One of the hardest things to face in long-term recovery is seeing the addiction or mental health challenges manifest in our loved ones. Even if we arrest the disease in ourselves, the likelihood of our next generation, or others we love having addiction or mental health issues is extremely high.
With that comes all kinds of hurt, confusion, and shame. And the most frustrating part is that there is no pat answer. The change lies with us, not them. There is nothing we can do to help them except take care of ourselves.
Often caregivers are depleted. The addiction through someone else takes resources and causes caregivers to lie, cheat and make excuses for the sake of the suffering person.
If you want to spot a codependent, they can be found lying for their kids who they feel can’t make it to school, or doling out money to their partners, or feeling like a martyr and saying things like, “after all I do for them!”
We need to stay in our own lane and keep looking at our own behaviours. While we look righteous, and the addicted person looks damaged, we too are damaged.
Affected family systems often change when the supports – not the addict – gets help. One small change in behaviour causes a positive shift. If you are reading this and you are struggling, consider reaching out for more information about an upcoming retreat and/or group to take care of YOU. You’re worth it and so are your loved ones.
Peace is possible, regardless if the person we love is in active addiction or in poor mental health.
May be an image of nature, tree and sky
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