In Conclusion: What I Learned about Addiction.
Having been through a considerable amount of crap both individually and with the family during these times… I learned a few things along the way.
Number one: Addiction in general, is terrible. I feel for every individual and every family dealing with it. It is a difficult thing to admit for both the family and the individual.
Number two: Admitting that there is a problem with the addict. We all tend to put up with way too much. We push things aside and rationalize the problem. It’s this, it’s that or it’s something else.
Number 3: We put up with way too much because we think we can solve the problem. We can all solve problems. However, problems like these, concerning addiction and mental health are beyond our understanding and professional help is needed.
How can we help? Dealing with Mental Health
Seek help as soon as possible! I would suggest this at the first sign of addiction or mental health concern. We think we are strong and able, yes we are all strong and able. Unfortunately, this sort of thing creeps up slowly most of the time. We notice and yet we choose to ignore it.
Do not ignore it because it will eat away at you and tear you down to the point where you too will be in need of help. In my case, reaching out to Al-Anon was the one thing I needed desperately. Being able to share my experience is incredible. Living with an alcoholic or an addict is no walk in the park. We as family members especially can be affected very directly by the addict.
Questioning our mental health. It is ok to not be ok!
Like myself, I thought I was ok. I was strong and able. I was strong and able until I wasn’t. Being in a family business, I was used to dealing with pressure, deadlines and 250 employees. Coaching them, helping them and guiding them was something I loved to do.
Dealing with an addict? Well, that was a whole different type of insanity. I mean this in the nicest and gentlest way possible… The games, the deceit, the lies and the mental toll the years took on me were incredible.
The excuses, arguments, fights and constant second-guessing were incredibly hard on the whole family. These were things I was not equipped for. This is where the professionals can help.
The Hardest Part. Get Help for the Addict.
Easier said than done. Sure it is easier said than done. However, you need to take the steps to seek help. The addict knows full well that they have a problem. Up to a point we all love to be in denial. For practical purposes, we can say we all want to ignore the problem.
We can all do research on Alcoholics Anonymous. We can all read up about addiction and mental health online. Search addiction centres and treatments, but the one thing we all ignore is approaching this problem head-on. I was scared, I didn’t know how. I tried it in a way that I thought was right. But I was wrong!
Seek help from addiction centres and get professional help. The addict will deny the problem. Do not deny yourself the opportunity to help them help themselves. The worst thing we can do is procrastinate. Once you have done your part and guided your loved one, friend or family member in the right direction, support is what they need. Be there for the person in need, and have hope…
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