Living with someone with an addiction can be filled with stress and uncertainty. When they do take the step towards recovery, things don’t automatically return to a harmonious household. Whether it’s a child, parent, or spouse, here are ways you can help with addiction recovery for someone you live with.
Make Clear Boundaries
There is a fine line line between helping and supporting someone - and enabling them. Setting clear boundaries and sticking to them is the first step. Sticking to the boundaries can be hard - it’s easier to give someone a second chance, or third, or just one more. But it’s crucial to take the hard path and stick to boundaries, or you step into the role of enabling and addiction.
What is the difference between supporting someone and enabling their addiction? It can be difficult to see because even when your intention is to help, it can have the opposite effect of enabling bad behavior. The difference is this:
Supporting is assisting with things they are incapable of doing for themselves.
Enabling is keeping someone from dealing with the negative consequences of their actions.
An example of enabling can be giving someone a place to live, paying for a cell phone, or paying for a car. Allowing yourself to believe someone to be incapable of paying for a cell phone, for example, simply because they spent all of their money on an addiction is not supporting them - it is allowing them to be codependent on you.
Get a Support System for You
Find a counselor or therapist who specializes in addiction counseling and get help. Loved ones of addicts need support, too. Many family members end up suffering alongside the person with the addiction. The goal is to bring clarity to relationships and to foster repair and closeness if family members choose.
If you have a loved one working towards recovery and want to know more about individual counseling for yourself, feel free to contact us.