Addiction does not just affect the addict, it effects everyone close to them. When you are in addiction you think its only me who's hurting. If they don't like it they can just "leave me alone". In reality though those closest to the addict get sucked in, it can start slowly and before long you find yourself wondering how did this happen to us?
When you live with someone who is in addiction you can not help getting caught up in the madness and destruction that it brings.
You might find yourself picking up the pieces, trying to shield yourself or others from it, hoping that things will change and powerless to do anyhting about it.
When someone close to you is in pain or needs help the most natural and human reaction is to reach out. However when addiction is involved that help can ultimitley prolong and aid the addiction, paying bills, lending money, cleaning up their messes, etc, means that they don't have to face the consequences of their addiction - so why would they do anything different next time?
Addiction can isolate families no matter what you try to do. Nothing can change the addicts behaviour unless they are willing to address it.
I have worked with many family members and believe that it is an important part of addiction treatment, whether the addict is involved in it or not. I can help you gain a greater understanding of addiction and the subtllties involved.
You might find yourself living with a son, daughter, husband, wife, partner or parent who is in active addiction and you struggle to bring up the subject with them, maybe afraid of the reaction you would get or a fear of pushing them further away.
These are legitimate concerns, and you should understand that approaching your loved one should be a gentle and supportive process. It is however the case that most addicts seek treatment because of positive family involvement and intervention.
Belfast City Counselling
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