Family members of people with addictions are often so concerned about their addicted loved one that they neglect their own support needs. But getting support for yourself can actually aid the process of helping your loved one. Here are some starting points for helping yourself.
1. Let off steamFind non-addictive ways to let off steam, such as exercise, hobbies, and other friendships.
2. Learn to relaxLearn relaxation exercises and practice them regularly (especially when things get difficult).
3. Get therapy for yourselfSeek counseling for yourself in order to help you manage the stress of your relationship with the addicted person and to prepare you for helping them change.
4. Get assertiveLearn effective communication skills, such as assertiveness.
5. Build a support networkSpeak to supportive people in your community about ways to get help (your family doctor is a good place to start and what you tell them will stay confidential).
6. Protect yourself and othersPeople with addictions are often gentle, but alcohol and drugs can increase the likelihood of aggression. If you or anyone you know is experiencing abuse, you should take action as soon as possible to protect yourself and others. Your local police will be able to tell you what to do.