Jay asks: I live with an addict. I am scared to take any action for fear of things getting worse. What do you suggest I do?
I’m so sorry to hear this, Jay. Living with someone who has a substance abuse addiction or any other untreated mental health illness is extraordinarily difficult. The impacts are long lasting for you and any other family/ friends that are impacted by the addict and their behavior.
I’m not sure what it is that is making you scared, but this is one of the first issues I would recommend you get help with. Once you have a solid program through using community resources for counseling and group support, like Al-anon, you will be able to see more clearly what is holding you back. If you are feeling powerless (depressed) and unclear (confused, scared and anxious) there is help.
The unfortunate thing is that living with an addict is very common. The fortunate thing about this is that there are lots of counselors, programs, books and on-line support and education. Start today by going to Al-anon website http://al-anon.org/al-anon-meetings/ and find a meeting nearest to you. You will find on-line meetings and educational materials on this website to get you started.
Secondly, call your insurance company and talk to one of their specialists. They will find a counselor in your area to help you with your personal struggle. Thirdly, go to your local library and pick out a few books on addictions, living with addicts, co-dependency, treatment options, etc.
Make time for yourself to get well, get help and gain understanding. During you own healing journey you will be receiving valuable information on the best course of action for people living in situations like you.In your one on one counseling you will be able to address your own thoughts, behaviors and feelings that have gotten you “suck” in an unhealthy situation. Once you get a stronger personal foundation you can begin to make choices that are best for you. Choices that make you happy and lift you up. Choices that are healthy, fulfilling and joyful.