What To Do When Your Loved One Hits Rock Bottom
None of us wants to see our friends and loved ones in pain, or suffering. When you care about someone, you want to fix it, make it better, and help to achieve that happiness that you want for him or her. When substance abuse and addictions come into play though, it’s not always as easy as you wanting them to get better, or even of you taking action to make that change happen. Addiction is beyond you, and it is not about you.
It’s a difficult thing to hear and understand. Perhaps it’s impossible. How could someone you love be incapable of making healthy choices? How could they throw away their loved ones, turn away, and embrace a substance and lifestyle that is hurting them, maybe even destroying every good thing they’ve ever known and loved. But that’s what you may be seeing. The hope and absolute horror for you may be that your loved one reaches a point where they realize that they must take the steps toward recovery and sobriety. At that point, it’s often when he or she hits absolute rock bottom, when everything really is lost (or seems to be): family, friends, job, house… sometimes it really is every single thing that your loved one has held dear.
What is Rock Bottom?
Rock Bottom is an apt phrase or series of words. It’s the bottom of the barrel. It reminds you of the creek bottom, with jagged rocks and pieces. Your loved one may really have experienced a shredding of their hopes and dreams, or even in the best-case scenarios, the experience has been harsh enough that it has been an eye-opening experience. That could mean:
- Job Loss
- Health crisis
- Loss of money
- Legal issues or arrest
- Divorce or separation
- Mental health experience
It could feel to your loved one like the whole world is falling apart. While you don’t wish ill upon a loved one, obviously, sometimes it’s difficult not to wish for something to happen. It might as well be a country song. There’s the looking into your baby’s eyes. There’s the survivor experience, or there’s just a friend or family member looking an addict right in the face and saying, “We love you. We want you to see what you’re doing to yourself. We need you to see how your actions are affecting us.”
What Can You Do?
Until he or she hits rock bottom, there may really be little you can do or say that will make a difference in the spiral of substance abuse and addiction. You may have already tried and failed to make your loved one “see the light.” Maybe… just maybe… your loved one will hit rock bottom. He or she will make a change (or at least resolve to make a change). When that happens, there really are ways that you can help. Just look at ways that you can be there for your loved one on their journey through recovery to sobriety.
Intervene: It’s sometimes difficult to be confrontational, and you may have already told your loved one the straight-up truth, but a professional intervention is a bit different. You (and your loved one) needs a professional technician to help you transfer from the place he or she is at (wanting to recover) to a treatment facility that can actually make that wish or hope into an actual plan of action and a real outcome. There are other reasons to seek professional help though.
- Input from a professional can streamline the process and help ensure success.
- A professional can also manage the sometimes-murky legal waters, if that “rock bottom” has involved the police.
- The health and wellness of your loved one will also be taken into consideration through the process. One of the most important factors to consider is medially assisted detox.
- Beyond the safety of your loved one, you also need to consider the safety of those around him or her. If the situation becomes volatile a professional technician can navigate those situations as well.
Be there: Yes, you can still be there, but you do need to be wary of enabling addictive behavior. For recovery to be effective and long-lasting, your loved one really does need to take steps toward sobriety. He or she needs to resolve the painful issues, which are often side-effects of their substance abuse and addiction. Instead of stepping in and fixing everything, resolve to be there in a supportive role.
- Don’t let your loved one use you as a “doormat” or walk all over you.
- Set boundaries.
- Offer consistency.
- If it makes sense to do so, offer a ride.
- Support and encourage professional help and treatment.
Recovery is not easy and it’s not overnight. It’s a journey, one that’s often fraught with painful and discouraging side-steps and relapses. You also need to know, though, that recovery and sobriety is not up to you, but there are resources that can help you and your loved one on that path.
Lake Hughes Recovery is a men’s substance abuse program in Lake Hughes, CA that offers detox, inpatient, partial day, intensive outpatient and outpatient levels of care for men in Lake Hughes, CA. Contact us today to find out more information about the services we offer.