A Loved One’s Perspective
Detaching with love from an addicted person is difficult, to say the least. Not only are we watching someone we love and care about go into a downward spiral, but we need to determine how to keep ourselves healthy in the process. Their disease belongs to them, not us. Their willingness to change belongs to them, not us. This is easy to say, but how exactly do we love and support someone who cannot even love themselves?
The adage “if I do not take care of myself, how I can take care of someone else” is truer than true when dealing with someone in addiction. Just like the addicted individual needs spiritual guidance to find freedom, so, too, do loved ones need the freedom that spiritual guidance can bring.
Even if you are dealing with someone who is in recovery, your needs are equally as important.
Al-Anon is a great avenue for loved ones dealing with an addicted individual, whether in recovery or actively living in their disease. It is a 12-step program geared towards the affected circle of friends and family.
Through the program, you can separate the person from the addiction. You can gain perspective and see that their choices do not have to affect you; they are making the decisions for themselves. Often, we want to take care of or even try to fix a situation that is not ours to own or fix. You have to know what is healthy for yourself so that you can protect yourself while still loving your addicted family member or friend.
There is a well-known slogan in Al-Anon called THINK. Being Thoughtful, Helpful, Intelligent, Necessary, and Kind can help us navigate life and find a healthy and loving detachment from our addicted loved ones.