Healing Yourself First
When it comes to getting an addicted loved one into treatment, it is absolutely crucial that you put the majority of your emotional energy into healing yourself. As the saying goes, “You cannot pour from an empty cup,” meaning that if you are not in a good mental and emotional place yourself, it’s going to be difficult for you to truly, authentically be there for anyone else. Of course, we also understand just how emotionally and mentally draining watching a loved one suffer from addiction can be. An article published by Very Well Mind, titled, “How to Help an Addicted Friend or Relative” details the importance of working towards healing yourself before attempting to help anyone else heal. The article also details the importance of building trust, coming from a place of honest compassion and respecting your loved one’s privacy.
The article also suggests that when you are attempting to help an addicted loved one, you are liable to run into several challenges along the way.
- Your loved one might not believe that treatment is necessary – Addiction is a disease of denial, and it often takes quite some time for someone who is suffering from addiction to admit to themselves – and to others – that they have a problem.
- Your loved one might not want to change his or her behaviors – While it might seem exceedingly apparent to the outside world that the addictive disorder is serious (even life-threatening), the co-occurring denial might prevent your loved one from seeing or recognizing the importance of seeking professional help.
- The fear of perceived consequences might be preventing your loved one from openly seeking treatment – For this reason, if you are going to present treatment as an option, it is important that you also present a list of potential consequence-related fears and why these fears are not entirely valid. For example, your loved one might be afraid of losing his or her job if he or she agrees to attend inpatient treatment. When you present rehab as an option, also say something like, “I know that you must be concerned about what will happen to your job if you take a month off to attend rehab. Legally, you cannot be fired for seeking professional medical help – even when it comes to help for substance abuse.” In addition to offering verbal reassurement, provide documentation that proves the points you are making.
Keep in mind that all of these potential challenges are better handled by a professional with years of addiction treatment experience. At Guardian Recovery Network we provide professional intervention services. Our on-staff interventionists thoroughly understand situations like these, and they have experienced great success in helping even the most stubborn cases agree to seek treatment on their own terms.