When our loved one is in active addiction it is sometimes difficult to be encouraged.
It can feel as though our head is barely above water.
We are trying so desperately to save them all the while we are oftentimes losing ourself.
How to Keep Your Loved One's Addiction from Controlling Your Life
*5 tips for maintaining your sanity through the struggle*
I spent years watching my loved one drink themself into debilitating health and ultimately succumb to their disease.
The heart-wrenching agony that caused would have been unbearable, if it wasn't for my faith in an almighty, loving, just, God.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33
As we all do, I must've asked God "why" a thousand times. I pleaded, I prayed for healing, I begged Him to breaks the chains of addiction.
The answer was "no."
If I thought I knew better than God, then I would be angry and full of resentment.
But I know that His ways are higher than my ways and His thoughts are higher than my thoughts. Isaiah 55:9
So I choose to trust Him. Period.
In every heartbreak, in every hurt. In every sleepless night, in every unexpected emergency hospital visit, in every legal problem. In every situation my loved one's addiction impacted my life - I chose to pray.
When your life is being so drastically impacted by the choices of someone else, it is a relief to release the constant desire to control and to instead give it to God.
Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:27
Think about that verse logically. Whether you worry about your loved one or not - they are still going to make their own choices for their life.
Instead of wasting time worrying - pray!
Dear Heavenly Father,
I pray for my loved one that is struggling with addiction. I pray that you would heal them of this disease, if it is Your perfect will. I know that whatever happens, I can trust you.
I pray that you would give me wisdom to know what to do in this difficult situation. I ask that you would provide peace of mind that surpasses all understanding.
Lord, help me.
In Jesus Name,
2. Talk to someone
It is so vitally important to have a support system.
I can't tell you how many times I called my dad crying, when dealing with my loved one's addiction.
Thankfully, my dad is amazing! He truly exemplifies what it means to be a Christ follower.
He would listen to me through the pain, but he'd do more than just listen.
He would pray powerfully! And my burden would lighten.
Surround yourself with praying family and friends.
"For where two or three gather in my name, I am with them." Matthew 18:20
If you don't currently have a strong support system, seek one out!
There are so many places to find people that are willing to walk with you through these trying times:
Church, Alanon meetings, online support groups, counseling, and always right here at
Your Praying Friend.
Send us a message. We'd be happy to pray with you!
3. Be Mindful
If you want to stay in control of how you are feeling and your ability to react rationally to your loved one then be extra mindful of the messages you allow to entertain your thoughts.
Our brains process endless messages every day.
Whether it's what we watch, read, or listen to.
It's so important that we guard our minds. We are facing a stressful battle, when coping with a loved one's addiction. If we aren't careful we will fill our minds with unhelpful and even harmful thoughts that will leave us unprepared to get through the day.
Read the Bible, read a devotional, read success stories and uplifting blogs.
Watch wholesome TV (I know that's hard to do these days.)
One of my favorite things to watch when I need a distraction is puppy videos.
It's hard to be sad or upset, when you're looking at cute little puppies!
You could also try informative videos or documentaries, but steer clear of shows that are going to put you in a vulnerable mood. What we allow to enter our minds can be just as impactful on our mood as taking a mood altering substance.
The messages we receive day in and day out can cultivate our beliefs and expectations.
Ultimately, though be it unintentionally, we can set ourselves up for a let down, if we're not careful.
Watching romance movies can leave us feeling lonely and unfulfilled.
It can also give us unrealistic expectations of what a relationship should look like.
Whatever you choose, just be aware of how it is impacting your mood and ask yourself if this is helpful or unhelpful in your situation.
If it's unhelpful, replace it with something that is beneficial!
Feed your soul through worship music.
Don't listen to songs that are going to bring you down or put unhelpful thoughts in your mind.
Instead listen to songs that encourage you and build your faith in God.
Try this one out.
If you like that one - here's an entire playlist you may enjoy.
If you think none of this matters, I'd encourage you to put it to the test.
Try being intentional about implementing positive messages into your day and see whether or not you are better prepared to cope with your loved one's addiction.
Come back and let us know how it goes!
4. Diet and Exercise
If you didn't like the last tip, you probably won't be enthused about this one either.
If you were looking for tips on how to "fix" your loved one, then you may be disappointed.
But bare with me. There's a theme here and it goes something like this:
I can't control what someone else says or does, but I can control how I respond.
We can't control them, so we must focus on what is within our control
In order for us to respond effectively we have to take care of ourselves.
So much of our mental health is attributed to our nutrition and exercise.
When we are living in someone else's chaos, it's important to pay attention to the choices we do have, like what we eat and how many steps we get each day.
These two simple aspects of our lives can give us a feeling of empowerment and control.
When we are taking care of our health we are going to feel better equipped to face the challenges of loving someone with an addiction.
We've all felt the exhaustion that comes along with being the loved one of a person with an addiction. We owe it to ourselves to fuel our bodies with plenty of water, healthy foods and exercise.
We can't pour from an empty cup.
For tips on starting a healthy lifestyle click here.
When we love someone who is struggling with an addiction it's important to point out that our help can sometimes hurt.
We are oftentimes placed in difficult situations.
The proverbial rock and a hard place.
We face choices about allowing them to use in the house in an effort to prevent them from drinking and driving.
Or giving them money when we know it may likely be used to purchase their drug of choice.
Or bottling up how we are feeling to keep from having another argument about the impact of their addiction on our life.
The list goes on and on.
At some point we must draw a line and stick to it.
I encourage you to pray about your boundaries and through utilization of your support system or a counselor - role play how you will talk to your loved one.
For your own mental wellbeing and for the sake of having some control over how you want to live, it's imperative that you and your loved one are clear about your boundaries.
If you need extra support feel free to contact us!
If you have any questions or comments - we'd love to hear from you!
You can reach us at Your Praying Friend
Until Next Time,
Your Praying Friend
You're on social media. So are we.
Let's be friends!
Substance Abuse Counselor