Recovery is often too hard a decision to make on one’s own. As a close loved one, you have a unique opportunity to be an anchor in someone’s life. When substance abuse has gone on for too long a time, it can be difficult to break the habit, even when one wants to break it. Part of addiction treatment is the admission that a habit has too strong a hold on our lives.
Addiction is a difficult beast to overcome partly because it cannot be overcome without the consent of the one who suffers from it. So how can people on the outside looking in encourage recovery without pushing it too far?
Pushing It Too Far
There is no such thing as an admission of love and care for another that goes too far (at least for immediate family members). The only way that you can push too far is by completely ignoring the problem at hand and seeking to influence their decision in a sideways manner.
For example, you should not try to guilt your loved one into seeking recovery without expressing your support. Don’t say things like, “You are screwing up your life” or “Stop being so selfish.” These statements show only judgment and demonstrate little to no love or support.
Offer to carry part of the burden. Express your concern for their welfare and show that you are willing to do anything and everything to help them feel better. Often, this is what makes interventions so powerful and so effective.
When someone is struggling with substance abuse issues, the more support they see the more loved they feel. They begin to have thoughts like, “People actually care for me and depend on me.” These thoughts will lead to introspection and ultimately a commitment to get better.
There is no “singular path” to recovery; everyone is different so every road is different. But the one thing that will always remain true of recovery is the support of loved ones is the most effective treatment.