If you’ve ever been on an airplane, you no doubt remember the pilot’s instructions. In case of a sudden pressure drop, put on your oxygen mask first before assisting others. The logic is clear. Without our sustenance to prevent collapse during a crisis, we may find ourselves unable to help others at all.
Conversely, if we ensure that we care for ourselves, we can also help our loved ones during times of need. Experiencing or witnessing alcohol abuse and addiction that has spiraled out of control is one such crisis.
While we may be tempted to focus all of our energy on the pain and health of our struggling family member, the same guidance to strengthen ourselves applies. If we place the majority of our attention on our loved ones, we may lose equilibrium and head down a road of codependence and attempts at control.
The Illusion of Control
While the path of control can seem inviting, it can lead to anxiety, resentment, and a power struggle. A more holistic path, based on elements of the Serenity Prayer (i.e., knowing what we can and cannot change), will show us that care for ourselves is inextricably linked to the care of others.
Caring for Yourself
Consider what sources of nourishment exist in your life. Is it long walks, cooking, dancing, or funny movies? Yoga, sports, art, time with family and friends? While you seek answers for your loved one, you are invited to increase the amount of time you spend caring for yourself. You are worthy of care. You are worthy of downtime, peace, and abundance.
If you’d like help figuring out areas of your life that can impact your wellness, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has toolkits that can be a great place to start. In addition, making a list of the activities that bring you joy and increasing the number of times you do such activities each week may strengthen you for the work of accompanying your family member.
Whenever you feel grounded in care and healthy practices, you are ready to learn about options for your loved one. Take a deep breath and continue.
Learning About Options and Support
You may have spent many restless nights worried about your loved one, or the concern may be very new. Wherever you and your loved one are, the time is right to learn about your options. Whether you have already searched for treatment options, there are trained, non-judgmental professionals who can assist you in locating the right treatment facility for your loved one.
The various choices to support people struggling with alcohol use disorder (AUD) provide hope. You don’t need to know where the path will lead. What’s important is taking the first step in recovery.
There are various options for treatment, including online interventions from the comfort of home, assessment as ordered by the court, outpatient treatment, or inpatient treatment for up to three months in a serene environment surrounded by the healing power of nature. Doing a little research by reading or calling a treatment center to learn more can help you prepare for the moment your loved one says they are open to help.
Knowing That It’s Not Too Late
You may feel a sense of urgency about the drinking problem. You may think the situation is hopeless, or it’s too late to intervene. However, the truth is that people find recovery at different times in life, and the path is not always linear. It is never too late to ask for help.
An important part of sobriety is readiness, acknowledgment of the problem, and a plan for ongoing support. Because AUD affects the entire family, our readiness to help ourselves and our loved ones is a vital part of the path to recovery and sobriety.
Connecting With Support for Yourself and Your Loved One
As a loved one of someone struggling with alcohol abuse, their drinking has no doubt impacted you. Perhaps there has been a loss of emotional or physical intimacy, an impact on the family budget, or legal, health, or safety impacts. Whatever the situation, you deserve to find compassion and answers.
While you cannot make someone change, you can be ready to support them when they are. You can also take steps to seek guidance and care. Many reputable treatment centers provide free phone consultations. As a loved one, you can make that call. Specialists will be ready to provide you with detailed information.
Finding the right treatment center that provides evidence-based and holistic treatment with a vision of hope and a commitment to excellence can help you know that change is possible, even when things look bleak. Asking for and receiving help is an act of love and courage. You deserve a life that makes you happy, with peace and tranquility.
There is no need to wait. You’ve already taken the first step. You and your loved one can find solace and joy. Make the call and start living better now.
Whether your worry about your loved one’s drinking is new or long-standing, there is hope. You are not responsible for your loved one, but your support and guidance can make a huge difference in helping them find a way out of addiction. At First Steps Recovery, we understand that caring for yourself, connecting with others, and receiving help begins with taking the first step. Our programs help families work together to understand addiction. Through our family group therapy, you and your loved one will learn how to work together to confront the challenges of maintaining sobriety. Developing this support system helps ensure that the well-being of your loved ones comes first. If you currently need help, don’t wait. Trained specialists await your call to listen today. To learn more about our support options and programs, call First Steps Recovery today at (844) 489-0836.