One of the most difficult challenges for any person struggling with the issue of a loved one in the grips of an addiction problem is connecting with that individual, and staying connected in a positive way that can help to lead your loved one away from the emotional dysfunction of addiction to a more fulfilling and rational lifestyle.
The Three C’s of Dealing with an Addict are a recovery toolkit you can use to help lead your loved one to a more fulfilling and rational lifestyle, towards the help they need for recovery from active substance or alcohol abuse. The Three C’s of Dealing with an addict are:
- I Didn’t Cause It
- I Can’t Cure it
- I Can’t Control It
I Didn’t Cause It: You as a parent or loved one of an addict must understand with absolute certainty that you didn’t cause it. You didn’t cause the addictive behavior, the ensuing addictive and self-destructive lifestyle, and the addictive personality.
Your loved one may have jettisoned all of the trappings of a normal life, or they may be a functioning addict, but at some level, every addict is displaying a dire level of emotional dysfunction, through their addictive behavior. You didn’t cause it, even if the addict blames you for their addiction based lifestyle. You have to know and own this fact. While addiction is often called a family disease, there are many steps to dealing with any family related issues that are positive and constructive, and addiction is not one of those steps.
For you as a loved one or family member, it is not only that this is very painful to witness, to see the life opportunities and genuine happiness of a loved one squandered in the futility of addiction, but the incalculable damage to reputation, prospects, overall family quality of life, and day-to-day successful functioning are a hidden burden with which the family members and loved one’s of an addict have to deal.
But to either just deal with the problem, or to attempt to successfully address this challenge, you need to understand that you didn’t cause it, and also to accept both the physical and the mental aspects of addiction. That’s where the second of Three C’s of Dealing with an Addict can come in handy.
I Can’t Cure It: Addiction is not just a physical problem. Addiction is a powerful physical and mental phenomenon that is both biochemical and psycho-voluntary in the required coping mechanisms and lifestyle that the addict must construct so that they can maintain the means and methods for fulfilling their substance or alcohol addiction. You have to acknowledge, to yourself, as a loved one or family member that, “I Can’t Cure It.” That doesn’t mean that you should give up, or that addiction can’t be cured, but it may mean that the issue has reached the point where proper professional rehabilitation may be recommended, because once the addict has created the coping mechanisms and lifestyle, it is very hard to address the problem without an intentional intervention strategy and proper rehabilitation.
Proper rehabilitation is required to recover from active addiction. Physical addiction demands a lifestyle that validates only the addictive substance and nothing else, and as such it requires a mental lifestyle that then accompanies that physical lifestyle for full and successful recovery and treatment.
The addict’s life and the accompanying mental landscape that life requires is the world view of the addict, it’s their way of thinking and acting, which of course is only rational from an addict’s point of view, and is utterly irrational from the perspective of family members, friends, and loved ones. By acknowledging, “I Can’t Cure It”, you can give yourself the presence of mind necessary to address this problem head on, without flinching. Only once you acknowledge to yourself that you can’t cure it, then it becomes easier to accept that you can’t control the behavior of an addict.
I Can’t Control It: The irrational beliefs of an addict inform your addicted loved one’s mental states and beliefs about the importance of the substance they are addicted to, and to support those beliefs they have created a set of behaviors that have hardened into a lifestyle. You can’t control it. Not only do the substances involved heavily affect the chemistry of your loved one’s brain, but the people, places, and things associated with your loved one’s addiction support his or her way of thinking, and they enable and help to perpetuate the lifestyle. They support the mental mindset of the addict, and sometimes the only way to break free of the metaphysical mindset of the addict is to physically and mentally unplug and break free at Free by the Sea.
That’s where Free by the Sea comes in, to help you create a successful mental lifestyle for recovery, as the best way possible to ensure successful treatment outcomes. By acknowledging, “I can’t control it”, and by removing your loved one from the people, places, and things associated with their addictions, by reducing these distractions, we are able to give our clients the opportunity to fully engage in the treatment process and to learn the coping skills they will need to begin a new life free from addiction.
Choose to learn more about ending substance abuse! Find out more about program options from Free by the Sea today.