Hope for loved ones of addiction

IMG_3748Hope is never completely lost, although sometimes it feels as though you hang on to it by a thread.  That hope is what got me through all the years of my husbands alcoholism which came with selfishness, terrible choices, debts, lies, abandonment, infidelity, etc.  I dedicated my book “Married Under The Influence” to my daughter and one part I would like to quote is this, “Sometimes the worst situations have the best endings.” How is that possible you may say to yourself?  Because when you keep hope and faith alive, nothing is impossible if you believe!

There is hope for every person out there dealing with any kind of addiction, it doesn’t matter if it is alcohol, drugs, food, money, etc. addictions are not just a substance in any situation where there is an addiction there is damage done to not only yourself but to your family.  I stand for what I believe in and with who I believe in, even if I am alone.  I never gave up on my husband because I knew that his disease had taken control over his life and it was in the drivers seat with his behaviors and with his emotions.

It is a powerful evil force that until the addict realizes for themselves that they do in fact have a problem, they may not seek the help you can clearly see they so desperately need.  I believe that addicts don’t like how they feel much of the time, but they get so lost in that world the only world some may have ever really known and it’s hard to find a way out.

That’s where we come in. We love them and give support in the most positive ways you can without losing yourself in the process.  Share literature and statistics on addiction with them although they may get angry. Denial is a huge factor in addiction, but don’t let that deter you from your purpose.  As much as they don’t want to hear you, some things do get through.

No amount of anger or tears in my case led my husband to see he is an alcoholic.  It was easier for him to blame me for everything than to take accountability for his own actions.  Another part of addiction is blaming someone else.  There is so much help out there for people with addiction problems, rehabs, recovery programs, etc. but usually until the addict themselves is ready to admit they have a problem, the program may not work effectively.

In some cases an ultimatum, an intervention, a giant shove into getting help is what works best for others.  My husband was one of those that none of the above worked for him, nothing made him get help until he hit his own personal bottom and had his A-HA moment!  I had to find myself again because I became so caught up in his alcoholism I became just as sick as he was.  I went to a therapist because it helped me understand things in ways I was not able to do by myself .  Slowly I was able to regain the ability to help my husband in a positive way. I learned how to stop enabling his alcoholism and most importantly I learned how to open my heart and let go, to forgive all the resentments, bitterness, and anger that had built up year after year.  True, complete forgiveness allowed me the freedom out of the emotional prison holding me hostage.

The day I surrendered and asked for help was when I found a power greater than myself and only then was I able to love my husband in ways I was never able to before.  It gave me the ability to see past the addiction and see the person inside struggling with his own demons, trying to break free of the addiction that held his true self hostage.  We are all different and what works for some may not for others, but I believe you don’t have to give up on someone because there is an addiction problem. Be the support they need.

I am part of the solution, I am part of my husbands sobriety.  I go to meetings with him every weekend.  Be an active part of your loved one’s sobriety. Listen, encourage, practice empathy, practice patience, and once they start working the program into their own lives, you too will be a witness to how miracles really do happen. You will be happy you never lost hope!

Remember not to lose yourself in this process because as the addict learns how to live a life clean and sober, you’re all still healing from the damage that the addiction had caused.  You are growing together. Be one another’s support because when you go through recovery together the bond you create with your loved one is extraordinary!

Wishing you peace & serenity……….Harmony

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