Do you have a loved one that is struggling with addiction or in early recovery? Watching someone you love struggle with an alcohol or drug problem is painful for the entire family. It causes many intense feelings such as anger, confusion, sadness, and worry. Addiction is a “family disease” because the entire family becomes consumed by chaos and family members lose themselves in trying to either hide or “fix” the problem.
When trying to help a parent, child, spouse, sibling, or friend who is struggling the lines can quickly blur from supporting to enabling. Family members focus so much on the demands of their loved one that they can become codependent and their own needs just fall by the wayside.
Warning signs that the entire family has been affected include:
- Trying to fix, cover for, or hide the actions of the addict
- Having a hard time saying “no” (and not giving in!)
- Blaming yourself for other’s actions (“she drinks because I upset her” or “where did I go wrong to cause this?”)
- Feeling like your walking on eggshells at home
- Not being able to openly talk about problems
If your family has been affected by addiction, it is time to finally put the focus back on you! Taking the steps to heal yourself can allow you to be the supportive parent, child, sibling, or friend that you want to be. Or it may mean accepting that you put your needs first and “love from afar”. When they are ready to finally change for themselves you will be there to help in a healthy and supportive way. Either way, the important first step is to finally take care of you!
If you or someone you know has a loved one struggling with addiction, please call 201-488-6678 or visit our website at for more information and to schedule an appointment.