When someone is suffering from addiction, the disease takes a toll on the entire family. Family members will likely feel a range of strong emotions, including fear, defeat, loneliness, sadness, unworthiness, and depression.
It’s easy to become obsessed with every aspect of the addicted loved one’s life. Family members often fixate on where they are, where they were, what they’re doing, if they’re coming home, who they’re with, if they’re at work, if they’re lying, drinking, using, stealing, and if they are safe.
Family members may spend much of their time researching treatment centers, looking for paraphernalia, monitoring their loved one’s moods, wondering what to do, driving through unsafe neighborhoods, calling hospitals, searching parking lots, and more.
It can be easy to get so caught up wondering, worrying, and ‘doing’ that you easily forget daily tasks like giving the kids a bath, checking the mail, and even eating.
Just like someone with addiction, a family member or friend can hit rock bottom, getting to a point of feeling overwhelmed emotionally, physically, and mentally.
It takes a lot of courage and strength to walk into an Al-Anon meeting or any other support group for loved ones of people suffering from addiction. But once there, you begin to realize that you’re not alone with your feelings. You learn that addiction is a disease that usually requires long-term professional support to overcome. You’ll also learn that your recovery is just as important as your loved one’s recovery. But the most important thing you’ll learn is that you are completely powerless over the disease of addiction and that you cannot control when or if your loved one gets sober.
In the end, you are only responsible for yourself. You can’t fix or change anyone but yourself. And once you recover from the disease of addiction, you’ll notice that by changing your attitudes, perceptions, and actions, things around you will miraculously change. You deserve to be happy…whether the person you love is seeking help for their addiction or not.