“The world doesn’t revolve around you!” Sound familiar? Chances are your parents used this argument on you at least once when you were acting out as a child.
As an adolescent, you hadn’t matured enough yet to understand how your actions affect those around you. And as an adult, you’ve learned that the world doesn’t actually revolve around you like your 10-year-old self once thought.
But when abusing drugs or alcohol, you tend to revert back to this mindset and forget how your behaviors affect your family and loved ones.
While it may not always be obvious, your addiction is doing more harm to your loved ones than you think. If you’ve been hesitant to seek addiction treatment, knowing how your loved ones are feeling may be the motivation you need to finally get help. Let’s take a look at some of the ways addiction affects your family and friends.
4 Ways Your Addiction Harms Your Loved Ones
1. It Causes Emotional Pain and Distrust
Your addiction has changed you. It’s heightened your emotions, made you more secretive and evasive and taken you away from activities you once enjoyed. Whether you’ve noticed or not, your loved ones have been affected by these changes.
Your family and friends have started blaming themselves and each other for your addiction. They feel helpless and can no longer trust or count on you to be there for them. They’re in a constant state of fear and pain, worrying about you and wishing you’d stop using drugs.
While you may be struggling with your own feelings and trauma, your loved ones are also in their own emotional turmoil in response to your addiction.
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2. It Can Lead to Financial Instability
Maintaining your addiction takes money. Money that you may have either borrowed or stolen from your family and friends. Your addiction may encourage you to excuse this behavior and tell yourself they’ll be fine, but that’s money your loved ones need to pay bills, take care of the mortgage, buy food and afford school tuitions.
Taking money from family or friends to keep your addiction going erodes your relationships and puts your loved ones between a rock and a hard place financially.
3. It’s a Negative Influence and Can Traumatize Your Kids
Everything a child sees, hears and experiences shapes their development as they age. Unfortunately, this includes negative and traumatic events. If your children have seen you drinking or getting high, that’s something that will stay with them forever and potentially affect them as they grow and mature
How? Because your kids may be more likely to try drugs or start drinking if they see one of their parents doing it. Witnessing your substance abuse may also be scary and traumatizing for them, and that trauma can stunt their mental and emotional development and eventually lead them to use drugs or drink as a way to cope with the PTSD.
4. It Can Physically Harm Your Loved Ones
Your addiction has lowered your inhibitions, caused major mood swings and even made you more violent and aggressive. Unfortunately, a grim reality of addiction is it can make you physically and/or verbally abusive towards your family and friends.
You may not have realized what you were doing at the time, or you may not have meant it, but this behavior hurts your loved ones in ways you never imagined you’d be capable of if you were sober.
Seek Addiction Treatment for Both Yourself and Your Loved Ones
Addiction is a disease and we know it isn’t your fault. We know you may be struggling with trauma of your own or some other mental health disorder like depression, and that you were just trying to find a way to cope with the pain.
When you’re struggling with your own pain, it’s hard to identify and care about anyone else’s. But at The Raleigh House, we can help. Your family and friends love you and want what is best for you, which is why they want you to get treatment for your addiction.
When you come to our wellness lodge in Denver, Colorado, we provide an evidence-based, caring and judgment-free approach to addiction treatment to help you heal your mind, body and spirit from substance abuse and co-occurring disorders.
We also provide family support like family therapy sessions and education to help you also heal the damage between you and our loved ones because of your addiction. As difficult as this has been for you and your loved ones, there is hope and we can help you recover.