This worried mother doesn’t know how she can help her daughter anymore. She herself is tired and not in good health and struggles to come up with any real solutions.
A son in early recovery would like his car back but his mother worries that this may trigger a relapse. She wants to help him but is worn out and worried. She has seen his early sobriety before and feels he is less motivated this time.
What if, in a moment of conflict, you were able to pause and recall some positive trait you appreciate about your loved one? How well are you able to separate the illness of addiction from the person you love?
When someone has broken your trust, it will take time to build back up to complete trust again, perhaps years. So take it slowly, give it time.
David Sheff’s story about his son’s addiction and recovery has led him to several realizations about himself as a parent his own need to recover from the experience. He found that his constant suffering and struggle through near crises with his son was easier to deal with than focusing on himself. Today, their relationship has evolved into one of independence, acceptance, compassion and always love.
A mother is trying her best to maintain communication with her addicted son, but he is being verbally abusive. He is bullying to extract money from her. This has created a situation that is escalating beyond what she can handle.
When drugs and alcohol take over, the family is drawn into the needs of the addiction, blamed when resources come up short, attacked when they refuse to provide the “help” requested. It is so hard to know what to do or what “helping” looks like. Come out of the gray area and learn how to respond to your Loved One’s addiction.
A mother doesn’t know what she should do when one of her sons asks for money and cigarettes while in treatment. He claims he can only get through this with smokes. Is this a reasonable request after all that has happened?
Holidays tend to bring on some of the most emotionally charged situations. Here is a list of 5 suggestions offered by therapists and expert family advocates to help you get through the holiday season while taking care of yourself.
Using positive communication while disengaging with a loved one is a softer, more neutral way of letting them know that things aren’t okay. It’s not going to turn things around right away, but it will keep things calmer.
When an addicted loved one is exhibiting increasingly alarming behavior, first of all, don’t take it personally. Remember, it is not directed at you. This, unfortunately, the face of addiction.
Laurie and Annie dive deep into the role forgiveness plays when struggling with an addicted loved one. Why is it so much easier to forgive some and not others? And how do we go about forgiving? They also touch on issues of blame, shaming and resentment.
Laurie and Annie tell their own stories as mothers facing an addicted loved one. They discuss their backgrounds and family dynamics, speak about their lives leading up to and through their personal experiences with the national opiate crisis. Their compelling stories confirm that addiction is a disease and it’s a family disease that can happen to any family in any community.
In this next podcast, Annie and Laurie analyze the meaning of drama using examples drawn from an entertaining public poll. They also discuss drama within the family and friendships and how they learned not to get sucked in.
Through recovery work, I have learned to stop expecting people to be different and to reduce the frustration that comes from trying to cause a person to get better, or trying to mold them into how I think they should be (even if it’s reasonable). When I put these demands and expectations down, I can love people for who they actually are.
Positive reinforcement, as basic and childlike as that sounds, is a motivating force for progress. Speaking to someone’s goodness despite their wrong choices unlocks their worth. “You’re not a bad person, you’re just headed in a bad direction.” Or maybe “You shouldn’t be ashamed of yourself, maybe just aware of faulty patterns so you can choose different ones.” That’s a great way to start motivating someone. Versus, “I told you so, you ought to be ashamed of yourself.”
Vitriol can be described as a solution-less rant of hate-filled criticism. A brand of sulfuric acid was named Vitriol, reason being that the acid was strong enough to burn through anything, including steel and rock. Another permanent boundary I now have: I will not remain in the presence of vitriol.
Guest author Annie Highwater writes, “Through the worst of holiday seasons, I have found myself literally forcing a smile as people joyfully wish me season’s greetings in passing. All while my heart weighs a thousand pounds and my mind is a million miles away.”
So you’re mad or hurt or feeling hopeless? To be effective at helping your addicted family member, you must first get a handle on your negative feelings and learn to take extra good care of yourself.