When our loved ones are struggling with addiction, we obviously have the desire to help them. It’s so difficult to see the people we care about in pain. However, it’s easy to slip into feeling helpless, or even angry, frustrated, or resentful. Addicted loved ones aren’t always amenable to receiving help or heeding our suggestions. We’ve been trying to help them for so long, only to watch them turn around and hurt us repeatedly. We’ve watched them self-destruct time and time again, even when they knew better or were perhaps already in recovery. We’ve watched them mistreat many people in their lives and we grow tired of always feeling pressured to forgive them and allow them to make amends to us. Many of us don’t understand why we’re being subjected to years of the same recurring issues. We may not be familiar with the cycles and patterns of addiction. How many times do we have to go through the same thing? How many times do we have to get hurt? When we’re in this position, we might forget that we, too, need to recover. We’re so focused on our loved ones’ addictions that we forget about our own pain and suffering.
When we talk about recovery, we’re talking about healing for the loved ones of addicts as well as for the addicts themselves. Recovery is for everyone involved in and affected by, the addiction. As the loved ones of addicts, we often forget to think about our own recoveries. We might be so tired of dealing with the addiction, and our loved one, in the first place. We might hear about programs like Al-Anon or Family’s Anonymous, but we reject and resist them because of our difficult feelings. We haven’t forgiven our loved ones yet, and we often don’t see any reason why we should, especially when they only continue to hurt us. We don’t think we need therapy. We don’t think we need to talk to other people. We think to ourselves, “I’m not the one with the problem, he is. I don’t need recovery. I don’t need support groups or therapy. I’m not sick.”
The truth is, we all need healing. We’ve been so hurt, traumatized, and let down by our loved ones that we need to heal from everything they’ve put us through, everything we’ve experienced, and the pain that addiction has brought into our lives. We need to learn how to forgive, not to justify or condone their actions, but to find peace for ourselves. We need to learn healthy detachment so that we’re not holding onto the addict in our lives with bitterness or acting out with spite. We want to free ourselves so that we’re no longer consumed by our loved one’s addiction instead of our own well-being.
If you or your loved one is struggling with addiction, you are not alone. Reach out for support. The community of Riverside Recovery has personal experience with addiction and recovery, and we’re here to help you reclaim the life you love. Call (800) 871-5440 today.