1. Be realistic.
The easiest thing to do is to remain in fantasy land where you can convince yourself that things are going to magically get better. As humans it’s natural to take the path of least resistance, but this is naïve. Coming face-to-face with reality means accepting that parts of your life may be out of control as a result of loving someone who is engaging in addictive behaviors.
2. You cannot control or “fix” another person.
3. Learn the difference between helping and enabling.
4. Don’t give in to manipulation.
Let’s face it, addicts do not like to hear “No.” Until they are ready to change, they become master manipulators. Their fear of stopping is so great that they will do just about anything to keep from having to be honest with themselves. They will lie, cheat, blame, steal, rage and guilt-trip others, to no avail.
5. Denial is dangerous.
Sometimes I wish I could shake my parents and tell them to wake up before it’s too late. We, as humans tend to deny the severity of the problem, not because we are naïve, but because it is inconceivable to those of us not inside the mind of an addict.
6. Do not let the addiction take over your life.
By watching everything you say and do, in order to keep peace in your home and not make the addict angry, you become addicted to your child’s addiction, thriving off it, while letting the other relationships in your life fall apart. You can’t let your world stop revolving to cope with an addict. It’s not fair to you, them, or anyone else in your life. “Parents can only be as happy as their unhappiest child.”
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