Last September one of our regular blog readers, experienced caregiver Mel Younger shared with us proven techniques that can serve you to de-stress your life if you find yourself in the role of being a caregiver.
Mel once again shares with us why it is so important to involve yourself in the treatment of family members who are struggling with addiction.
Few things are as stressful as watching a family member struggling with addiction. Substance abuse can tear a family apart from the inside, as personalities change, lies are told, and crisis follows crisis. When the addict finally seeks treatment, it can be tempting to see this as an opportunity to release yourself from the situation – to heave a sigh of relief and let the professionals get on with it. However, though it may seem stressful, it is actually important to involve yourself in your loved one’s recovery process. It will take strength of character and a lot of stress management, but ultimately, it’s the best thing to do. Here’s why:
You’re Affected Too
The addiction is likely to have had a profound effect upon you, your family, and the way in which you live your lives. You’ve been involved in it – however, much you did not want to be. Some may say you’ve been victims, or possibly enablers. Whatever has happened, whatever the situation, it’s doubtful that you’ve escaped scot-free from either the psychological or the practical impacts of your loved one’s substance abuse. As such, you’re in need of help and support as much as they are. You need to understand, accept, and process what’s happened to you. Otherwise it will lurk in the background, causing subliminal stress which is likely to break out again and again.
Family Involvement Increases Recovery Chances
Statistics clearly show that the involvement of a person’s loved ones in their addiction recovery increases their chances of getting sober and staying sober successfully. While it can be hard to provide the love and support they need, doing so is likely to bring about the positive outcomes which will ultimately improve things for all of you. Conversely, family non-involvement can play a part in relapse.
You Need to Let Go Of Guilt
Family member guilt is a surprisingly common phenomenon in substance abuse cases. Many feel that their loved one turned to substances because of them, or that they enabled their substance usage. Involving yourself in their recovery will help you to work through these issues, learn how your behaviour affects their motivation to use (if it does at all), and eradicate any poisonous guilt you, may be feeling. It’s important to work through these kinds of issues rather than suppressing them.
You Need to Re-Learn Communication
Communication failures are a key source of stress, and families which cannot resolve conflicts through effective communication may turn to other strategies in order to manage the miscommunication stress they feel. Substance abuse is one of these strategies. Learning to communicate in an honest, clear, and effective manner is beneficial to everyone – not just the substance abuser themselves. Even in a family with good communication, substance abuse can significantly disrupt the flow of honest communication, and new lines of communication will need to be opened. Doing so can significantly benefit everyone involved, and diminish the stress of a highly volatile situation.
If you would like to immerse yourself in two days of creating your own unique Stress Management Toolkit with tools and strategies that build your resilience and lead you to the calm, then join us in Brisbane on 13 & 14 August for the Stress to Strength Experience Workshop. We have a fantastic team of qualified Stress Management Practitioners who will guide and mentor you through the processes. Plus, you’ll have lots of fun and go home relaxed and de-stressed.
THE EARLY BIRD registration FINISHES tomorrow August 6… REGISTER NOW!
To join us, register at www.stresstostrength.com/experience/