Loving someone with an addiction can be hard. It may seem at times that the addiction has taken over the person so that there is only a faint reminder of who they used to be. However, there is hope, and it is very important for the family and loved ones of addicts to get the help they need as well. Here are some things you need to know about managing life with an addict.
1. Get Help For Yourself
If your loved one has been lying to you about the addiction or has been living a double life, it can be incredibly hard when you find out. You might experience something called betrayal trauma, where you worry that your life has been a lie and that you have lived with dishonesty for so long that you can't tell what is real and what is not. This can cause depression, anxiety, feelings of worthlessness, and so forth. This is why it is important that you get help for yourself.
Many times the family focuses so much on getting help for the addict that they fail to see how the addiction has hurt them. They don't get help for themselves and eventually break emotionally and/or physically. If you are feeling depressed or helpless about your loved ones addiction, get the help that you need.
2. Recognize That You Can't Change The Person
Real lasting change doesn't come from force, it comes from the person wanting it for themselves. Although you may want change for the person so that they can be well again, it cannot be forced upon them. You may try to get your loved one into multiple treatment centers, you might baby sit them or try to control their schedule so that they can't relapse again. And although they will need your support, they also need to make that decision for themselves. This is why you need to allow them to decide for themselves that they want to change. It may take time, it may never come, but it is important to recognize that you can't do it for them.
3. Don't Expect Perfection
Once the person decides that they want to change, it will be a long road. Even if they are doing great, it is likely that they will have moments of relapse and of failure. This is why it is important to be realistic. Take the victories when they come and don't lose hope.
By understanding these things you can protect yourself and love your addict through their illness.