• Nicole Arzt

What If Your Loved One Isn't Ready To Get Sober?




You know that your loved one is struggling. Maybe they have opened up to you about their fears and problems, and maybe they have even tried to get help in the past.


But as it stands right now, your loved one isn't showing any signs of being ready to get sober. If this is the case, what are you supposed to do? How can you help them? What are the best steps you can take to ensure their safety- and yours as well?


Remember That You Can't Control Anyone Else

You can't control anyone else's actions, thoughts, or feelings. You can't control if they continue using or if they feel ready to get sober and change their life.


Remembering your locus of control hard, especially if you tend to blame yourself for how other people behave. Many loved ones hold disproportionate guilt and responsibility for the addiction. They assume that if they had something different, it would have made the situation better.


When you try to control someone else, you risk falling into a codependent pattern with them. In doing this, you may enable their behavior, avoid setting boundaries or simply spend all your time and energy focusing on their addiction. These efforts can be exhausting, and they can also be woefully unsuccessful. The more you try to control your loved one, the more they may resist your efforts.


Instead, it's important to focus on what you can control. You can control your responses and actions. You can control your mindset and how you cope with your loved one's behavior. You can control prioritizing self-care and seeking support for yourself.


See If They're Willing To Talk To Someone

Sometimes, people aren't ready to get help for their addiction. However, they might be willing to get help for another issue like depression, anxiety, or relationship problems.


If that's the case, therapy may help your loved one gain more insight into their addiction. This isn't a backhanded way to trick someone into seeking treatment. Instead, it's about honoring your loved one's process. Therapy isn't a cure, and it's not a guarantee they will want to be sober, but it can be an excellent starting point.


You can start this conversation with your loved one by acknowledging that you know they're struggling. Ask if they have considered individual therapy or support groups. If they show interest in getting help, you can support them in finding referrals and treatment options.


Remember to let them have their personal space in therapy. It's not your job to investigate what they're discussing during each session. Instead, continue demonstrating that you're there for them unconditionally. If they want to talk to you about what they're learning, they will.


Consider Staging An Intervention

In some cases, it may be appropriate to intervene with your loved one. Planned interventions can be powerful, as they demonstrate how much the addiction has impacted you and other people's lives.


That said, interventions often require some kind of ultimatum. Therefore, you should only do an intervention if you can identify your boundaries and follow through with them. It's not enough to tell your loved one about your feelings. You need to set concrete rules for how you expect them to behave moving forward.


Successful interventions require planning and attention to detail. Ideally, you want to intervene with the loved one when they're sober. You also want to host it in a neutral location.


If you're thinking about staging an intervention, it might be worth consulting with a professional interventionist. They can help you assemble your team, coach you through the process, and locate the best treatment for your loved one.


Get Your Own Support

Even if you know your loved one needs help, that doesn't mean you should suffer alone. Addiction takes a serious toll on family and friends. It can be exhausting, confusing, and downright frustrating.


Therefore, it's important that you prioritize reaching out for your own support. Reach out and conect with your friends and family. Consider going to therapy yourself. You can also try a peer-led support group like Al-Anon, Codependents Anonymous, or NAMI.


Remember that it's okay to ask for help. It's also okay to share what's on your mind, even if you feel ashamed over your thoughts. Processing these thoughts and feelings with people you trust allows you to heal.


What If Your Loved One Is Ready To Get Sober?


If your loved one is ready to get sober, don't hesitate to move forward in getting them the help they need. Motivation can fluctuate, and it's important to act immediately when someone expresses an interest in recovery.


At The Resurface Group, we can help. Our team supports individuals and their families on their journeys towards wellness. Contact us today to learn more.


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