In this most recent episode of Recovery ReLOVution, Dr. Gala Gorman, the host, teaches listeners how to set boundaries with their addicted loved one.
As Gorman explains, “We need to set some realistic expectations for recovery . . . for you and your loved one. It’s going to require you to do some things differently, including setting healthy boundaries with your addicted family member. And, it is not for sissies. Most recovery stakeholders are so focused on helping their addicted loved one get sober that they’re blindsided when sobriety turns to relapse. What kinds of things will you need to do differently?”
In this episode, listeners will learn:
- Prioritize their own recovery and get educated
- Learn to set boundaries with their addicted loved one, which aids in their recovery
- Gain realistic expectations for recovery, and understand how to communicate shamelessly
Dr. Gala Gorman refers to a recent article from a newspaper in Ohio, which talks about a man named Norm Zent. It says, “Growing up, Norm Zent never imagined he could become a drug addict. His life was good. His family supported him and he did well in school. He enjoyed social drinking as a teenager, but he believed it was more than alcohol that led to his battle with substance use.”
Zent says, “’I had an injury in high school playing football and ended up on a lot of pain medicine.’ The experience with prescription medicine led him to experiment with harder drugs, including benzodiazepines, cocaine, and heroin. He says, ‘I honestly knew I was addicted at some level by the time I was 17 or 18, but I believed I could handle it,’ Zent says. For the next 20 years, he struggled with substance use addiction, leading to stints in and out of rehab and run-ins with the law.”
The article explains that luckily, a couple of years ago, Zent came to the point where he was really ready to make a change. He says he was still on drugs, but he knew he didn’t want to be anymore. He “was hopeless and helpless out on the streets.” But, he knew he needed to stop. Zent found a community program, and he also turned to AA. Those programs helped him and provided the support he needed to be able to stay sober long enough to start to turn his life around.
Gorman reminds listeners, “Zent knew he was addicted at 17 or 18. At that time, while I’m sure he was a real challenge for his parents and his family, he was still at the age where there was a lot of parental input possible. If you are dealing with a minor that is having this sort of issue, regardless of how much push back you get, you need to intervene if at all possible. It is important for parents to step in and question any sort of medication that their kids are being prescribed. Because this often leads to bigger escalating problems. If you have an opportunity to intervene, take your chance while you’ve got it.”
Most recovery stakeholders are so focused on helping their addicted loved one get sober that they’re blindsided when sobriety turns to relapse. It’s important to have realistic expectations for recovery . . . for your loved one and yourself.
For those interested in tuning into this show visit: RR 0009: How to Set Healthy Boundaries with an Addicted Family Member
In this episode of Recovery ReLOVution, listeners will gain realistic expectations for recovery. Most recovery stakeholders are focused on the addict. But, if you are not taking care of yourself, then you don’t have a whole lot to give, and you’re not setting a good example. Addicts need to see what’s possible in life and they need to have boundaries set on them. If you are just setting yourself aside and focusing on them, it’s actually compounding the problem. The more you understand, the better you’re going to be able to handle it and to potentially create some form of intervention that makes a change in your loved one.