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5 Things to Remember If Addiction Enters Your Family’s Life

By Mormon.org
girl with head down resting on hands

There’s Always Hope

If addiction has entered your family’s life, you’re becoming acquainted with a form of helplessness, anxiety, and sadness that perhaps you haven’t experienced before. Here are five things to remember to give you hope and help you cope.

Learn about Their Addiction

It’s hard to help someone if you don’t understand what they’re experiencing. Learn as much as you can about the addiction. When you understand the cycle of addiction you can identify when your loved one is really in recovery and if/when they are slipping. Educating yourself will not only enable you to discern recovery from sobriety, it will help you avoid enabling more destructive behavior.

You Need Support Too

When you’re experiencing the challenging emotions that accompany loving someone with an addiction, you need support too. If you don’t have family or friends nearby, or anyone that you feel comfortable talking to, know that there are other available resources. Sometimes the best support comes from those who have been there. Seek out a support group.

Attending a group can help you see what aspects of the situation are actually in your control—which is an important step to realizing that you have some. You can’t force someone to give up an addiction, but you can be an optimistic force for good in their life and you can make a difference.

Love Them

You can love your family member without enabling them. Try to separate the person from the behavior in your mind. Most people stuck in addiction don’t want to be. Your love can go a long way in helping them realize that you still think they’re worth something and that you’re not willing to give up on them. Set some boundaries for your relationship. You can express your love without compromising your stance on the addiction. Help your loved one understand that you care about them and that their addiction is affecting you. Someday, they might thank you for being both loving and steady.

Pray for Them

Pray. Heavenly Father knows you and your loved one. He also understands what each of you need. Addiction has a way of making people feel like they’re a lost cause. If your loved one is stuck in the throes of addiction, they may feel uncomfortable with prayer. That leaves the praying to you. Don’t underestimate the power of your prayers. God hears every word and heartfelt plea—and He loves you both enough to answer. You can also pair occasional fasting with your prayer efforts.

Trust the Lord

Trust and include the Lord. Christ said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). You don’t have to shoulder this burden alone. Once you’ve done all you feel you can do, lay the burden at His feet.

Each night before you go to sleep, try imagining yourself handing the weight you feel over to the Lord. Ask Him to hold it for you while you rest. You’ll be leaving your cares in good hands. It will not take away all of the sorrow and concern, but it will give you some peace, allow you to rest, and provide the strength you need to continue.

Help is available for those who are struggling with addiction and for those who love them. Are you looking for more ideas to help your family? Click here to chat.