She’s one of my favorite people. She’s highly intelligent, attractive, funny, personable. She is delightful. She is an alcoholic. Having spent time away, in recovery, she’s coming home now and has been kind enough to share what she – and others like her —need from family and friends.
Please share any additional thoughts you may have.
Acceptance. An attempt, at least. Or, better still, actual acceptance of the disease of addiction: attending Al Anon meetings, reading literature on the subject, or consulting with professionals in the addiction field of expertise. As they say, “knowledge is power”. Obtaining and accepting information on the subject allows for an understanding in order to help communication and interaction between family and friends and can only aid in the healthiest recovery for ALL involved.
Willingness. The desire and capacity to listen, support and love the individual who has been broken and needs to heal.
Humility. Keep in mind that 1) We are all human and make mistakes; 2) That the addict has a disease that is progressive, chronic, and fatal; 3) And that He or she was sick and is now healing and 4) That we all need to practice humility in most areas of our lives, in order to do God’ s will.
Patience. Remembering that anyone coming out of a low bottom will heal slowly and it takes HARD work to get better. Like any other disease, it may be compared to major surgery: it takes time, and paying attention to the body and rejuvenation of it. Not only is the addict broken inside, but physically the flesh and soul must heal. This requires attention to diet, rest, spiritual guidance with meetings and a sponsor, and some form of physical exercise if possible. Lastly, the soul – the core – must receive attention and TLC. A family member or friend must be willing to have patience with that because, we all know, “Rome was not built in one day”.
Setting healthy boundaries. We must all do this. Setting a healthy boundary early in the process is crucial. This action immediately sets the tone going forward. Letting each other know what we can and cannot do should be standard. These boundaries will protect all from further hurt and insecure feelings. A suggestion on this would be to consult a therapist or even a self help literature on examples of healthy boundaries according to each individual’s needs.
Lastly, attending Al Anon meetings. These are so very helpful. These meetings allow us to become acquainted with other families and friends who have similar situations. The twelve steps are a way of life; or principles to live by. After working through the steps with a trusted sponsor and rediscovering the joy of life, the people involved may set forth in service to others – or, as they say, “faith without works is dead”.
God is the ultimate Healer and through Him we can all embrace the disease of addiction in the open minded, willing, honest, and faithful way God intends for us to do in order to serve Him and others in the ways He makes possible.