As you might know, many people are impacted by another’s addiction. Studies tell us that 15 to 18 others are significantly influenced by a loved one’s addiction. That means that family and friends feel stress, loss of sleep, worry, depression, anger, feelings of being overwhelmed, guilt and shame because of a loved one’s addiction.
When the addict/alcoholic starts to work on their personal recovery, we counselor-types strongly encourage family and friends to work their own recovery program. Learn what you can and find others who have been down their recovery path as a friend or family member. That support can come from Al-Anon, Families Anonymous, Co-Dependents Anonymous, the family portion of treatment programs, counselors, your faith, or Lost and Found Ministry.
As for the addict, recovery is very attainable; it is just too hard to do it alone.
But what if your loved one continues to use, drink, and gamble, refuses to get into recovery or doesn’t think they have a problem? Does that mean those 15 to 18 other people are doomed to a life of chaos, despair and uncertainty? Absolutely not!
If you are one of the many people out there whose lives have been touched by another’s addiction--there is hope. You can learn to love and respect them so their lives are their own. You can realize and accept you did not cause the addiction. You cannot cure it and cannot control it.
In order to do this, many of us need to turn our loved one’s life over to the care of God. This is not easy and sometimes needs to be done on a daily basis, but when this occurs, magic happens. You can start to focus on your own life and take steps so it can be one free from anger and resentments and filled with peace, joy and forgiveness.