By Yvette Louis
That's it. You've had it. You've tried intervention. You've tried time and time again to gain control of your loved one's addiction. You've reasoned and have made pleas with them. When should you tell your loved one it's time to hit the road?
Your initial reaction that comes to mind when a family realizes that their loved one is battling an addiction is, "Wait. What caused this?". One of the first and biggest mistakes is thinking that you were the cause of that addiction
Have you exhausted all of your resources? Of course, you're afraid to lose your loved one to the streets, in jail, or even worse-deceased. It's not easy watching someone you love literally hurt themselves and become someone you no longer know. Do not be mad at yourself if you aren't the one giving him or her the very substance that is destroying their life!
First, have a look at some of the possibilities here.
- Your loved one is threatening you with violence. He or she may have already began to exhibit signs of violence. Your property is being destroyed with visible evidence.
- Personal items of value are missing.
- You're under a lot of stress. Your job is being affected.
- Lies are countless and you can no longer keep pace with them.
- Your loved one is not a good influence on other family members, such as a younger sibling, son or daughter.
- Your financial picture is bleak because of the many costs such as jail costs, bails, replacing lost and/or stolen items, etc.
- Your loved one's refusal to enter into treatment. No matter how many times you've volunteered to help.
As a parent, brother, sister, father, etc., your natural instinct is to protect and try your best to nurture. Don't feel guilty! Deciding to tell your loved one it is time to go is a very challenging task. However, once the above issues begin to play out in your personal life, it's time to take a long hard long at other options. As a child, I've experienced the other side of addiction. It was not me who was the addict, but my father. Sure, there's a twist, but the pain of being torn from your loved one cuts to the core. Asking or forcing an addictive loved one to leave shakes up the entire family and causes emotions to run high and low.
Try your best not to argue or appear controlling, as this may cause more addictive behavior.
Asking your loved one to leave does not constitute an easy task. Sometimes, asking isn't even an option. You just have to force them out, and that's even harder. Try to avoid force or emotional scenes. Ensure that you have exhausted all of your options. It takes patience, time and practice. Yourself and family may help as well with respect to confronting such an issue.
Having a loved one with addictions affects the entire family. It brings many emotions to the surface, making it hard to communicate our concerns and feelings in a way that is non-offensive and judgmental. A resourceful article on how to communicate with someone who has an addiction can be found here.
Communicating with your loved one is one of the first steps in your attempt to help them move forward. Lastly, make sure you are not enabling your loved one's addiction.