My Loved One is an Addict. Why Should I Be the One Going to Therapy???
You Deserve Support When Dealing With Addiction
Whether the person you love is an alcoholic, a drug addict, a sex addict, a gambling addict, or has an eating disorder, chaos is sure to ensue. To protect these maladaptive coping skills, your loved one has likely become manipulative, dishonest, emotionally unbalanced, and even blamed you. As a person who loves them and wants the best for them, you have undoubtedly taken some of this on and need a safe place to process the craziness that is addiction. Most people who love someone in active addiction become addicted to the idea that they can “fix” this other person and will need some help in recognizing the reality: that they can only control their boundaries and reactions.
Watching someone you love slowly self-destruct is trauma. Being stolen from is trauma. Being lied to is trauma. Getting gas-lit is trauma. Suffering financial and legal consequences for someone else’s actions is trauma. Being cheated on is trauma. Overdoses are trauma. Being subject to extreme moods and violent tempers is trauma. Laying up at night wondering if this person will be alive in the morning is trauma. Finding bottles and paraphernalia hidden throughout your home is trauma. Being blamed for your loved ones’ mistakes is trauma. Shielding your children from the mess is trauma. DUIs, arrest, psych ward visits…all trauma.
All of these memories evolve into triggers. For some, it’s a phone ringing, a certain shirt, a particular sound, or a sentence. Whatever it is, it sends your body on high alert because something associated with these triggers has been incredibly painful in the past. Using evidence-based practices like EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) can help resolve the trauma that is trapped in your body in these encounters, regain normal functioning, and be less reactive in the future.
Empathy is a really wonderful quality in humans. In general, it’s great to approach other humans by looking for their best traits, overlooking the ones that bother us, and trying to see another person’s perspective. However, when you are approaching a person in active addiction in this way, you could be doing more damage than you realize.
Of course, this person has great qualities and a ton of potential. But if what they are doing right now is harmful to them and the world around them, denying that there is a problem, covering for them, cleaning up their mistakes for them, or in any way minimizing their behaviors COULD KILL THEM. At that point, it’s no longer an act of love or empathy. It becomes toxic.
Therapy can help you examine early life experiences that led you to a caretaker role while denying your own needs and boundaries. Therapy also provides a safe placeto ask questions about what is helping vs enabling from an objective party who isn’t engulfed in the emotion of the situation in the same way that you are.
Short and sweet: it’s impactful to everyone around you to see you get up and take care of yourself. It paves the way for the people in your circle to begin to take care of their own mental health, especially if they bare witness to positive changes in you.
It only takes one person to change a relationship forever. You can beg in vain for your loved one to get help with their addiction, but they won’t truly find recovery until THEY decide to. In the meantime, you getting strong makes you capable of changing the trajectory for all involved. One of two things will happen:
They will recognize that you are getting stronger and healthier and encompassing better boundaries and it will signal to them that they better get their act together if they want to maintain the relationship.
They will continue to not do their own work, but YOU will get stronger and eventually will be in a better position to decide what you are willing to tolerate in your relationships.
Begin Working With an Addiction Therapist in Palm Beach County, FL
I could (and often do!) make the argument that everyone in the world could benefit from regular therapy. This is especially true for the loved ones of people struggling with addiction. Find a therapist who understands all of the phases of the addiction cycle, process addictions, family systems, and attachment theories. You need and deserve support too! Our team is happy to offer support with in-person and online support across the state. Start your therapy journey by following these simple steps:
- Contact Mangrove Therapy Group
- Meet with a caring therapist
- Start receiving support for yourself and your loved ones
Other Services Offered with Mangrove Therapy
Addiction therapy isn’t the only service Mangrove Therapy offers in Delray Beach, FL. Our team knows that you may experience other mental health concerns which is why we are happy to offer therapy for trauma and PTSD/C-PTSD, substance use disorders, eating disorders, body image issues, anger management, anxiety, low self-esteem, and much more. Please feel free to learn more about how we can support you. We also offer support with addictions such as in-process addictions, grief, and loss, EMDR, “Failure to Launch” syndrome, CBT, and DBT. Feel free to learn more by visiting our blog or FAQ page to learn more today!