10 Tips for dealing with a family member who suffers from substance abuse:
Choose to forgive-choose to forgive even before you know you’ll continue to be hurt. Try not to be defensive. Don’t make mental lists of insults they have said to you. Let it go, and choose to forgive.
Stop the endless cycle-Stop yourself from endlessly pleasing others. Don’t let your loved one use you. There is a huge difference between being supportive and being a punching bag. That’s what therapy/treatment is for.
Speak from your heart-Remind that person that you love them. After all, if you’re sticking around for the hard stuff, then you truly care about them. “I love you” is a powerful phrase when it’s truly intentional.
Find an outlet (journaling, video journaling, writing a letter) – this helped me so much, and I actually kept some of my journals to see how far I’ve come. It sounds silly, but a video journal is a powerful tool if you have no one to talk to at the time. Keep it off of social media and allow yourself to really go there. Speak from your heart. Let the emotions come.
Find support (alanon) – This organization will provide supportive ways to talk to a family member who suffers with substance abuse. They also offer support groups throughout the country. It helps so much to talk to someone who’s going through the same thing.
Be thankful and applaud their efforts – It’s all about the little things. Tell them “it was really nice to talk to you” if you were able to have a successful phone conversation.”
Sometimes it’s better to walk away for a while. Reflect. I’m not saying to ignore your friend/family member. But if times are getting to be too much, take a backseat for a couple days. Remember to take care of your emotional health. This will create a moment to reflect and regain focus, before interacting with that person again.
History doesn’t have to repeat itself-It takes a lot of effort to rise from these issues. Especially with alcohol, it’s genetic. I have to be super careful if I do drink because I know that I could easily fall into a problem. I can’t allow myself to go there.
You are enough-and you have worth. You are important! You deserve love, you deserve to focus on just yourself at times.
Never blame yourself-You have a purpose on this planet. Even though the finger can often be pointed at you, strive to stay level headed and to not be overly defensive.