Addiction can be a struggle for everyone involved. For the loved ones of the person with the addiction, it can seem like there isn’t anything you can do to help them. In actuality, there are quite a few things that you can do for your partner when they are going through addiction.
Be There For Them
Saying that you will be there for them only goes so far; to show support, you need to follow through and actually do what you say. Set aside some time in your schedule that is dedicated just for them. Drive them to appointments and therapy sessions.
If they need someone to talk to, even if it’s an odd time like the middle of the night, listen. Make sure they have a chance to do things that are not related to their addiction and to give them moments of space when they need it.
Take Care of Yourself
While you help take care of your partner as they recover, you need to make sure that you are also taking care of yourself. You may have developed some unhealthy habits or may be having some difficulty coping.
Many treatment programs have family members involved in the recovery process, so you can stay informed along every step of the program. There are information sessions, family therapy sessions, and workshops designed for the family of an addicted person.
These features are designed to help make sure that you are handling the recovery process as best as possible. Understand that you are allowed to take some time to yourself and that there are options for you as well.
Recovery can take time, sometimes more than initially expected. According to the NIDA, addiction is highly prone to relapse, which can drag out the recovery process. When going into recovery, it is best to remember that addiction is a highly complex disease.
As a result, treatment can be just as highly complex. Your partner isn’t going to go back to being the person they once were before the addiction took hold of them overnight. Having patience and realistic expectations for your partner’s recovery can be the best way you can help them.
Addiction is a disease, and it is one that cannot be controlled without outside help. The NIDA lists several things that are necessary for successful treatment, and realizing that no one is to blame for addiction is one of them.
Blaming has never helped anyone, and even though it may make you feel better and protected in that moment, it will only serve to harm your loved one. Your partner might possibly blame themselves for their addiction, or blame you for not doing anything sooner to help them.
You might even agree with them, but you need to understand that addiction doesn’t need anyone to be blamed.