Be accepting

This one goes out to those of you who are watching a loved one struggle with addiction. We have all said it a ton of times, don’t judge a person because we don’t know what they have been through. That is easier said than done, especially when we have been hurt, lied to, betrayed so many times, but it is necessary for recovery. Don’t enable their addiction, simply understand it.

While I believe that interventions have their place, I also believe that if you are not careful they can do more harm than good. Let me be up front in saying that I have never sat in front of a panel of friends and family telling me I need to fix my life, I can say I have sat in front of plenty of individuals who wanted the best for me telling me the same things. Here is the problem I see (at least in my own situation), an addict is not in their right state of mind.

I began my addiction looking for somebody to accept me for who I was, I never found that so I started doing the things that the “cool” kids were doing, and it got me their acceptance. Your beloved addicts want to be accepted, and in their depressed state when you tell them that they are destroying their life, they are more than likely hearing how they screwed up again. Love them, they already know they need help, be there to pick them up when they relapse. They are probably in this mess because they at some point did not feel loved, and that is a tough wall to break down.

I have mentioned already how much my parents had done for me in my recovery, what I have not mentioned though is how they never mentioned my meth addiction. They knew I had it, and they would advise me to stop drinking, but for whatever reason when I was on meth, they never brought it up. I believe that if they had told me once again how I needed to fix myself, I probably would have never got clean.

At the end if the day your addict is still a good person, they care, they made a bad choice that is consuming their mind, what they need is to know that you still love them despite their problem. They need to know that you don’t condone their actions, but you understand where they are. If you don’t understand, you will get a lot further with them if you try to see them the way Christ would.

Reconnect with family

As crazy as it sounds, your family is more than likely going to be your strongest form of support. Yes, even after all of those horrible things we have done to them to get our drugs/alcohol, they still love us and want what’s best for us. It might not be easy, in fact it will probably seem awkward at first. After all, they don’t trust you, and why should they? But trust can be earned back, and love is unconditional. Over time, your family will realize through your changes that you are cleaning up, and the trust will slowly come back.

I remember when I first moved back home, my parents drove a thousand miles in their vehicle to drive my uhaul and camper back with them and meet me at home (my hometown). Were they happy about it? Absolutely not, in fact the look on my dads face could not have been more inconvenienced and agitated (I couldn’t blame him). I could tell upon my arrival that they did not exactly have a lot of faith in my recovery. For years I carried on with my ways as well, but over time I slowly started changing for the better. As I changed, I could sense my parents trust in me being renewed, in fact when we (my father and I) built my mill, he fronted the money for the project. He knew it was a hobby I loved, and he could see the changes I had made. In my past he would have assumed I would have sold it and burned him on the payback, but now it is almost like he is proud of me, like he was when I hit my first (probably only) homerun, or caught my first fish. Effort does not go unnoticed.

You might relapse, and that’s ok, just don’t let it get you down. If you do relapse, the family that you reconnected with will more than likely be very disappointed, but that’s ok too, they love you and are watching you poison yourself, put yourself in their shoes, you would be disappointed too. I have kids of my own, some of which are almost adults, and some of their decisions disappoint me, decisions I once made myself when I was their age. You see we get disappointed in our children when despite our many warnings, they go ahead and make the same mistakes we did, as if we don’t already know how it is going to play out. I just rest easy knowing that one day, they will call me, needing to reconnect with me. And when they do I may be disappointed, but I will welcome them with open arms.