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How to Help Loved Ones Let Go of the Past


Helping a loved one who’s struggling to let go of the past while in recovery for an addiction to alcohol and/or drugs can be overwhelming because you may be unsure about how to support them.  Your loved one has to realize they are powerless over their addiction, but you can do your part by providing encouragement and being there for loved one by helping them to let go of what no longer serves them to keep them in the present moment.

Let Go of the Past

When your loved one has an alcohol and/or drug addiction, a lingering distress may exist because addiction is a family disease that affects more than the sufferer.  You may feel inclined to support your loved one by helping them combat pressing issues, like struggling to let go of the past.  When your loved one clings to memories, they can end up stuck in a negative mindset.  Showing your loved one to stay focused on the present moment can be a great way to help your loved one let go of the past.  One way you can do this is redirecting their concentration through conversation during meal times by asking specific questions like how their day went.  Conversation can take your loved one outside their head and allow them to be emotionally present.  Addicts and alcoholics are famous for reliving the past in their heads on constant replay but these individuals get nowhere teasing and tormenting themselves by re-captivating times that aren’t coming back.  They’ll come to realize they are robbing themselves and loved ones of being present by staying stuck in their heads.  Another way to help your loved one let go of the past is to spend time with them.  Whether you decide to watch a movie, go for a walk, go out to a restaurant, check out a museum, tour a new city, play a board game, or travel somewhere fun, spending time together with your loved one can help re-build the authentic relationship.  This can help in creating new memories that won’t have your loved one reminiscing on times that have passed or have them drowning in self-pity.

Accepting powerlessness 

Addiction is a disease that causes sufferers to have distorted thinking.  Sufferers can lose perception of the reality of their illness.  They can have a complete misconception about how powerless they are over what happens when they place the first substance in their body that creates the onset of their disease of addiction.  Denial, minimization, and justification can set in when addicts instead live in a dishonest mindset and continue to be active with their use.  Until your loved one comes out of this thinking and gets honest with themselves about the effects substance use has on them, they won’t be able to see as clearly as others how unmanageable their lives has become.  You can help by providing insight about your loved ones addiction and voicing your concerns.  It’s important to draw attention to the fact that they will only truly recover from their addiction when they are willing to be honest and are ready to commit to working on themselves.


Read 2951 times Last modified on Thursday, 28 May 2015 13:32
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