A few common themes that can help and support the process of recovery.
AWARENESS & UNDERSTANDING
1. No one suffering with an addiction enjoys, chooses, or wants to be in the place
they are. Still, change does not happen overnight. It takes time for the
individual to genuinely overcome denial and believe they want recovery.
2. Feeling judged is one of the hardest emotions to overcome in recovery.
Recognise that social stigma and public attitudes around addiction can prevent
or delay a loved one asking for support.
“Don’t be part of the Problem, be part of the
TRY NOT TO TAKE THINGS PERSONALLY
4. Personalities can appear as if a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ character. Promises of change
are not always followed through. Language and behaviour can seem
conflicting, avoidant, or aggressive. This is the defence mechanism of denial,
used to protect against reality, which feels too painful at the time. to confront.
“We don’t choose to be addicted;
we choose to deny our pain.”
COMMUNICATE WITH BOUNDARIED COMPASSION
5. Avoid trust destroyers of nagging, criticising, or lecturing. Research shows
that focusing on shame or guilt is the most unhelpful way to motivate change.
The sufferer can feel unworthy of love or treatment.
6. Avoid trying to control or take responsibility for the situation, or make empty
threats, this can put further pressure on relationships. Instead, clearly explain
your personal boundaries. speak using 'I' statements instead of 'you'
7. If you choose to leave a situation, explain it is not your loved one but their
‘drinking behaviour’ you are removing yourself from.
8. Take an empathetic stance, by looking at your own drinking, are there times
when you have relied on alcohol to cope in a situation or used it to ease
tension or an anxiety?
9. Speak with honesty and compassion. Keep conversations future focused and
positive. Check your message has been heard correctly.
“Love and care shown by a parent, partner, or friend
does not necessarily translate, into an experience of
love and care, felt by the addict”
THE ROLE OF CONSEQUENCES
10. Only when the addict feels personally defeated by the consequences of their
drinking will they ask for support and commit to recovery. Protecting or
making excuses for your loved one is enabling their behaviour and preventing
or delaying change. Try not to get caught up in the addict’s denial game.