Are You Enabling Your Loved One Like This?

Posted on by Dr Khan

 – “But he can’t help it”
– “What’s the alternative?”
– “We just don’t know what to do with him(her)”
– “I don’t know how to help him(her)”
– “This can’t go on”

Sound familiar?

Finding yourself repeating any of these, whilst your own life descends into chaos, as you attempt to support a loved one fighting addiction, is all too easy a cycle to get into. The thing is, it’s not your fault.

Loved One + Addiction + Enabling = Quickening Downward Spiral

In the busy-ness of everyday life, without realising the true extent of the problem, it’s extremely easy to make excuses and exceptions when someone’s having a rough time, needs a drink to get through the rough stuff of life, or any number of other excuses.

But when it becomes a habit, too often, it’s become enabling – consciously trying to help, while unconsciously making the cycle of addiction worse.

Maybe the problem wasn’t big enough to notice consciously at first, but now…..now it’s become too big not to notice.

Your loved one is too deep in the addiction themselves to be able to redraw (or even see) the boundaries, so you need to push the reset button yourself.

It’s not that difficult when you know how.

Resetting Boundaries 


To send the message, that we will no longer be part of the problem of addiction, we need to mix it up:

– Do odd things at normal times & normal things at odd times, e.g. If you used to habitually support (him/her) in some way, with a regular routine, *stop doing it*. And offer to help find the real resources needed to cope with their addiction instead.

– In your acceptance, be irregular, and uncertain. Make the times you do help, increasingly rare. You are sending a message here over time – that you can no longer be relied upon to provide the coping mechanism that used to be there.

– In your refusals, be vague. A simple “I’m unable to do that” when said with authority, will not attract further questioning.

After all, don’t *you* need to get *your* life back too?

Resetting the boundaries and reclaiming your life is not a result of your inflated “me-time” or self-indulgence, but rather a determinant of:

– your ability to continue to help your loved one in future
– your own future emotional health and well being

Any immediate emotional pain of denying a loved one a short term fix will always be overcome by the long term comfort and satisfaction of knowing you helped them address the real issues, at the core.

This is the time they need to take responsibility, stick their hand high in the air, and say “I need help”. You can step in, in a practical sense, to co-ordinate rehab, counselling, detox, aftercare, 12-step sessions, mutual aid groups, etc.

But if you constantly have to be there at every stage, always pushing your loved one along, who is there at the end? Who is there when they leave rehab? When they’re back in the workplace? When they’re in another relationship?

Assisting him(her) temporarily, in practical ways, to help them take responsibility and get back on track, is fine. Helping them perpetuate a coping mechanism that’s steadily killing them, is not.

It’s time.


READ NEXT:

  1. Am I An Alcoholic?
  2. Alcohol And Denial – A Killer Combination
  3. 7 Warning Signs Your Loved One Needs Help

 

Peter’s Sober Happy Christmas

Posted on by Dr Khan

Peter's Sober Happy Christmas

Name: Peter
Age: 44
Occupation: Sales/Account Manager
Sobriety: 7 months

Peter, a 44 year old from Glasgow, stopped drinking alcohol seven months ago and had a happy Christmas with his family. Peter tells us how alcohol ruined his life and how he is now happier than ever.

“Deep down, I knew I had a problem for a long time. I always drank more than other people at home and at nights out and always, somehow, managed keep access to alcohol not too far away.

I often travel the country as part of my job and staying away overnight at hotels gave me the opportunity to consume as much as I wanted without anyone monitoring it.

I also had the ‘odd pint’ on my way back from work, telling my wife I had a quick one or two, when in reality I had drunk five or six pints. All family shopping trips involved stocking up on booze – which I suppose it is socially acceptable – but they don’t tell you at the supermarket that it’s the most powerful drug in the world and can easily destroy families and lives.”

“I never fully accepted my drink problem before the wonderful people at Abbeycare helped me get well. I put it down to stress, lifestyle, travelling, family etc. My drink at the end of the day was my way of dealing with ‘my stress’ it but it never did deal with it.

