An Addict’s Recovery – With Family and Friends

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.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “An Addict’s Recovery – With Family and Friends

  1. Kimberly

    What a great post. And isn’t this the way we should always treat one another – with grace and love – no matter the state of our health, body or mind? But most certainly when someone is healing and working to get well. Thank you for sharing this important and helpful information.

  2. Absolutely, Kimberly! Thanks for the encouraging words. I know my friend has a strong desire to help others, drawing from her own experiences — and this is one of her first opportunities.

  3. Cecil Wyche

    If possible then, I would like to give her another opportunity. There is a woman who lives down the street from me, who is currently in a “recovery” hospital, and my observation is that she has been in several of these places and none of them has really helped long term. Would your friend be willing to at least talk to her whenever she gets back in town? I have tried to be supportive, but I really don’t “get” addiction (as opposed to depression, which, as you know, I get all too well!). So anyway, if she is at all interested, either you or she can call me (884-3917) or email me (cecilwyche@charter.net) and let’s see if we can set something up. Thanks in advance.

  4. I just found your blog by looking for Al-anon. This is good, solid stuff. I’ll be back. I’m an alcoholic with a few years’ of AA recovery. Congrats on your grasp of the truth! Don’t see that very often. Love the last paragraph. amen!

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