Addiction Causes Pain for Loved Ones

People get hurt feelings all the time in our world. Sometimes all it takes is a harsh word or a difference of opinion to set someone off. We may think that people who get their feelings hurt often need to get some tougher skin and not be so sensitive. Sometimes this is true, but sometimes repairing the hurt feelings between family and friends takes more than letting time run its course.

Addiction is a Family Affair

An addiction to drugs or alcohol does not just affect the individual addict; the entire family suffers. Sometimes friends suffer. Addiction causes a person to lie, deceive, steal, abuse, anger, and neglect family and friends, and naturally, the loved ones are going to feel hurt. A family that has been affected by a drug or alcohol addiction goes through a host of different emotions. Anger, disgust, and pity may come and go. Underneath everything else, however, is often emotional pain. Sometimes when they’ve felt everything else there is to feel, they end up still just feeling sad and hurt. Even those who understand enough about addiction to know it takes over a person’s life and makes them lose control so that their top priority is to get high, can be hurt by the actions of their loved one.

Broken Promises

Another aspect of the hurt a drug addict’s family experiences is the continual let down that occurs when their loved one says they want to get clean and are on their way to a better life, and then they relapse. The ups and downs of recovery and relapse make family members unable to believe their loved one when they make promises because they don’t want to get hurt again.

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Talking About Feelings

For their own good and for the good of their loved one, family and friends with hurt feelings need to work through these issues. Instead of  hiding their emotions and not talking about them, a family needs to bring their feelings out into the open and find a way to repair the damage. A professional treatment facility can help families through therapy and counseling so that they can move on in the most healthy way. During the addict’s recovery from drugs or alcohol, counselors should meet with the entire family to help them all through this challenge.

Help for the Family

Forgiving someone for causing pain and hurt feelings is not an easy thing to do, but it is a necessary one. It does not mean that we condone what our loved one has done, but rather, that we will no longer carry that bitterness around with us. It means that we will work toward a resolution and, if possible, rebuild the relationship.

Hurt feelings can be more than the result of an overly sensitive personality. Sometimes hurt feelings are completely valid, as they are when a person has been wronged by someone living a life of substance addiction. Hurt feelings do not have to control our lives like drugs or alcohol control the addict’s life. Relying on the help of a therapist or support group, we can get past these feelings in the most constructive way.

Sources

Forgiveness: Letting go of grudges and bitterness

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