My stress only increased over the weeks, months and years. I now know that to unwind and relax that alcohol isn’t the solution – it’s actually in me – how I deal with stress, how I manage my life, how I choose to live. Yes, of course, booze works for that couple of hours but drinking as much as I did cannot possibly relax me. I was inebriated most evenings. That isn’t relaxing, it’s anaesthetising. Booze makes us no more relaxed than a boxer is relaxing when he’s knocked out on the canvas.

I might have thought I was relaxing as I forgot about my worries when I drank. But all I did was delay dealing with my problems and I now know booze was the only one. It was the source of my hellish life. I now have a truly amazing life and booze has no part whatsoever in it.”

Peter came to Abbeycare after his wife moved out because she couldn’t get through to him that his stubborn ways, barking and constant grumpiness were making her ill too. This then gave Peter freedom to drink himself into oblivion and gave him all the excuses he needed to continue drinking and blaming other people for his predicament.

“I just couldn’t see what alcohol was doing to me and everyone around me. At the time, I was working and travelling constantly and then when I came home to unwind and have a few drinks, I’d get moaned at. Other people telling me I drank too much and I was lazy. Inside me I was furious as I felt I only worked and then had all the family’s problems when I came back. If I didn’t feel under pressure then I felt apathy. It wasn’t a good way to live. The booze ruled me without knowing.

It made me lethargic, sick and irrational and I never slept very well. Worst of all, it made me treat my family very poorly. I was never there for my wife, children or friends. No wonder everyone had had enough and left me to it. I can see that now with the clarity I have. Booze isolated me into my dining room or hotel room but more dangerously into a dark self.”

Peter learned in Abbeycare that it’s okay to get help for an alcohol problem and there’s no shame in getting well and beating the booze. Shame – like all other feelings is inside of us – and, therefore, is only real to us. And, at Abbeycare that’s what they do best – changing people’s feelings about themselves.

He also had sleep therapy, stress management, personal awareness and holistic therapies as well as his own double bedroom and ensuite – all part of Abbeycare’s treatment to beat booze and live a happy life.

Peter said: “I could not have imagined how this would turn out, I just wish I had done it earlier.

I was terrified to the point of insanity at the thought of stopping drinking, but all of that fear has gone. I am now the most relaxed I have ever been. In fact, I’m no doubt more relaxed than most people who don’t drink. I don’t have problems now – only small things I need to iron out.

I have overcome alcohol, I can easily deal with anything else life can throw at me – I just had to learn how. Only the other day, my wife commented on how happy she is now compared to when I was drinking. That makes me feel so proud. Who needs booze when you’re this happy?”

For information on how to overcome alcohol, how to help a relative with alcohol problems or simply find out more about Abbeycare, please call us on 01603 513 091, complete the form opposite or email: info@abbeycarefoundation.co.uk


Read other Success Stories: 

  1. Magaret (Math Teacher)
  2. John Reaping
  3. Memories of Christmas Pasts
  4. John M Perth 

 

Naltrexone Treatment To Help Beat Alcohol Addiction

Posted on by Dr Khan

Call 24/7: 01603 513 091

Following recent news from the Irish Times, Irish people suffering from alcoholism are travelling to the UK to be fitted with pellets which block the euphoric effects of alcohol.

Naltrexone pellets are fitted into the lower abdomen, lasting 12 weeks.

These block the “high” individuals experience from alcohol intake, thus discouraging continued use.Importantly, individuals must undergo a full alcohol detoxification, before such implants can be fitted.

Abbeycare are the only UK clinic to provide both the required detox, and the Naltrexone implant, in the same clinic.

First Step Of The Journey

Naturally, Naltrexone should be viewed as the first step toward long term addiction recovery, rather than a solution in and of itself. Abbeycare always advocate the importance of multiple aftercare supports for the best long term recovery outcomes.

Nevertheless, interventions like Naltrexone can provide the much needed emotional breathing space individuals need, as part of a full aftercare plan.

For more info on detoxification, Naltrexone, and aftercare, or to complete detox and Naltrexone in the same UK clinic, contact us at Abbeycare direct Call 24/7: 01603 513 091

Naltrexone For Recovery From Opiate Misuse

Posted on by Dr Khan

Naltrexone is a ‘blocker’ solution for heroin or opiate users who need the extra support during recovery, of an antagonist drug.

