One of the first things you should do is get educated about addiction. Read online articles (like this one!) and books, and talk with others about the things you have been experiencing. You can also attend family support groups to hear about other people’s experiences and learn more about the disease through them.
The second thing you can do is help your loved one find the right treatment program. They may not want help right away, but this doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for the future.
Search for rehab centers in your area, and check that the costs of the ones you’ve found are affordable for you and align with your insurance. You should also think about if your loved one will benefit from a facility that offers a wide range of care like detox, rehab, and sober living.
Don’t forget that you can’t force your loved one to go to treatment. They need to be the one that makes the call for themselves. If they do opt for treatment, Fort Wayne Recovery offers many kinds of treatment plans that cater to all kinds of people. Give us a call if you’re interested.
The third thing you can do is set and reinforce boundaries. Your loved one may have spent years of getting through life by lying and making excuses. Unless they are faced with the consequences, they aren’t likely to change their actions.
Set boundaries so you can distance yourself from the addiction and give yourself time to focus on yourself. Maybe a boundary is that you tell your spouse that you don’t want them drinking around you or your kids. Healthy boundaries aren’t meant to control your loved one. They are meant to control your environment and keep you protected.
If a boundary is crossed, then you must reinforce it. Let your loved one know how you feel and that they are not welcomed into your house until they are sober. Stand firm, and don’t let their lies and manipulation get ahold of you.
The fourth thing you can do is utilize healthy communication. Healthy communication means listening to the other person. If your loved one confides in you, it’s important that you listen to them without any judgment or interruption. If you are patient and compassionate, then your loved one is more likely to come to you when they are ready for treatment.
You should also focus on the positives while you communicate, but make sure you’re still conveying how you feel. Perhaps your partner is going out to drink with work friends before they tend to your needs. Instead of lashing out with your words, let them know how you feel when they come home late or drunk. Tell them you love spending time with them and that you want to plan some one-on-one time with them soon.
The final thing you can do to help is practice self-care and engage in your own recovery. It’s easy to let all of your time go towards helping your loved one with their addiction. Make sure you’re checking in with yourself while getting proper sleep and eating nutritious foods. It doesn’t matter how long you take, but take some time each day to unwind and do an activity that brings you joy. This can significantly improve your physical and mental health.
As you work on your own recovery, try joining a support group or setting up therapy sessions so you can unpack your feelings with a licensed therapist.
If you realize you’re being an enabler, it’s not too late to change the role you play for your addicted loved one. By following these tips above, you can rid yourself of any enabling behavior and become a more supportive, helpful person. As you and your loved one work through this process, don’t forget to let them know you love them and that you will be with them every step of the way.