Angry, worry and confusion draw in each time you watch your partner get consumed by addiction and you repeatedly ask yourself, “how you can I continue loving someone who is destroying himself? How do I love a person you I barely know anymore?
While it is true that each person’s substance abuse story is different from all others, a general approach has seemed to remain effective in dealing with them– love. Thousands of testimonies from those who have been victims of substance abuse have proven that love and support from partners and families are the strongest motivations in overcoming the battle against self-destruction. The goal is to love them, and move them from detox and rehab to sober living.
If you are one of those who is finding it extremely difficult to continue loving and supporting your substance dependent loved one, here are helpful pointers on how to get through each day without giving up on that person:
Say No To The ‘Shame’ Game
People who are into substance abuse or alcohol dependency are filled with shame. Despite their actions, they are actually ashamed of who they are and what they have done. Reminding them of the feeling of being a disappointment is not a helpful move. Instead, it will draw them nearer to doing it more. Compassion is what they need, more than anything else. After all, it is possible to love and accept them even without the approval of what they do.
It Is Not Your Fault
Do not take the addiction personally. For a fact, they are not intentionally hurting you or blaming you for it. However, no matter how much you love each other, the love is not enough to stop the addiction. You just have to accept that you cannot cure or control it.
The cycle of addiction is dangerous and its effects on his health and well-being have made his view of matters different from yours. To help you understand him and what he is going through, you can read materials and watch films and documentaries about substance abuse. Learning about the physical, emotional, and psychological turmoil that they are going through will make you better understand his struggles. Performing an intervention, is not something that you should try on your own. Get professional assistance so that the experience is well received.
He Is Not A Bad Person, Just Sick
Many testimonies from people who have overcome substance abuse admitted that they were once verbally and physically abusive to the people they love. If you understand how mentally-challenged people are, individuals who are into substance abuse can be on the same level with them. Yes, addiction makes them mentally ill. Treating an addict like a sick person is humane and just, rather than avoiding and condemning them. Many people get addicted to drugs at a young age, so often it is all they know.
Be Filled With Hope
Choose to be your loved one’s source of help and hope as he is losing his life and every ounce of hope left of him. You can choose to say encouraging words like “I believe you can do this” and “You can get through this.” Your strength and willingness to provide the hope they need can help them start their life over.
Keep Lines of Communication Open
Open your communication lines with the person. Given the effect of the substance on them, they will formulate wrong impressions if you do silent treatment and will almost instantly feel abandoned and rejected. Speaking with them is a constant reminder that you are there for them.
When all the substance abuse battle is over and gone, all of you will realize that it has been an opportunity for growth and change that everyone was willing to go through.