|CLICK THE MENU ITEMS BELOW|
Many of us have experienced seeing a family member or friend go from the love of our life to a person we no longer recognize. One who lies, steals and manipulates our every move. We all want to believe that we can "fix them" and we do our best to protect and keep them safe. More often than not, however, we become enablers - feeding their addiction. As much as we would like, we can't pray or love them out of addiction. They need help and so do we. Most addicts do not change their behavior until the people around them change theirs. Often what we do to help them is actually taking them deeper into their addiction. All loved ones need to learn how to release with love.
Many parents, family members and friends rely on support groups for sanity. It is important that you go to at least six meetings before you decide if a support group is helping you. Expect to be uncomfortable at first but just listen, you don't have to talk. At first you may feel like you don't fit in, that somehow the people in the group are not like you. Give it time. Most likely you will find out that addiction affects all of us the same and that the people in your group are just like you. I remember feeling really out of place and I voiced that I felt I was being punished for loving my young addict too much. One of the women in the group lovingly looked at me and said, "You don't love her too much, maybe just the wrong way." That was my moment of clarity. I began loving my daughter differently but with just as much intensity. Things began to change and today she has almost four years clean.
There are several groups that can help YOU get healthy again. This is a hard lesson for most of us to accept, but once you do, you will find a day where you worry less, sleep more, and finally allow yourself to be happy again - regardless of where your loved one is in their recovery process.