Being the addict is never the hardest part of an addiction. It is being the love one watching the addict suffer from their affliction. Addiction is much harder to overcome than it is to be caught in its grasp. The great writer, T.S Eliot, once said “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” Showing the addict in your life that there is more to live for than their own vice is crucial. Do not try and fight this for them but fight this with them!
Having a loved one that is addicted to anything may it be gambling, substance abuse, or lying is hard to watch. Knowing the appropriate response to their behaviors can be even harder. The fight on whether to help them through it or provide tough love is something many battle with every day. Knowing that, getting professional help as soon as possible, is the best way to go. It is nothing to be ashamed of but instead it is something to be proud of your loved one as they have recognized the problem. As I have people in my life that stuffer from this disease, I know how hard it is to watch them waste away. Please do not hesitate in reminding the person that you love them, even when they have done wrong to you.
When or while the person is overcoming the disease it is imperative to remember they have now acknowledged they have a problem and not to remind them every chance you get that they messed up. Think of this as a time of mending the relationship if it was damaged as well as a healing time for them and their life.
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Arthur Ashe. Reminding the person in your life that there are things in life to live for that are healthy alternatives to lead a positive and fruitful life. Taking them out to do fun things such as going on walks or volunteering their time to an organization to give back to someone else in need can be both fulfilling and helpful to the person. Giving them purpose can make all the difference in relapsing and staying strong.
Lastly remember that it is not your fault, it never was. So don’t try and fight this hard fight for them but be the supporting shoulder for him/her. During this hard time; love, support, and patience is the only way to persevere through an addiction.