Five Things to Know About Coping With Unhealthy Family Behaviors
FIVE THINGS TO CONSIDER ABOUT COPING WITH UNHEALTHY FAMILY BEHAVIORS
- 1. You have alternatives. No matter the nature of the problem, it can get worse, stay the same, or get better. Odds are that if you change nothing, your loved one's drinking or drug use will continue to get worse, or at best stay the same. On the other hand, if you choose to learn alternatives to nagging, pleading, and threatening, you can help the problem to get better. So the choice is yours - if you want a better life, go for it!
- 2. Small steps carry you long distances. Although it may sometimes feel like right now is not soon enough for change to happen, small steps can make a huge difference in relationships. As you plan those steps, think about the best time to make your move and what small change would be most likely to have a positive outcome. Keep your safety, and those for whom you are responsible, at the forefront of your mind. Small carefully-timed changes will carry you the furthest.
- 3. Emotions are fluid. When you are frustrated, hurt, angry and exhausted, remember that these feelings are responses to current situations. When you change the way you interact with your loved one, the situations will change. When the situations change, so will your feelings. As you develop more effective ways of addressing his or her substance abuse, your emotional pain will gradually flow into feelings of confidence and hope.
- 4. Asking for help is a good thing. As you strive to enhance the quality of your life and help your loved one, turn to the people who love you and turn to the people who have learned to deal with similar problems. Ask for and accept help, and breathe a sigh of relief as things get better.
- 5. Patience pays. Family problems usually do not develop overnight and seldom go away in a single day. Take small steps and remind yourself that change takes time. If you patiently invest that time, your efforts will be rewarded with a happier future.