Part 3: Control
If you are caught up in your loved one’s world of addiction, it can be a horrible feeling when you cannot control their actions or get them the help they desperately need. Their rational thinking has been taken over by the substance they are abusing. Only treatment can bring back the person you knew. The three C’s of addiction recovery are a reminder that you cannot “fix” them and that you also need support during their recovery process.
The three C’s are:
- I didn’t cause it
- I can’t cure it
- I can’t control it
“I Can’t Control It”
The third C of addiction, Control, explains that addiction is a disease that affects the brain chemistry of a person. After time, the substance takes control of their rational thinking and therefore controls their actions. If your loved one is unable to control their own actions, then it’s important to understand that you will not be able to either, nor should you try.
Out of Your Hands
- You cannot make them quit.
You cannot force your child or family member to quit. It has to be his or her decision
- You cannot do the work of recovery for them.
You can’t do the hard work of treatment and you can’t prevent relapse. It’s up them.
- You cannot accept behavior that violates your boundaries.
Once you’ve laid out your boundaries, allowing them to be violated perpetrates your loved one’s addiction.
What You Can Do
While there are so many variables out of your control, focus on these things that will help get you through the recovery process:
- Get educated – learn about addiction and participate in family programs offered at their treatment center.
- Take care of yourself – you can’t control another person, but you can make healthy decisions for yourself. And you must remain healthy to give support and encouragement to your loved one.
- Talk about it – talking about the problem can be healing for everyone the addiction has affected.
Don’t Try to Control Treatment
Once your loved one decides they are ready for an addiction treatment program, you may be so relieved and ready that you attempt to control what type of treatment and where they should go. Even at this point you cannot try to take control of the situation, as it may do more harm than good. They may pull back and refuse treatment if they feel they are not making their own decisions. Your only job is to offer support and encouragement – regardless of how hard that may be. This is the best way to ensure a successful ongoing recovery.
When this long-awaited moment comes for you and your family, contact us to discuss treatment options and an individualized plan for your loved one.