I hope all of you that celebrate Easter had a happy and peaceful time. I have said in the past that if you want to find out about drugs you can find all the information you want and probably more than you wanted on the internet. "Just the facts" are a good thing to have if you are writing a paper for a class and if you are struggling on a personal level with addiction in your family or with close friends. But what is the wisdom, the insight attached to the "facts"?
Fact: Addiction is a disease process that changes the way the brain functions and results in distorted perceptions and impulsive, self centered behavior.
Fact: Everyone in the addicted person's family is negatively impacted by the disease
of addiction and needs help.
Fact: Both the family members,friends and the addicted person need information about their condition.
Fact: Family members and friends can be very helpful to themselves and may have an impact on the addicted person but they have to be willing to implement new ways of thinking and new behaviors that will be difficult to maintain without support.
Fact: None of the above can happen unless the family members and friends actually believe the facts, and are open for change based on the facts.
What are some of the behaviors related to a new way of thinking and implementing a healthier family life.?
1. Allowing the addicted person to experience the consequences of their addiction.
2. Finding a support group or class where you can talk about the struggles with addiction and what was helpful to others.
3. Learning to take the "crazy" behavior of your addicted loved one less personal. Once you understand the disease concept you will see that it isn't personal. You just happen to be there as a witness and have a vested interest in their well being.
4. Learn what you have control over and what you don't have control over. So many people try to control the symptoms of the addiction ( the bad behavior, their friends, their irresponsible use of money, etc.). We spend so much time and energy trying to control what we can't we start feeling depressed, frustrated, angry, and powerless.
5. You can control two things, your response to the addiction by learning to respond based on the reality of addiction, on the facts, rather than trying to force an outcome that you don't have control over and your environment, what is in your house and what is in your head. You can come to a decision as to what, who and under what conditions people are allowed into you life. You can require a certain quality of behavior if your addicted loved one wants to be in your environment. This is the beginning of creating boundaries.