The Journey of Recovery for a Loved One
As anyone who loves an addict knows, the journey along the way can be quite arduous. There are many trials and tribulations that we never see coming. Try as we might, there are times when it feels like things will never get better; in fact, until some type of therapeutic intervention is invited in, these situations generally just get worse and worse over time, and loved ones are left picking up the pieces as best they can.
The damage can be devastating—physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
Many loved ones of addicts exhibit codependent, people pleasing behaviours—and as this becomes their default position, they find themselves putting their own needs on the back burner while focusing on the wreckage caused by the very addicts they are so desperately trying to please. In time, loved ones become obsessed by this situation—they think about it and talk about it incessantly, desperately trying all kinds of ways to change what is happening—generally because they feel so afraid and powerless.
They will often have trouble sleeping, experience great difficulty focusing on their work or education, and perhaps even neglect other family members such as their partners or their non-addicted children. In some cases, family and friends of people with addiction will become so overwhelmed and over-extended that they themselves become ill—sometimes with potentially life-threatening conditions such as cancer or heart conditions—and even then, they will continue to look after the addict’s needs instead of taking better care of themselves.
Are we having fun yet?