Addiction is most definitely not a victimless crime, and the addict is most certainly not the only victim. Friends, family, and even work associates commonly feel the negative effects of hardcore addiction. This fact should not be overlooked when you’re seeking recovery from the disease of addiction. You should know that your addiction most certainly has hurt the people closest to you in one way or another. If you’re interested in actively working with your friends and family, but do not know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. Here are a few helpful methods of addressing the wreckage of addiction once you’re on the way to renewal.
Al-Anon & Nar-Anon
These two groups are aimed specifically towards the family and friends of alcoholics and narcotic users. They’re basically a separate twelve step program to work your surrounding support group through the frustrations and pains of dealing with an addict. They teach group members healthy and effective coping mechanisms, and build a general support system for affected friends and family of users. These groups are not for everyone, but it’s worth looking into to see if it’s something that might prove helpful.
Arm the affected with knowledge
The most powerful tool you can provide for your family if you’re an addict is knowledge about how the mind of an addict works. What makes you keep going back to whatever it is that you can’t put down? These psychologically driven actions can be more easily understood with the proper knowledge base. Be proactive if you want the people around you to remain connected and involved in your recovery. Teach them about the disease, and don’t be afraid to be opened and candid in your conversations. Remember, they’re there to help.
Building effective boundaries
Boundaries are extremely important for an addict, whether they are in active recovery or not. Lack of structure for an addict can be very dangerous. Friends and family should also have proper boundaries for their own well being. Living with, or being related to an addict can be exhausting in almost every way possible. Supporters of a person suffering from addiction have to protect themselves. Being tired and flustered with your own life is enough, you have to make provisions for yourself first.
Validation is key
Validation is key for the addict and the friends/family as well. If everyone involved is not capable of admitting the bare naked truth about every situation, then there will always be roadblocks on the path to recovery. It’s vital that every party try to be a bit empathetic to what the other might be feeling, and be willing to listen even if it’s painful. It’s the only way to move forward out of the shroud addiction lays on your life.