How to communicate with the struggling addict?
I know there are a lot of folks out there right now that are struggling with their sobriety. They want to get sober and they may even achieve some sobriety. But they relapse. Again and again and again. And sometimes this cycle goes on for years. It did with me.
The title to this post is a hard question to answer. How do we communicate with someone who wants to get clean and sober, but can’t seem to do it?
I’ve noticed (through my visits on sober recovery forums) that a lot folks offer gently placed words of support when what an addict really needs is a swift kick in the ass and a mirror so they can see that they look just as shitty as they feel and acknowledge that they accomplished that feat all by themselves TO themselves. That’s my position – yeah! Tough Love.
Do I give a crap about others who are struggling to get clean and sober? LARGE. But I am not about to sugarcoat the agony of withdrawals or offer words of pity and sorrow for what someone has put themselves through. Those kind of words only inflate an ego that needs no inflating. The only thing that needs inflating for a struggling addict is their balance.
Once a struggling addict moves that addicted voice out of the way and begins to ACT in a caring manner towards him/herself – the feelings of caring for oneself will follow. It’s inevitable because we realize – once we’re sober – what an awesome feat it is to overcome our drug of choice. Not everyone can do it.
We’re superheroes! We are exactly what other struggling addicts need in their life. Why? BECAUSE WE’VE BEEN THERE AND WE CAN RELATE. No one else can relate – and the ability to do that – is imperative when it comes to truly helping another addict. No one but us can do it. No one.