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Caring for Yourself When a Loved One is Addicted

Having a loved one who struggles with addiction can be tiring. Just how tiring depends on the severity of their addiction. You may have to endure a long series of false hopes and disappointments, punctuated by the occasional crisis, or it might be mostly crises, with lying, stealing, and fighting thrown into the mix. On the contrary, you could be in the dark about their addiction as their life is high functioning and seemingly normal. Whatever the situation, addiction and recovery is a long process. You can’t just tough it out like you can with short-term stressors; you have to be ready for the long haul, which means taking care of yourself. Here are some ways to stay healthy when you have a loved one who is addicted.

Remember, there’s only so much you can do.

You can do your best to support her and not enable her. You can try to convince her to get treatment, but you can’t do it for her. You also have to remember that you didn’t cause the addiction. You may have played some part in it, but addiction has many factors and you can’t control most of them. Even so, you can’t change the past. You just have to help however you can while realizing her actions are ultimately beyond your control.

Don’t go it alone.

You don’t have to carry the world on your shoulders. Reach out to friends and family who you trust and who you can confide in. You might consider attending meetings like Al Anon or Narconon, which are groups for the family of people addicted to alcohol and drugs, respectively.  There are other similar kinds of support groups as well. You might also consider seeing a therapist to help you manage your feelings and better understand your responsibility towards your addicted loved one.

Take care of your health.

When we’re under stress, we tend to make it worse by neglecting our health. We don’t exercise, we don’t get enough sleep, and we eat food that’s convenient rather than nutritious. This gradually makes us feel worse and makes the stress worse too. This kind of cycle typically ends in illness. Don’t fall into this trap. Get a little exercise and plenty of sleep. Take some time for yourself and relax. You can do more for the people you care about when you’re healthy and well rested.

Eventually, your loved one may finally agree to treatment. That’s great, but it doesn’t necessarily mean your life will get easier right away. The road to recovery is uneven and you will likely face some setbacks as well as some victories. Do what you have to so you can stay healthy and support her through the ups and downs of recovery. If you have a loved one struggling with addiction, Gardens Wellness Center can help detox and decide on a treatment strategy. Call us today at 844-828-1050 or email us at to learn more.