A Message to Families Suffering from Addiction: Come Together
We see it every day, the difference between divisiveness vs. coming together for a common goal, what can be achieved when people work together vs. the other side of the coin, where people can’t see eye to eye and the only thing accomplished is a heated debate that goes in circles. Whether it is in politics, business, healthcare, sports, or simply families at home, it is not a difficult concept to grasp. Getting people to see eye to eye, on the other hand, is a much different task. We are an opinionated people, and it is often difficult to put strong emotions aside to see the greater good. I have never seen this more prevalent than with addicts and their families.
Addiction by its very nature can easily tear families apart. The behaviors that are driven by drug dependency are often deplorable. The frustrations that a family can suffer when an addict doesn’t make an effort to clean up their life are intense. And the opinions on how best to handle an addict who has lost all trust and goodwill can cause a friction in families that is full of stress and misery. That does not even include the worry involved for all parties when a loved one is constantly making choices that are life-threatening. It can be a very combustible situation for families and can often create estranged relationships.
“I can tell you with the utmost certainty that without their support and their belief in a different path for my life that I would not have found the path I now have.”
For a lot of families, when addiction hits home there is no blueprint, no road map, no directions to help ease the pain or solve the problem. Addicts and families alike have an overwhelming sense of helplessness on what to do, and most solutions are not without very strong emotions. I lived through this with my own family, and while the stress and friction it caused within cannot be overstated, there was a common denominator that was always present. They all wanted what was best for me, they all loved me, and they were all tired of seeing me go down the destructive path of addiction. I can tell you with the utmost certainty that without their support and their belief in a different path for my life that I would not have found the path I now have. Were they perfect in their approach? Of course not, they felt, at times, as lost as I did. But they never gave up on me, that common goal never wavered, and eventually, I did find the path for myself with the help of those who loved and cared about me.
For any family out there with a loved one struggling with addiction, if you are searching for answers, if you are questioning your methods or your sanity, I have one piece of advice: Come together as a family. Pool all your love, support, and resources together in a final push towards freeing yourselves and your loved one from addiction. Put your strength in numbers rather than let it tear you apart. Remember who your loved one was before addiction took over and find the belief that they can be that person again, perhaps an even better version of who they were before being humbled by addiction. Put your differences aside and do everything possible as a family to put an end to the suffering. Nothing could be more worth it, nothing could be more gratifying or fulfilling, and nothing could bring about a greater peace for your family. Just ask mine.