, you can help your addicted loved one in ways that no one else can.
You get them, you understand. As a bonus, your loved one can’t bullshit or manipulate you because you know all the tricks of the trade.
Useful Tip: Make them feel good and get them meaningful clothing from Beautiful Disaster. You are a recovery role model. Rock the gear together.
It’s Not A One-Size-Fits-All Approach
Maybe try a different approach
Addicts are the strongest people I know and that strong will might be part of the problem. Think about it like this…
Even the strongest people have a weakness. It’s their Achilles’ heel. What did it take for you to make the choice to get clean?
To help an addicted loved one, you have to find what hurts them the most. Hitting that pain point might just be what is needed to get them to switch sides and give recovery an honest shot.
Their weakness is most likely completely different than yours, but we all have one. It very well could be the push they need.
The Obligation to Help An Addicted Loved One
My goal in life is to help others to create a new life after addiction recovery.
Many recovering addicts choose to turn their mess into a message and help as many people in addiction recovery as they can. It’s fulfilling and it’s meaningful. It becomes a duty, a passion, and a way to show gratitude for another chance at life.
If you got clean and someone close to you became an addict, you feel responsible in a way. You feel an obligation to help an addicted loved one. You feel as if it is your duty to help the people you care about to get better.
The only thing you have to remember is that the ultimate choice is theirs. You can send your loved one to rehab, a million treatment centers, and lock their ass in the basement. If they really have NO desire to stop getting high then it’s not going to happen. Maybe if you force them into treatment, they could change their mind. Of course.
When it comes down to it, be the strength they need to step in the right direction. That is how you fulfill your obligation to help an addicted loved one. By doing the things I mentioned, you can be their rock. If they don’t want you to be, just be there when they are ready.
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