If you have a loved one struggling with addiction and involved in family recovery, you've probably heard of the three C's. The three C's come from Al-Anon.
The three C's are:
You didn't CAUSE it.
You can't CONTROL it.
You can't CURE it.
To make it clear, you didn't cause the addiction. You can't control the addiction. You can't cure the addiction.
I want to add a fourth C to this saying, that you can CONTRIBUTE to the problem.
There are five ways that you might be contributing to your loved one's addiction.
I want you to understand that I'm not telling you that the addiction is your fault. The five behaviors that I'm about to explain are triggered because of addiction.
I know that you are behaving this way and doing these things because the addiction triggers you to react this way. However, just like with an addiction, it is your responsibility to get better. It's easy for us to think about and see how addiction is the puppet master controlling all of our loved one's behaviors.
When you have a loved one with addiction, the pain, suffering, and loneliness are sometimes overwhelming. Do you know what makes these feelings worse? Having someone else in the family in complete denial over the loved one's addiction.
It's particularly frustrating when you can see the problem but someone else is
sabotaging you behind the scenes.
We see this play out so often in our office. The person in denial is either a parent, grandparent and occasionally a sibling. This creates a big problem because you have
one person who doesn't want to believe that the person has an addiction. It can interfere with the whole process of getting the addicted person to recovery.
This happens in almost every case. I get it, it's uncomfortable to absorb this information and to sit with it. It's much like a grieving process.
The denial is a self-protective mechanism of some sort. Denial is always protecting you from something that you're not...
Where is the line between helping, supporting, enabling, and having empathy for someone struggling with an addiction? We're going to shed a little light on this for you so you can figure out what's helping and what's enabling.
I'm going to give you five reasons why being kind to someone, showing empathy, and even giving positive reinforcement can them figure out that they have an addiction problem way faster than when you try to do it more directly.
We get so frustrated and impatient dealing with someone who has an addiction because it's so clearly right there and it's just mind-blowing because the person with the addiction, can't see it. The more you push and try to get them to see the issue faster, the longer it takes them to get out of denial. When you come at someone directly like that, they immediately put their walls up and they get defensive. They'll no longer hear, listen, or even consider what you're saying. It's almost like a reflex even if they don't...