This acts as a deterrent, such that, if an individual using Naltrexone relapses into opiate use, they do not experience any of the ‘highs’ or feelings of euphoria normally associated with such drugs.

Instead, they experience no feelings at all, and hence will lose the positive association paired with opiate use over time, thus discouraging relapse, and helping maintain positive recovery.

Antagonist drugs such as Naltrexone operate by occupying and blocking opiate receptor sites in the brain, meaning that any new opiates in the system cannot populate these sites and trigger the associated chemical pathways and associated feelings.

Naturally, chemical solutions such as Naltrexone aren’t intended as a solution to the cause of the addiction, merely a deterrent to further use, and encouragement on the bigger journey of recovery.

Naltrexone is normally available in both oral tablet and implant form. The Naltrexone implant itself is normally fitted in the lower abdomen, under local anaesthetic, and lasts for a period of 12 weeks. Longer durations are sometimes obtainable dependent on current regulations and availability.

However, prior to Naltrexone use, the individual must undergo a full supervised detox from opiate use t avoid any abreactions and ensure safe and comfortable use of Naltrexone.

Currently, Abbeycare are the only UK clinic to offer both opiate detoxification and Naltrexone under one roof, in the same residential clinic.

To enquire about Naltrexone or opiate detox, or arrange admission, call Abbeycare direct on 01603 513 091.

(Lost) Memories Of Christmases Past

Posted on by Dr Khan

Pre-sobriety I always looked upon the ‘Festive Season’ as a period of acceptable drinking excess as everybody, well not everybody, over-indulged.

Many Christmases were ruined due to my drinking with some amusing and not so amusing antics.

I always started the day with the best intentions, as most of us alcoholics do, but inevitably by around lunchtime I was either merrily drunk or at best rather tipsy, but I always insisted that I was capable of serving up the Christmas dinner, often with disastrous results.

The most embarrassing incident was where I took the turkey out of the oven, which had been pre-carved and then re-heated in its gravy, and I proceeded to drop the lot onto the kitchen floor.

Undeterred I simply scooped the whole lot back up on to the serving dish and took it through to the dining room where the assembled family were waiting patiently and merely said that the ‘bird had flown the coop but now it had been recaptured!!’

I was always aware that I would be under extreme scrutiny by my family but no matter what I resolved the drink would, as ever, totally consume my thoughts and as we say, “all bets are off!!”

I would always try and laugh it off, but I became aware that the family were becoming more and more worried and annoyed at my behaviour, and friends would stop inviting us round for social events or gatherings.

The festive season was now a time of dread for my family and I suppose I eventually lost all interest in it as it had just become another day in my chaotic, alcoholic life, and I can’t really remember the last few Christmases when I was in full-blown alcoholism.

I left my rehabilitation treatment centre, Abbeycare Scotland based at Murdostoun Castle, on Christmas Eve 2015 and to say that I was fearful would be an understatement, but armed with the ‘recovery tools in my toolbox’, I decided very quickly that the only way forward was to tackle it head on and that is indeed what I did.

December 2015 was the first sober Christmas I had had in a long time, and it was probably one of the better ones.

The family were kind of walking on ‘egg-shells’ for the first few days, but at least they saw their dad sober for the first time in many years, and if nothing else they had a Christmas dinner that had not ‘visited the kitchen floor’ before being served at the table!!

man-person-snow-winter-girl-white-933333-pxhere.comThe experience of that Christmas was to stand me in good stead for the remainder of that festive season and the following year (2016) held no fears or trepidation whatsoever.

In hindsight I think that it was indeed a blessing that I was allowed home at the time I was, and the fact that I survived and coped, helped me to continue thereafter, and up to today I have remained sober and my resolve is probably even greater now to keep and enjoy my sobriety, as in the two years since I have found and totally enjoyed my new life.

When I heard people talking and sharing at recovery meetings about how good life was I just couldn’t imagine how on earth I was going to manage without my ‘best friend alcohol’, but in truth I know that it was NEVER EVER a friend, let alone a ‘best friend’, and I am continuing to absolutely enjoy my life.

