I hope everyone is having a safe and happy holiday season. This is a stressful time of the year even without the intensity of having someone you care about struggling with addiction. We all see things through our owns lense and have a certain perspective about what our responsibilities are or what our moods are. Brain chemistry influences everyone in good way and not so good ways.
Addiction changes the brain chemistry and fools the brain into thinking something very important and meaningful happened when nothing happened. The physical changes that addiction causes in the chemistry of the brain rob the person of having a choice. Addicts don't have a choice but think they do. Family members do have a choice but think they don't.
Addicts can learn to have a choice once they buy into a recovery program and follow that program of recovery over a long period of time. The choice addicts have is how are they going to respond to their addiction, not whether they are addicts or not.
Family members can learn to exercise the choices they have all along but either didn't realize these choices were appropriate or were not emotionally ready to implement some of these choices. The family members must get help. they must get support.
The first step in recovery for the family member is to understand that they cannot be responsible for the recovery program of the addicted person in their lives. They need to learn to give up managing other peoples lives and focus on managing their own. In order to do this we need the support of others who are also dealing with these issues.
What to do: Step one find a support group were you can be yourself with people who won't judge you. The links on this blog can help you find this support in your area.
Have a good new year, take care of yourself.