When you're in early recovery, how do you care for yourself and your family simultaneously?
A lot of people will tell you not to do this. They'll say things like recovery is selfish, focus on you, focus on staying sober. But to do that, you have to avoid your family who's on your butt, who's watching you like a hawk, who's maybe putting down a lot of boundaries and controlling, and so you're trying to ignore them, and this triggers your family and makes them do it more, which is triggering for you.
If you stop ignoring them, they will stop spying, controlling, snooping, questioning, and making passive-aggressive comments. Can you imagine how much easier getting sober will be when you don't have your family breathing down your neck every second?
The first thing you have to do is stop the addicted behavior.
If the addiction continues, you can't heal the family, so you must be solidly committed.
Once you have the addictive behavior somewhat stable, you want to...
If you have an addicted loved one, you've likely heard to go to Al-anon, and you may have given serious thought and consideration to having an intervention. Yes, like on the TV show intervention, but you may have yet to hear of the CRAFT method. CRAFT stands for Community Reinforcement and Family Training.
The CRAFT method is three times more effective than an intervention for getting an addicted loved one into treatment. I want to explain why it's so much more effective, how it works, and how you can access the craft method training. So let's look at the most strategic, most effective model for getting an addicted loved one to get help. Unfortunately, you don't have that many options when you have an addicted loved one.
#1-Al-anon, which is pretty helpful at teaching you how to take care of yourself and get off what I call the rollercoaster. It's all about helping you regain your sanity, which is super important. I'm a big fan. However, it's ineffective for getting your loved...
After many years of running a program, these are my top three takeaways on being effective at influencing someone to get sober. But, of course, this first thing is the most important: you can get someone sober much faster if you focus on building them up versus tearing them down.
#1 factor in influencing someone to get sober
When someone is destroying their and their family's lives, it's our instinct to tell them, "Hey, you're messing things up. You're making bad decisions. You're ruining your life and your family's life." So you want to show that to them because if they can see what a disaster this is, so they will make a different decision. But, that doesn't work because the addiction impacts the motivation centers of someone's brain. So using regular old motivation techniques will not work with someone with a substance use disorder. Not only will they not work, but they will probably backfire on you.
In my experience, you have to build someone up enough to have the strength to...
Everyone involved needs to be aligned to influence someone to get recovery. But what do you do when they just won't come into alignment with you, and it feels like family and friends are sabotaging your loved one's recovery?
You're trying to help your addicted loved one recover, but family and friends keep sabotaging your efforts. As a result, everything you do is just a waste of time. It's maddening enough that you're dealing with an addicted person who's not being rational, causing trouble, and making your life difficult. But on top of that, you've got other people either not coming on board or making it worse.
#1. The classic enabler
The first common way you're likely to be experiencing this is if there is another person in the family. Maybe it's your mother-in-law, father-in-law, or spouse. Still, this other person in the family refuses to see the problem, or perhaps they know the problem but refuse to understand the seriousness of the situation.
I'm calling this category...
It's not just people with substance abuse problems who can be in denial about the addiction. Family members can be in denial too. A family member's denial can be more complicated and more challenging to deal with than the denial of the person who has the addiction.
Here's an example--several years ago, when I was directing an intensive outpatient program for adolescents with chemical dependency, I got a phone call from one of the parents of the kids in the program. She said, "Hey, I have this friend, her son is so and so, and he has a major problem, and I gave her your name, and she might be calling you."
Secretly behind the scenes...
I already knew about this kid because her son in my group had told me about him. The kid in question was doing all kinds of addictive things, selling drugs, using drugs, you name it--He was doing it. He was kind of a ring leader in this scene.
Eventually, I got a phone call from the kid's Mom. She tells me a little about what's happened(and behind the...
How do you tell if someone with an addiction is using you?
The sad truth is that as the addiction progresses and goes along, the addicted person is less and less able to put anyone else's needs first.
For someone with an addiction to take care of others' needs, they have to have their gas tank full first. If they get the right amount of a substance to calm down that part of their brain. When leveled out, they can care about other things because they can stop chasing, but it doesn't last very long because they need to get back to the chase.
Important: People with addictions aren't inherently selfish, bad people, or want to take advantage of you. That's not it at all. It's just that the addiction puts you in that state, and it doesn't matter who you are. It will put you in that survival zone. Sometimes it's more apparent than others when an addict or an alcoholic is using you, but it's not always obvious.
Part of having an addiction is getting good at manipulating your...