Living With an Addict in the Home
When it comes to addiction, people give advice that is not always applicable in each circumstance. It's easy for someone to say what they would not allow in their home, or how quickly they would kick the addict out. Each person is different and comes to various realizations at different stages or not at all. Addiction is insidious, at times very predictable and at others coming out of the left field. One of the first things to do for your own sanity is to be selective in what you say and to whom.
If you tell your family and friends every time the addict steals money, stays out all night, or lost another job, they will probably criticize you and judge you for not already taking action. If you don't want to hear their harsh words, but you feel you need to get things off your chest, please get the proper support. Check out Al-anon and Nar-anon groups. They help you to look after yourself and understand that you cannot change the addict's behavior, be it alcohol or drugs. You will come in contact with others like yourself who understand, but again be careful because even in support groups you may be given advice you are not willing or ready to take. You may also consider obtaining professional counseling to decide how to proceed with your future.
If you are in a situation where your life is being threatened, that is a whole different matter. You should do all you can to remove the offending individual or yourself. This article addresses homes where things are not quite that bad, but still stressful. If you have a parent, child or spouse who you are unable or unwilling to put out, at thsi current time and you cannot bring yourself, to leave you must access your situation. If the individual is prone to stealing, please make sure your money, checkbook, and valuables are out of reach. Pay your bills and purchase groceries as quickly as possible so you will not have any additional cash on hand.
You can also cut down on arguments by not nagging your loved one. If the individual is inebriated, they will not truly hear anything you have to say, no matter how rational. Nitpicking and trying to point out all their wrongdoings simply does not work. Do all you can to stay out of their way until the crisis has passed. Please realize that many people will not understand why you will not simply leave or put the addict out Those who have walked in your shoes may tell you how much better their life is now that they are separated from the alcoholic or addict. That was their choice and if you are not there yet, you still need to live.
Find ways to get out of the house, meet with friends, go to church events and simply be away from the source of the drama. Be sure to eat well, get enough sleep and go for walks or exercise when you can. You and only you can make the final decision regarding your circumstance. You have the right to do so even if no one else agrees.
Seek out solutions
As you are determining the course of your life, make sure to be seeing solutions. If your spouse is not contributing financially as he or she used to contact your local Social Services department.Dial 211 and gets lists of food and clothing pantries. Find out where you may get help with utility bills, rent, and mortgage if you need it. Suggest Alcoholics Annonymous or Narcotics Annonymous meetings to the addict/alcoholic and if you have insurance perhaps inpatient treatment may be an option. Confide in your clergyperson if you feel that may be helpful and if you have children involved please put their needs first. Sometimes no matter what decision you make. life just does not turn out the way you desire. Finding ways to cope, having a support system and options can make things somewhat more bearable.
One thing to always be mindful of is that no matter what decision you make, there will always be somebody who disagrees. This is why it is important to know who to talk to and who you should keep out of your business. If possible obtain a part-time job to make sure you have enough money on hand for future decisions. Take up a hobby and or volunteer to get yourself out of the house. None of this will guarantee that your loved one will stop drinking or drugging. but it may give you a little sanity along the way of your journey. Search the Internet, ask questions and do all you can to take care of yourself.