Family and friends rallied around when I most needed them and I also gained a whole new army of friends in the various mutual aid groups I am involved with, and they are indeed FRIENDS, like-minded people, who understand the daily rigours of sobriety that give us all a totally new and fruitful way of living.

Now, Christmas time is not a fearful prospect but one which I embrace with great joy and anticipation and I even look forward to preparing and cooking all sorts of meals, knowing full well that they will manage to get from the cooker to the dining table without making a detour via the kitchen floor!!

The family also know that I won’t ‘make an idiot of myself’ at any function or party and indeed I am quite happy now to offer to drive anyone to any place at any time of day in the full knowledge that I have nothing to fear with regards to drink driving, and that alone is quite a change.

Sobriety has given me a fantastic new way of life and I will do everything in my power to maintain it, but I am only too aware that it is only ONE DAY AT A TIME.

If I continue to use the ‘recovery tools in my toolbox’ that the staff gave to me on the steps of Murdostoun Castle on the 24th December 2015, I know I am in with more than a chance of success.


Read other Success Stories: 

  1. Magaret (Math Teacher)
  2. John Reaping
  3. Peter’s Sober Christmas 
  4. John M Perth 

 

How To Help A Loved One In Addiction & Denial

Posted on by Dr Khan

Our Support Staff are Available 24/7. Call: 01603 513 091

 

Seeing a loved one’s life spiral wildly out of control can be more traumatising for family members than the addict themselves…(it’s true).

The secrecy, bizarre behaviours, aggression even – these are the signatures of addiction and massive denial.

But there ARE ways to help someone close to you out of that place of colossal denial and spiralling chaos.

The thing is when faced with the option of relieving emotional pain by:

(i) getting that next fix,

OR

(ii) doing the work required…

…an addicted individual will always choose (i). It’s quick, easy, and it allows me to avoid doing any real work or even acknowledging my problems (= more pain).

They’ve repeated this way of coping so much, that it’s become the ONLY way they know how to cope. They truly don’t believe there is any other way.

To help someone in denial we need to:

(i) Convince them that other options exist, that there ARE other ways to cope,
(ii) Address the real underlying problem,

And of course, deal with the chemical/physical addiction too. No mean feat.

Substitution


Denial is present because it protects the existence of the coping mechanism – if I admit I have a problem, you will take my substance away. And I can’t cope without it.

So we must provide other coping mechanisms and resources in place of the substance itself, or we’ll always hit this denial.

Since denial exists to protect the existence of the coping mechanism, we need to provide these additional resource *first*, *before* then taking that means to cope away.

We need to provide, or at least convince them of, the resources and support that will help replace the alcohol or drugs, as a means to cope.

They need to understand:

(i) they will have numerous other people helping them through the issues they thought they couldn’t cope with, and,

(ii) they will get help to understand the true emotional triggers and causes of their addiction, and thus help themselves.

The truth is that support IS available to help individuals with their life issues.

Whether your loved one is turning to addiction as a means to cope with self-esteem issues, guilt, trauma, or other emotional upsets, the support to work through it IS available, once responsibility is taken.

Taking Responsibility

As a family member, are you more or less likely to support someone in their need to deal with addiction, if they have taken full ownership, admitted responsibility, and accepted wrongdoing?

And so it is with counsellors, family members, medical professionals, employees, etc etc.

Stuck for support ideas for your loved one?

– Local voluntary counselling organisations or public healthcare counselling
– Mutual aid support meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, etc
– Drug Rehab & Alcohol Rehab clinic aftercare meetings, and telephone support
– Local 12 step meetings and events
– Working one-to-one with a personal sponsor
– Connecting with others locally in recovery
– Additional one-to-one CBT or other therapy following rehab

Can you see, that when this many supports are in place, the need for the coping mechanism begins to dissolve?

Now, let’s be realistic – there is much time, commitment, effort, and willingness, involved in all of this.

But when your loved one has completed a supervised drug & alcohol detox and these supports are in place, these are the strengths which pre-empt the need for the alcohol or drugs in the first place, because they deal with addiction at the cause. Make sense?

 

We are her to help. Call: 01603 513 091