There is no denying the pain that is associated with watching a loved one succumb to the tight clutch of addiction’s grasp. Watching our loved one’s slip deeper and deeper into their addiction is painful, and learning how to properly understand and deal with the addiction is the first step in helping your loved one decide to seek help. If you want to convince the addict you love to join an addiction recovery program, you must first realize the only person’s behavior you can control is your own. With this acceptance of “accepting the things you cannot change” it is much easier to take the steps necessary to try and convince your loved one to get the help they need.
Is Possible to Convince Someone to Seek Treatment?
If you live with, or are close to an addict, you more than likely understand how hard even the simplest communication can be. With addiction comes chaos and with chaos comes a very dysfunctional level of communication. It’s often enough impossible to talk to your loved one sensibly, let alone try to convince them to seek some form of treatment. If you are thinking about trying to convince a loved one to seek addiction recovery, know it can be done, but only through a lot of patience and deep understanding.
You must realize that there is no way to change an addict’s behavior. There is nothing at all logical about addiction and you’ve got to understand the addict is not going to listen to reason. Although you may clearly see the reasons they should seek help, the addict is most likely going to become defensive and deny there is any merited reason for change. You’ve got to remember they are trapped in a reality that is far different from your non-addicted state.
The best thing you can do to try to convince someone to seek help is support you loved one without ordering them what to do. You’ve got to understand that the decision to seek treatment will probably take some time. You must be patient and keep in mind that when the addict is ready, they will seek treatment. They are hearing what you’re saying but, it will probably take some time for them to realize the truth in your concern. You must be able to accept the resistance you are going to get, and know that staying open and strong, without any further enabling of the addict, is totally necessary.
How to Communicate with your Addicted Loved One
Even if you’ve been dealing with the behavior of the addict you love for some time, it is never easy to communicate with them. Addiction creates confusion and a delusional state of mind, which in turn makes it more and more difficult to harness effective means of communication. If you are looking to ways to easier communicate with an addicted relative, trying some of the following methods will help as you try to more easily convince them to seek the treatment you know is vital for their survival.
- Be Consistent
It is often easy for an addict to misunderstand where you are coming from. This confusion can often surface if you have enabled them in the past or have gone back and forth with your emotions concerning their behavior. The addict will be confused if you are angry one moment and kind the next. Remaining consistent in your behavior will forge more trust in the muddled mind of the addict you love.
- Always Be Kind
As hard as addiction is to deal with, it is important to always treat the addict kindly. You must remember that they are coming from a place of pain and truly want to be addicted no more than you want them to. Always remaining kind and compassionate in your words and behaviors will successfully guarantee open communication with the addict as they will have found a place of trust inside of you. This is pertinent and will open more doors of communication than you could possibly imagine.
- Listen as Much as you Talk
A huge part of communication is listening to what the other person has to say. If they are constantly criticized or interrupted when having a conversation, the addict you love is going to give up trying to talk at all. You’re obviously not going to agree with what they have to say most of the time, but listening rather than lecturing will ensure open communication and keep them open to further communication in the future.
- Offer Unconditional Love
The addict you love is in pain. They desperately need to feel love and acceptance if they are ever going to get the help they need. If there is one thing you can let them know, let it be that you are there for them no matter what and you accept them just as they are. This doesn’t mean you need to put up with anything they do, and they must know where you draw the limit. Letting someone know how much you care about them though, will let them know that someone is there, and give them the hope they need that it is still very worth it to seek the treatment they need.