Coping with an addict in the family

I came across an article which had no date, however based on some of the statistics they sited, it is at least ten years old.  Regardless, the points made in this article entitled, “10 Ways to Cope with an Addict in the Family” by Maria Trimarchi are still valid and on target.  Her piece was posted on a website called, How Stuff Works.

As the title suggests, the author lists ten ways to cope with a family member’s addiction.  They are, in reverse order:

10 – Understanding that Addiction is a Disease

9 – Educate Yourself

8 – Are you an Enabler?

7 – Attend Family Therapy

6 – Seek Professional Financial Counseling

5 – Seek Legal Counsel

4 – Attend Individual Therapy Sessions

3 – Maintain Open Communication

2 – Maintain “Normal” Family Activities

1 –Take Care of Yourself

Take time to read the entire article as Trimarchi has some very insightful thoughts on each point that will help families.  The article, which can be read in full by clicking this link:  https://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/10-ways-to-cope-with-addict-in-the-family.htm OR click on any of the listed points above to go to that specific topic.

Tomorrow starts the New Year 2020.  A Place For Mary will be here with useful information to help guide you on your journey with your loved one’s addiction.

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Surviving the Season of Stress

‘Tis the season, so lets continue the conversation about the upcoming holidays, and the stress they put on anyone dealing with addiction, from the addict to their families and friends. 

I’d like to direct your attention to an article written back in 2011 for Social Work Today magazine by Christina Reardon, MSW, LSW.  The article is titled, Families and Addiction — Surviving the Season of Stress and can be read in its entirety by clicking the magazine cover, or the title above.

This article has so much useful information for families as the holidays approach.

Highlights of this article include:

  • Managing expectations
    • Expectations that the addict will be magically “cured” over the holidays will likely cause more stress and frustration
  • Handling actively using addicts
    • Firm ground rules and expectations of behavior should be set and agreed upon prior to a holiday event, with strict consequences if not met.
    • Is this a good time for a family intervention?
    • Realize that family gatherings can be very stressful for the addict too
  • Supporting the recovering addict
    • If alcohol is the problem, refrain from cooking with wine or other liquors or serving candy with alcohol centers.
    • Respecting the needs of the addict does not mean everything has to be perfect
  • Learning to let go
    • Take care of yourself!
    • Accept that you are not responsible for whatever happens

Take some time and read through this helpful article.  Then start setting your expectations for the upcoming holidays.  May they be joyous.

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Happy Holidays!
Betsy

 

 

Love – A Roadblock to Recovery

Have you stumbled upon A Place For Mary in a Google search?  If so, it’s likely you’re dealing with and addiction that has taken over someone you love, and you’re la-place-for-mary-logoooking for help.  You’ve come to the right place to start your own journey towards a healthy life.

Addiction is devastating to anyone close to an addict; spouses, parents, partners, and friends alike.  What is the biggest roadblock to truly helping them to recovery?  The answer is simple.  It’s LOVE.  Love gets in the way, blinding you to simple things that are actually enabling the addiction.

ENABLE – definition – According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word “enable” has three meanings as follows:  (click here for full definition)

  1. to provide with the means or opportunity
  2. to make possible, practical, or easy 
  3. to cause to operate

Synonyms include: allow, empower, let, permit.

There are many articles written on enabling.  Take some time to read “Enabling 101: How Love Becomes Fear and Help Becomes Control” by

  • “The one thing that all enablers have in common is this: they love someone who is out of control, and they find themselves taking more responsibility for the actions of that person than the person is taking for themselves.”
  • “When you stop enabling, this does not mean that you stop loving the person. It does not even mean that you cannot help him or her.”

In her article, Ms. King sites examples of things an enabler might be thinking or even saying to others.  You might find some of those statements sound familiar and hit home.

So, what’s next?  What do you do?  How do you remove the roadblock that LOVE presents?  You’ve made the first step by reading this far. Continue to educate yourself on addiction and begin to make changes in your own behavior and the interaction you share with your addicted loved one.   A Place For Mary is here to provide you with useful information to help you on your journey to becoming a supportive, yet non-enabling partner, loved one, friend.

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