First, we’re sorry that you’re having to deal with a loved one’s addiction. It isn’t your fault. You’re not to blame. And while it probably isn’t much comfort, know that addiction is far more common than most people realize.

Please know that there is no shame in asking for help. People are afraid to admit that there is a problem in their family because they worry that others will think badly of them. So they try to hide it from the world, becoming isolated, alone, and even more ashamed. Brene’ Brown wisely said that shame depends on buying into the belief that you’re alone. Shame cannot survive being spoken aloud to an empathic person.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re in control and you can deal with this on your own. You don’t have the knowledge or the resources to undo your loved one’s addiction, no matter how much you love them, pray for them, or plead with them. And no matter how many times they promise that they’ll stop, they probably can’t do it on their own. In addition, you probably don’t have the tools you need to help yourself and your family members cope with the addiction. Unfortunately, it’s not the way addiction works.

There is hope, and that’s not an empty promise. But you’re not going to be able to fight this battle alone, so find the people who will stand behind you and by your side. You need people who can provide expertise, people who can be there with love, and people who will listen to you without passing judgment.

Please remember, this is a chapter of your lives, not your entire story. Yes, it’s a difficult, frustrating, exhausting chapter, but it will come to an end. You’re in charge of deciding how the chapter will be resolved and how you’ll write the next one. This season will pass, and it doesn’t have to consume you. You’ll need to be stronger than you’ve ever had to be before, but you don’t have to do it on your own.

Now is the time to find the help you and your family need. There are so many resources out there, and the right one depends upon your unique situation. We suggest starting by talking with one of our counselors. We’ll listen to your situation and your challenges and help you find the right course of action to protect your family and help the person with the addiction.

Please don’t let shame and fear silence you. Contact us today and start on a path that will restore hope in all your lives.

We recommend the Willow Center and PAL support groups for those actively struggling with an addiction.

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