Saturday, November 26, 2011

More on Helping Yourself.

Taking better care of yourself both emotionally and physically will help you free up coping capacity. This will give you the opportunity to begin doing the things that are going to be important to you over time. It is important to keep in mind, what many of the comments on this blog have indicated, that the addicted family member may remain self destructive irrespective of any and all efforts of family members.

The decision family members and friends must make is whether they are willing to focus on their own well being. Are you willing to take care of yourself in spite of the on going addiction of your loved one? There is a temptation for family members to believe they must be an instrument in turning the addict's life around. Mix this perception with a misunderstanding of addiction, guilt and fear and you have a recipe for disaster.

My perspective is that taking care of yourself is crucial. It is the most important thing you can do for yourself and the addicted family member. You don't help a drowning person by drowning yourself. When you are over focused on trying to manage the addict's life your own life begins to shrink and will disappear unless you make some changes. This leads to frustration, hurt, anger and more. This is not the mindset you need to be helpful to the addict when the appropriate time arises.