Addiction Recovery - Relationships in Recovery

Beyond Group: Help When You Love an Addict

Beyond Group Help When You Love an Addict

While community is a vital part of the recovery path for both addicts and the people connected to them, support groups aren’t available 24/7.

Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

Addiction Recovery

Relationships in Recovery

August 18, 2021

Just like there’s a certain loneliness in admitting you’re an addict, there’s a loneliness in admitting you love an addict.

Whichever came first, the love or the addiction, the combination of anger, disappointment, maybe guilt or shame in yourself for not seeing it/not being able to tame it the complexity and the difficulty of putting it out there in words is stifling.

With the slowly but surely brightening light shed on the extent and nature of addiction in America, tagging along behind is the increasing options for support for the secondhand users, the family, friends, or people who don’t know what to call themselves anymore. Addiction has a way of creating exes.

While community is a vital part of the recovery path for both addicts and the people connected to them, support groups aren’t available 24/7. It’s good to have some self-support options in your back pocket.

Books

Journalist Eilene Zimmerman’s memoir Smacked: A Story of White Collar Ambition, Addiction and Tragedy explores an ex-wife’s unexpected journey back to her husband after his drug-related death as she pieces together his journey toward addiction and, ultimately, his end. The things he hid, explanations and confirmations about his unreliable behavior as a husband and father many of the details may be all too familiar if you’ve watched a loved one’s descent into the world of addiction.

That’s one of the newest books. For a list of several more widely read and acclaimed books tackling all different aspects of addiction, from parenting a crack addict (Beautiful Boy–also a critically acclaimed and painfully truthful film) to approaching addiction using science and kindness, you may find something you haven’t thought of in that moment you so desperately need it.

It’s not a support group, but sometimes it’s just good to see that someone else might get it, that drug addiction and all its accompanying heartaches aren’t reserved just for the unemployed, the impoverished, “those people”. Addiction has no prejudices.

Podcasts

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation: Family Roles When Addiction Takes Hold (there are more you can browse once on the site.) Read the podcast transcript or watch it on YouTube.

Addiction Support Podcast: Aptly named and easily found, the Addiction Support Podcast covers topics ranging from realizing your potential to identifying and fighting codependency.

Meditation / Prayer

The stress, anxiety, and overthinking that can accompany life with or after an addict can be debilitating. Many people find meditation helpful for that, to shift your thought processes and self-awareness in a way that can really lift a burden, or better yet, try to help you lighten it yourself. Here are some meditation tips for beginners. There are apps like Mindfulness, Headspace, and Calm that have a solid following, and you can often seek help in places where yoga is offered.

And while we may list it last, it’s not because it ranks last in importance. There’s power in prayer. You don’t have to have special equipment or WiFi, and if you left your book on the counter, it’s okay. Spirituality is foundational to many people’s recovery.

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