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Helping yourself while helping a loved one

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Loved One' started by ohno, May 22, 2015.

  1. ohno

    ohno Member

    I think we all know how hard it is to watch a loved one sink into addiction. We want to help and try our hardest, but even then that isn't enough.

    Addiction has taken over our loved one. Its a struggle to get them out and clean, if they ever do. We are forced to watch them fall down a dark path. It takes a toll on ourselves.

    How do you stay strong? Do you pray or meditate? Do you get your frustrations out with art? What motivates you to stay strong?

    For me its the realization we only get one shot. By unconditionally loving them and praying I am able to stay strong. I am able to know when I need to walk away for a bit.
  2. KNH

    KNH Active Contributor

    I think people who take care of addicts definitely need to take care of themselves, too. I think the carers need to do things that make them happy, such as seeing friends and having "me" time. Praying and meditating can help, as well as seeing a therapist.
  3. dmathon

    dmathon Member

    Having a loved one with an addiction is rough, but we must remember that they chose to be that way. We have to take care of ourselves because we can't help others if we aren't OK ourselves. I believe in the power of prayer, and personally have chosen this to stay strong. But when I become frustrated I love to work out and take a run, something about running really alleviates the steam. For me it was accepting the fact that they won't change unless they truly choose to change.
    L_B likes this.
  4. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Prayer can help if you are religious. One can always believe that a Higher Power will intervene on our behalf. In addition to prayer, helping a loved one might also involve doing all you can to convince them that drugs aren't a solution to anything. Since most drug addicts start abusing drugs because of something, try to uncover that underlying issue. Help him or her address it and once it's "fixed" s/he'll realize that s/he doesn't need to abuse drugs any more.
  5. kylerlittle

    kylerlittle Community Champion

    That's inspiring and I think prayer is a great tool to do that as Rainman said. I think it's always good that we help others as we help ourselves. We should lift a finger to help others and carry their burdens as they carry our burdens and go through it. It's something in life that is unique that we need one another to survive.
  6. Kat Blaire

    Kat Blaire Member

    I believe that being strong isn't enough if we're planning to help someone we love rise from addiction. Yes, we need to be really strong. But the truth is, our 'being strong' will be useless if we're not okay ourselves. If we're not fine, what's the point of being strong for others? My point simply is that we must first secure ourselves—our emotions, outlook and feelings. Do we have enough persistence in ourselves or will we give up immediately at the first sign of restraint of our loved ones? Believe me, I know all about this, having a smoker and an alcoholic as parents. I thought I was strong; others thought as well, actually. But everything ate me up, not because I was weak but because I just wasn't okay. So please, secure yourself first!
    light likes this.
  7. ReadmeByAmy

    ReadmeByAmy Community Champion

    Caring or helping a love one to recover from an addiction is a tough work. You must be physically, emotionally, and spiritually strong. And most especially you must be financially stable at any cost. All of these must be present in your state of mind and positive thinking so that you can make it. But first thing before you let yourself seeing and doing this for your love one make sure that you are in the best of health to get ready caring for them until they had recovered.
  8. light

    light Active Contributor

    It’s a tough and stressful experience having a loved one sank into addiction! Our heart urges us to help them and our mind won’t find peace until we have saved them from their addiction. Our attempts may seem useless at first but are very important in the process of recovery. In order to maintain persistence in our "recovery plan" we must secure a positive mental attitude for ourselves. This state of mind can be achieved by a short meditation and seeking help to people who have been in your shoes and can be a great motivation which will strengthen you in this noble initiative. Get rid of judgment and negative thoughts.
    Recall those joyous moments when your loved one was free of addiction, smile imagining those blesses. Feeling grateful for those moments will bring them again in your life! Remember you are not alone, there are groups out there for addicts. Maybe talking to an addict that has resigned of his bad habit will give you the clue of your helping plan. Treat yourself with love, your initiative is admirable!
  9. Marie92

    Marie92 Active Contributor

    When assisting a loved one who has an addiction it is imperative to give yourself, time to breathe. Sometimes it can be difficult to give yourself this time because you’re focused on your loved one but if you are not taking care of yourself you will only hurt yourself. Once that happens there who will take care of your loved one.

    I have a loved one who continues to dabble in her addiction to alcohol. My assistance is limited because I am out of town and I am unable to leave often because I have children. But my mom runs herself thin worrying about her sister. Her blood pressure continues to rise and she barely sleeps. I offer her advice and she realizes the consequences of her reaction to the events but continues to worry. My aunt doesn’t want to stop. She continues to say this. My family has paid for at home assistance for her but that doesn’t seem to work. Finally, my mom is thinking of putting her in a facility where she can really get help. I hope this helps. This is best for my mom so she can lower her anxiety level. I know it seems easy to say but it is best if you take care of yourself because while they are sitting there in their addiction, you are only getting worse physically. Do things to relax your mind and body, such as a warm bath, listening to relaxing music, or exercising (long walks). I get involved in these activities and they seem to work. Self-care—is essential.
  10. yascaydeki

    yascaydeki Member

    My dad was an addict, and he's bipolar. I assume he started using drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with the disorder, rather than taking his medicine. My childhood was pretty much spent without him, and I didn't like when he would try to come get me. I assumed I would have to hangout with his friends too. They were all trash. I let my dad say really mean things to me just because he's bipolar, and I was scared he would snap and hurt me if I talked back. I hold a lot of resentment toward him, and I don't think he realizes why. It seems kind of obvious to me that a child would be mad at their parent for calling them a manipulative, lying bitch that no man would ever love just because he was irritated. He has been sober for almost a year, and I still don't exactly want to talk to him even though people keep telling me he's trying. He's still bipolar, and I'm sure he'll still be an asshole.