Why don’t you just quit? Seem like a simple question and maybe a simple solution to someone suffering in an addiction right? Now imagine a pedestrian getting struck by a vehicle in a roadway. Would you run up to the pedestrian and ask, why don’t you just walk it off?
Healing from Addiction
Trauma in the brain, much like any other physical injury, needs time to heal in the right conditions. Understand that addiction is a physical disease of the mind and is even a symptom of other preexisting trauma and disorders. It is impossible to heal from addiction or underlying trauma without emotional safety. Here are a few ways loved ones can learn help.
- Love and understanding are necessary attributes for those helping in the healing of addiction. Resenting, ridiculing, shaming, labeling and so on, can produce action in others but will stunt healing and mental progress. Loving and seeking to understand others will promote safety, healing and development.
- Affirming the worth of those who suffer helps build self-confidence. Addiction can destroy self-worth, so belittling will only make it worse. Provide simple ways to contribute and always point out the good. Those in recovery like everyone else, need to feel valued and not resented.
- Help facilitate recovery needs. Challenging in a caring yet clear and direct way to work at recovery is good. Make time to listen to concerns and needs and validate their feelings with empathetic responses. Avoid trying to fix the problem or using “JUST” phrases like “just be happy” or “just quit already.”
- Boundaries will allow others to help recovery in a way that is safe, and healthy to them and those in need of help. Clear boundaries help appropriately apply love and understanding while not crossing over into enabling and codependency. It is important to seek professional counseling in this area especially. Life is dynamic and very gray at times without some help seeing unique individual needs.
Keep in mind the goal is heal not “just quit.” These four concepts will certainly help to provide an environment conducive to healing addiction. They are also good if you simply need to improve any form of relationship in your life. Helping those with addictions does take a safe team.
Brighton Recovery Center provides the “A-team” safe team. The therapists and staff are some of the best at providing this safety needed to build a foundation for recovery. When patients leave they and their loved ones have a strong wide base to build a lifetime of recovery. It takes time and patience but the rewards are real and worth the effort.