It’s hard to love someone who is suffering from an addiction. It’s normal to protect them, to try to figure out how to cure them, and to do as much as possible for them. However, if you’re trying to help a loved one who is suffering from alcoholism, there are some things you should avoid doing. This will enable you to make sure you’re helping them as much as possible and not hindering their chances of recovery or hurting yourself just to help them.
Here Are 10 Things You Should Stop Doing Right Now If You Want to Help
01: Stop Trying to Cure the Addiction
It’s natural to want to cure whatever is wrong with a loved one. If they have an injury, you may do as much as possible to help them heal from that injury. Dealing with addiction, however, is very different. This is not something you can do alone, and it’s not something your loved one can do alone. Instead, look into rehab treatment for addiction so they can get the help they need. Encourage them to seek treatment so they can begin the path to recovery.
02: Stop Trying to Control the Addiction
Hiding alcohol, avoiding places that serve alcohol, and trying to control situations where there might be alcohol might seem helpful, but they aren’t. Your loved one needs to be able to avoid their own triggers and stay away from alcohol on their own or the recovery won’t last. Instead of trying to control the addiction, be as supportive as possible and let them have control over their own recovery. Their choices will have a much bigger impact on how they go through the recovery process.
03: Stop Taking the Addiction Personally
Many people tend to take the addiction personally because of how it impacts them and their lives. It’s difficult to avoid doing this, but it is important to remember that the loved one did not get addicted to alcohol on purpose and did not do this just to impact you. Instead, it’s a disease that they need to be treated for and something they need help with.
04: Stop Making Assumptions About the Addiction
It’s often easy to assume the cause of the addiction or to assume what might be best for the alcoholic to help them recover as fast as possible. However, these assumptions are often wrong and may end up causing the recovery process to take much longer because of the misunderstandings. Instead of making assumptions, talk to your loved one about what is happening, what they need help with, and what can be done to further their recovery.
05: Stop Enabling the Addiction
All too many people end up enabling their loved one’s addiction to avoid arguments or issues in the relationship. This should be avoided completely, though it can be difficult to do. Never purchase alcohol for them or make sure they have what they need if they want to drink and avoid taking them to places just so they can drink. While it’s not possible to control the addiction, you don’t have to facilitate it.
06: Stop Having Unreasonable Expectations for Them
Those who have never suffered from alcoholism imagine it’s very easy to just stop drinking. Most people can decide they just don’t want to drink when they go out, and that’s it. An alcoholic, on the other hand, will start suffering withdrawal symptoms if they do not drink, and some of those symptoms can be very dangerous. It’s important to learn more about what alcoholism is and what it entails to have far more reasonable expectations of your loved one and what they can do through the recovery process.
07: Stop Feeling Like You Can’t Forgive Them
Alcoholism can change someone and they can start doing things they might have never done in the past, as a steal, drive while under the influence, or become violent. It’s important to remember that it’s the alcoholism causing these issues. While you might not be ready to forgive them right now, it’s important to remember that you can forgive them in the future. Forgiving doesn’t mean continuing the relationship, but it does mean understanding what they’ve gone through and why they did what they did.
08: Stop Living in the Past
Before the addiction, everything was perfect. It’s easy to slip back into remembering how things were before the alcoholism. However, this can be very unhealthy. It can mean you spend more time thinking about what the relationship used to be and resenting the fact that it has changed because of the addiction. While it is good to remember the past fondly, avoid living in the past and becoming resentful because the addiction has changed the relationship, possibly permanently.
09: Stop Trying to Hide the Addiction
Many people who have a loved one who is an alcoholic will try to hide the addiction from others. This is not your job to do and can be harmful in the long run. If you help them hide the addiction, they will not suffer the consequences of their actions and may not see that they need to get into recovery right away. This prolongs the recovery process and doesn’t help them figure out that they need help.
10: Stop Ignoring Your Own Needs
It’s all too easy to focus on your loved one and their addiction instead of thinking about what you need. Whether you need time alone, a little bit of space, or someone to talk to, make sure you get what you need. It is possible to help them while you get help yourself, and this can help you be in a better position to offer them as much help as possible.
It’s possible to help your loved one on the road to recovery. It’s also possible for the relationship to make it through this issue and come out stronger in the end. However, it’s also possible for you to end up doing more harm than good if you’re not careful with how you handle the situation and how you help a loved one. Avoid doing the things here so you can provide as much help as possible while they work on recovering from their alcohol addiction.