Substance use addiction can be like a marauding band of thieves who come to steal hope, joy, and life. It takes over every inch of a person’s life, including their loved ones lives and it seems difficult to recover from the mess left in its wake. The myths and misconceptions that surround addiction may keep others from telling about what their experience was like but it helps to understand the true nature of addiction in order to support a loved one going through the challenges of addiction and recovery.
Not a Choice
Anyone who wrestles with addiction will probably say they did not choose this path. Looking back at their life, it is easy to see why because it is so destructive to that person and everyone around them. Over time, prescription drugs, alcohol, and addiction take over a person’s life. Addiction does not start and stop, it is a lifelong thing to wrestle with through ups and downs.
It Happens to Everyone
No one person is immune to addiction. Once it takes over a person’s life, there is no discriminating young, old, rich, poor, or anyone in between. Contributing factors may make people more likely to become addicted but even young moms are finding themselves in the midst of the battle against opioid addiction themselves following childbirth and postpartum, alongside many others who wrestle with how quickly addiction happens, and remains, a part of people’s lives.
Past is Past
One of the hardest parts of addiction recovery is rebuilding a life from the ground up. Everything in the past can feel like another lifetime ago. Friends that are toxic are no longer welcome, places, and things that trigger use are out. Loved ones may dwell on the past and relive mistakes (some for good reason) but it does not help the person in recovery. Recovery is a state of mind. When loved ones also take recovery seriously from their loved one’s addiction, everyone can benefit by learning how best to reconcile the past hurt and pain with who the person is working to become now. This may include counseling, family therapy, and support groups.
Even if a person was hurt by someone with addiction, the person with addiction hurts, too. That is not to minimize the pain and suffering of others, but it is to say everybody hurts with addiction. Numbing past trauma and pain is no way to live. Being in therapy, rehab, and working hard in recovery is the key to moving through the pain to healing-for everyone.
The best way to support a loved one with addiction is to understand it is not their fault and they are working hard to rebuild trust and get their lives back. Provide a safe space for this to happen by listening, being present, and practicing compassion. Even if it feels hard, keep doing it a little more each day. Over time, it will get easier to rebuild the foundations of trust that were broken.
Serenity Oaks strives to provide an environment for healing with our intensive 5 week detox program. We provide a space to begin the journey of healing from addiction. Call us to find out how we can help you get started: 844-720-6847.