If your adolescent or adult child, your spouse, parent, friend, or sibling is showing signs of having an issue with substances, gambling, pornography, food, or has already embarked on their own addiction treatment journey, navigating their process in addiction, their journey through treatment, and their return home can take its toll.
When the focus has rightfully been on your loved one’s survival, you start to experience your own depletion, mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Facilities or jails become a relief, knowing that he/she is safe at least for tonight, and you just might be able to get some sleep. However, there is a knowing sense gnawing on you that they can’t live there forever and what then?
The Throes of Active Addiction
Out of necessity, addiction perfects the art of manipulation. Throughout active addiction, family members are often the brunt of this manipulation. The addicted person needs your resources; be it money, attention, shelter, transportation, validation, etc., but while under the spell or influence of their drug of choice, once the resource is firmly in their grip, they vanish, only to return for more, or worse, they don’t return at all. It’s a very bad feeling, a sense of doom, of being duped, and helplessness sets in because nothing seems to work as intended and it’s now really dangerous.
Family Member Questionnaire:
- Do your best efforts sometimes in the end, feel more harmful than good?
- Have you unknowingly bought your loved ones drugs indirectly because the rent money you gave them never made it to the landlord?
- Do you feel like maybe you’re going crazy, second-guessing what you heard or what was said or what happened because your loved one is denying it to be true?
- Were you relieved that your loved one was home safe in your home and tomorrow will be a fresh start, only to find valuables missing the next morning?
- Are you really wanting to believe your loved one wants to change or wants to make good on their promises, but time and time again, you are let down?
- Do you feel responsible, that you did something or didn’t do something in the past for your loved one to struggle in this way? Do you feel like it’s up to you to fix it?
Family Recovery Solutions
Family Recovery Sessions focus on the three C’s of addiction. You didn’t cause it, You can’t control it, and You can’t cure it. Family members, in particular spouses or parents, tend to get tangled up with personalizing their loved ones’ addiction and are driven to somehow save their loved one from their devastating choices. “If I can give them a leg up, they can get back on the horse.”
Your loved one may want you to believe it is your fault and/or your responsibility, however, this is NOT factual. It is just a convenient button to press to support their ongoing use. The real truth is you do not have their solution. How do you self care when the focus has been on your loved one for so long? Marin Family Recovery can provide a professional perspective on what is real, what is manipulation, and what is necessary to step off the addiction wheel. This clarifies a counterintuitive and confusing proposition: The only solution you have is for yourself.