The Best Way to Support Yourself and Others
As healthcare providers supporting for individuals and families struggling with Addiction, mental health, and chronic pain, the question of how best to support a loved one who is suffering comes up often. Family members, from a well-intentioned and caring place, can fall into wanting to control another person’s behaviour, health, and/or recovery. They have great ideas about what would help, work best, and provide remedy to their loved one, which may all be true; however, we have to look at willingness in the other individual and if they are ready to engage in these changes. It is common that loved ones will reach their turning point of change before the person who has the medical condition.
With this in mind, one of the best ways to truly support (not control, enable, or manipulate) others is by engaging in your own health and recovery plan. This provides you energy and resources to be able to cope and support your loved one, as well as the bonus of (potentially) providing some role-modelling to them. Now the caution here is that this is a bonus, not the intention of engaging in your own recovery plan because if that were the case, this would bring us back to control.
Taking care of yourself can also help clarify what is true help and support compared to control, manipulation, and/or enabling.
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