“Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.” -Barbara De Angelis
Tuesday, November 13 World Kindness Day! Today we celebrate by being a little more kind to one other. This could be anything from being polite on the road to other drivers, giving a compliment to a friend, or sending an encouraging email. For those who have a loved one struggling with addiction, World Kindness Day is an opportunity to reflect on how kindness and compassion can support them on their journey to recovery.
Supporting a Loved One with Addiction
If you have a close friend or family member that is struggling with addiction, it can leave you feeling hopeless. You may not know how to approach them, communicate with them, or guide them in the right direction. Because of this, relationships between individuals with addiction and their loved ones can be destructive, painful, and unhealthy. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Supporting a loved one with an addiction can be extremely difficult. It’s important to find a healthy balance that shows our loved one that we support them without enabling them or creating a sense of codependency. We want to show them support without supporting their destructive behavior. Addiction is a time of vulnerability, leaving individuals feeling alone in their struggle. The love and compassion shown by their close friends and family members go a long way in aiding in their journey towards recovery.
Kindness plays an important role in the healing process of addiction. Individuals struggling with addiction often feel alienated and unaccepted. When an individual is shown warmth, kindness, and compassion from others, it uplifts them. The love and encouragement shown by those around them is critical in recovery.
When we see someone close to us struggling with addiction, we can experience feelings of hurt or anger towards them. While your feelings are valid, it’s important to consider their feelings. It may not seem like the feeling is reciprocated, but you have to consider the situation. Addiction is a complex disease that affects the entire mind, body, and spirit. Chronic substance addiction leads to certain behavioral changes that disrupt the individual’s daily life. Your loved one is still there, but right now they need help regaining their spirit. Treating your friend or family member as the human you know and love is a simple way to show kindness.
Loved ones often hear the term “tough love” as a way to help their struggling friends or family members. This may deter them from reaching out in a compassionate way. However, Psychology Today states that partners can play an important role in helping their partner to change their ways. Experts recommend that partners and families become involved in the process of helping their loved ones reach out for help.
Psychology Today reveals that the most significant strategies to help a loved one through addiction involves being more compassionate towards your loved one. Showing compassion towards their situation is much different from enabling their harmful ways. A compassionate mindset will help you take care of your loved one without supporting the negative behavior.
Hopeful for Recovery
A little kindness can go a long way in terms of encouraging your loved one to heal. Individuals battling addiction earn to feel accepted, and not made to feel like a bad person. It’s important to show your loved ones empathy and support while encouraging them to help themselves.
Today, on World Kindness Day, take the time to be a little extra kind to those around you and if you have a loved one struggling with addiction, contact us for help in taking the next step.