Just as your loved one may need recovery from the disease of addiction, you might also need to recover from the ravages of the disease. Alcoholism and drug addiction have far-reaching effects, and can devastate the lives of loved ones in ways that could last a lifetime. Self-care for the loved ones suffering from addiction, should go hand in hand with the professional help an addicted loved one is receiving. Here are three ways to make sure you are taking care of yourself while your loved one recovers from substance abuse.
- Get Support
You are not alone in your recovery. Recent studies show that about 65% of American families are affected by addiction. Seek support from those who have dealt with drug abuse and alcoholism. Check out local treatment centers, Alanon Family Groups, and various government agencies like the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence for family recovery programs.
- Keep Living
Though time and energy are depleted when caring for a loved one, make room on the calendar for yourself anyway. Make it a priority to stay involved in your regular activities and hobbies. If you don’t have a regular activity you partake in, then try to take up new ones to open avenues of creativity that will interest and re-energize you. At the same time, learn to say no to activities that aren’t in your best interest; say yes to those that will help build your self-esteem and give you joy. Make your recovery a priority.
Discover the healing power of your sense of humor! Find the irony and the ridiculous in your situation and don’t take yourself quite so seriously. Many support groups provide a release from the serious side of addiction and allow members to find refuge in laughter.
While taking care of yourself, maintain hope. Hope for yourself and for your loved one. Millions have found recovery from the disease of addiction, and millions of family members have, too.