Pursuit of the One Thing
"Why can't I find that one thing to say or do that will make them understand?!"
I’ve spent years trying to find that one thing. You know what I’m talking about, right? I ran through so many scenarios trying to put together the words that would be enough to convince my addicted loved one of my pain, my anger, my intentions, and what they were doing to me. Once they understood these things, I just knew that they would stop using for good, and we could be a happy family again.
Hello, I am Cody, and I am a recovering family member. I am writing this blog to be helpful to family members, like me, who are spending their precious time and energy to focus on helping their loved ones get it right. I am writing this blog for those who have spent years being sensitive to others while ignoring their own pain and needs. And I am writing this blog for those who are disappointed, angry, resentful, and disconnected from their addicted loved one(s). I would like to be helpful in your understanding of our pursuit of finding this elusive, one thing.
When addiction occurs, the family usually reacts in similar ways. Some family members decide to ignore it out of fear that conflict will push their loved one deeper into drug/alcohol use, so they back off. Other family members react by addressing their loved one immediately out of fear that if they do nothing, they will be making things worse. Some family members sense the stress of their loved one and attempt to help by making things easier for them by paying bills, letting them move in, excusing bad behavior. And other family members respond by achieving more at school or work. Often times, family members take on the responsibility of making sure awful consequences are avoided like jail or worse. I don’t blame you. I am you. No matter the reaction, though, the pattern is similar: families react to addiction the best way that they know how to make things better for their family. If this sounds like you, I want to let you know that you are not alone. This blog is aimed at providing information to help families understand why such a noble pursuit of doing our best turns into the torturous sleepless nights, endless worrying, crying alone, incessant arguing, harsh words, self-doubt, and severe emotional pain.
The last thing I will ever intentionally do through this blog, is point fingers, shame, or provide sanctimonious advice. I have become particularly sick and tired of all the self-help advice suggesting that I should be doing something better. This blog isn’t intended to come across like that. Instead, these blog posts will be informed by my personal experiences from living with my addicted loved ones. I hope that this information can provide support, comforting similarities, and perhaps a look down the road to those who are anxious about their next step. I will also use my professional experiences from working with hundreds of families as a Marriage and Family Therapist to provide insights in relationship dynamics, communication techniques, encouragements, and support.
Check back here for the next blog to helping family members understand more about their pursuit of the one thing.