Saturday, October 11, 2008

Words and Action

At some point in the struggle with addiction in our families, we ran out of words. The only thing left was action. This is where the rubber hits the road. At some point, it is time to allow reality to demonstrate to the addicted person that there are consequences associated with addictive behavior. We don't have to create these situations, the addicted person will create them as a result of the way they live their life. What our part involves is allowing the consequences to impact the addict. Addicts will respond to experiences before they will respond to words. As long as they are still in denial about their addiction they will blame those around them for their suffering even though they are the source of their own pain.

The addicted person must understand that their addiction is their issue not yours or anyone else's. If they are to enter and stay in recovery their understanding that their addiction is theirs is absolutely essential. They will never acquire this understanding unless they are forced to figure out how to solve problems that they create in their own lives.

Family members and friends can play an important role here by reminding the addicted person that they are loved, that they have a medical condition and that treatment is available. Many times an addicted person's first step in solving their problems is to agree to go to treatment. When they think all their options have run out and there is nobody left to manipulate and they don't know what else to do, they remember that their mother or sister or friend kept saying go to treatment, so they go.

In order for family members to be able to have the will to allow their loved one to struggle on their own the family members need support and education. You can't do this alone and you must believe in what you are doing and have a clear understanding of why you are doing it.