You’d be surprised at how harsh people’s words toward addicts can be. Here are some common thoughts people have about addiction and even communicate to the people they love.
“If you tried harder you could get clean. You’re just not really committed to it”
Do you know an addict that has been in and out of rehab and therapy? Don’t tell them it’s their own fault. I don’t know their situation, but I can guarantee it’s not for lack of wanting to be healthy. It is never the right choice to drag someone down as a strategy to get them to deal with their problems. When you tear down someone’s morale they are substantially less likely to believe in their own ability to withstand treatment.
“You would never do this if you really loved me”
Goodness… This is one of the most hurtful things you can say to someone. It’s likely that the addict in your life is already filled to the brim or overflowing with shame, and guilt, and self hatred. Indeed, it is even likely that they know you feel this way. That they are loving you the best they can from the very complicated place they are struggling from right now.
It’s hard to feel generous when someone’s addiction is affecting our lives for the negative, but try to maintain a sense of compassion and generosity. It’s important and good to have open and honest conversations with the your loved one or friend who has an addiction to alcohol or drugs, but it needs to feel like a safe conversation. This kind of accusation will make it hard for them to hear you because they’ll be too busy beating up on themselves.
“You’re just so selfish. Don’t you ever think about the way this hurts everyone around you?”
This one hurts just reading it. Of course they think about it. Every day. I guarantee they brood about and obsess about and are miserable thinking about the way their addiction is hurting or affecting other people’s lives.
Most likely the addict you know is taking the steps to talk to you about their struggle because they desperately want to take responsibility and work toward a sober life.
**If you know someone who suffers with drug or alcohol addiction please support them. We have a variety of blog articles in how you can support them through this difficult time. Still, the easiest steps to take are these: bring compassion to the table when you talk with them. If they approach you asking for help, sit down with them and help them find a drug and alcohol rehab program that works best for them.