So your loved one is in treatment; worry, concern, possibly relief or anger, maybe just some of the emotions you are experiencing. One thing to be sure of is they are safer than they have been in a long time and you do not need to feel responsible for them for a change. You can worry less and let yourself start to relax for the first time recently. Now is the time to put yourself first because whether you’ve known it or not their addiction has loomed like a dark cloud over your day-to-day life. An addition is devastating, not just for the person but their families, friends and anyone who cares for them. Now you may start to heal too. Maybe there are other responsibilities that have been neglected in your life, so you can start to feel empowered by taking some focus back to what you need to do.
Please take some time to do something you enjoy, just for you. It may be hard to think what sort of thing that was. Self-care is ‘something that refuels us, rather than takes form us.’ (A. Wainwright). Over time it can improve your emotional and physical wellbeing. It is not selfish to take care of ourselves, as subsequently, we will be more able to take care of others too. Self-care is a commitment to yourself so plan the activity in advance, as it will be too easy to not do it. One suggestion may be to create a ‘no’ list such as not using your phone / computer after a set time at night so that you can actually ‘switch off’ and relax. Reach out for support as you need it too. Your loved one will be learning to meditate so maybe you would like to try it too. There are many different forms so research and find one that suits you.
If you want to support your loved one then knowing about addiction and the 12 Step programme will help. We hold a monthly talk on the ‘Brain of Addition’ which you are welcome to attend at ECR. It may be possible to plan attending it to coincide with a visit to your loved one, so please ask us for the upcoming dates.
One book that is recommended for the loved ones of people with addictive personalities to read is ‘Love First. A Family’s Guide to Intervention.’ By J. and D. Jay. ‘It dispels damaging myths – that an addict has to hit bottom and that intervention must be confrontational.’
Please read the Family Pack given to you which gives further important information. Lester (our Managing Director) has presented the ‘Brain Talk’ online. This is available to view on YouTube.
There is support on offer for people affected by family members, friends or loved ones who cannot control their drink/drug use and are at ECR for help with their addiction. Below is just a few of the organisations who offer various types of support, be it meetings or telephone calls, to speak with people who will understand. ECR have listed a few to help, although has no direct affiliation with them.
Family Group provide support to anyone whose life is, or has been, affected by someone else’s drinking, regardless of whether that person is still drinking or not. We believe the alcoholism affects the whole family, not just the drinker. Al-Anon is a fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics who share experience in order to solve their common problems.
Helpline: 020 7403 0888
Alateen is for teenage relatives and friends of alcoholics (part of Al-Anon) for ages 12-17 years old.
General Service Office: 020 7593 2070
We provide a lifeline of safe, caring and professional support to families, friends and carers who are struggling to cope with the nightmare of a loved one’s addiction to drugs or alcohol. Through our range of services we give families the strength to break free from the cycle of addiction and rebuild their lives.
Helpline: 0300 888 3853 (7 days a week 9am – 9pm)
Families Anonymous is a world-wide fellowship of family members and friends affected by another’s abuse of mind-altering substances, or related behavioural problems. FA has groups throughout the country.
Helpline: 0845 1200 600
The National Association for Children of Alcoholics
You can be the child of an alcoholic at 1 or 101. Whatever your age, it doesn’t change the fact that your parent drinks too much, and the problems this brings. You are not alone…
Helpline: 0800 358 3456 (‘We are here to listen. We won’t judge. We are here for as long as you want. What you say will remain confidential.’)
Remember the six “C”s – I didn’t cause it. I can’t control it. I can’t cure it. I can take care of myself. I can communicate my feelings. I can make healthy choices.
Co-Dependents Anonymous is a set of informal self-help groups made up of men and women with a common interest in working through the problems that co-dependency has caused in their lives. CoDA is based on AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and uses an adapted version of their Twelve Steps and Traditions as a central part of its suggested programme of recovery. To attend CoDA meetings, all you need is the willingness to work at having healthy relationships.
Advice to those worried about their own or a loved one’s alcohol use.
Helpline: 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am – 8pm, weekends 11am – 4pm)
Alcoholics Anonymous offer some open meetings which are open to ALL who may or may not have an alcoholic problem. Most meetings are closed so please refer to the meeting to see if it is Open (O) or Closed.
Helpline: 0800 9177 650
All descriptions are taken directly from the specific organisation’s website.
You may have already have spoken to Kelly or John extensively who have been able to reassure you so far. Your partner / friend or family member is now a part of a 24-hour therapeutic residential environment geared towards supporting them with their addictive personality, guiding them with a solution. Our team are always here to answer any questions or concerns that you have, so just give us a call.
We do not ask you to believe in anything except …recovery is possible…