Discover more from Love Over Addiction
3 Ways to Help Feel More In Control, Regulate Your Feelings, and Breathe a Sigh of Relief
Hi, for those of you who are new here - welcome:). I am the creator of Love Over Addiction and have been writing about loving someone with addiction for over a decade. I am not a therapist or coach and received my certification in Psychology of Addiction and Recovery from Stanford University. Love Over Addiction was a top-ranked podcast with over 5 million downloads. After Covid, I experienced burnout and, for many reasons, decided to simplify my work by writing on this platform, Substack. I am slowly rethinking what Love Over Addiction will be in the future, but for now, this is where you can find helpful weekly tips and updates on when the programs will be available again. I love hearing from you, so please leave a comment below or email me at Michelle@LoveOverAddiction.com. Some of you have asked if I am hiring. Although I don’t have any positions open right now, I would love to hear from you - especially if you have non-profit, charity experience, or private practice experience.
P.S. Thank you for sharing this resource. I am so grateful. I am not on social media or taking interviews, so I appreciate you spreading the word:)
It's easy to stop taking care of ourselves and become consumed with taking care of someone struggling with addiction.
Over time, the things we enjoy take a back seat.
Our day jobs become a "distraction" to our full-time jobs of trying to keep our loved ones sober.
We put too much effort into helping them get healthier instead of doing what we enjoy.
We begin putting our partner's (or ex-partner's) needs above our own.
And that leaves us resentful, distracted, and anxious about someone we have no control over.
Has taking care of someone struggling with addiction left you feeling empty? A shadow of your old self?
If so, you have found your people here. We can relate.
Here are three ideas to help you feel more in control, regulate your feelings, and breathe a sigh of relief:
Create a list of healthy distractions: let’s be honest; the uncertainty of being in a relationship with someone who struggles with addiction can make us feel helpless and anxious.
Sometimes, we just need to quiet our brains and settle our nerves. So I say, find healthy distractions where you can - especially in times of crisis. Instead of trying to outthink or outwork our feelings all the time, let's just let them be. Set them aside for now. Turn on Netflix, cook your favorite meal or order takeout, go for a long walk while listening to calming music, call a friend - and choose not to discuss your relationship issues, or take the kids to the playground. It's okay to take a break from "fixing" your life by distracting your flight or flight responses.
Control the things you can control. Yes, addiction can feel like it dominates everything in your life, but that's not true. You still have your free will. Let's stop putting all our efforts into trying to control their sobriety and use some of that energy and thoughtfulness by taking care of ourselves. Some simple things you can control: making your bed, what you put in your body, if you want to respond to or ignore a phone call, email, or text message, or what you choose to wear today. Simple things - nothing profound. But sometimes we're just so darn tired - simple is best.
Respect ourselves. The goal of this community is not to help the addicted but rather lovingly remind you to help yourself. One of the most empowering steps to recover from the trauma of loving someone struggling with addiction is learning to respect our feelings and needs enough not to settle. Let's start listening to the whispers of our souls because that's where we will hear our true desires and warning signs. By listening to the wisdom that lies deep within us, we are practicing a form of self-respect. We don't need to share our whispers if that feels uncomfortable, but let's, at the very least, identify them instead of convincing ourselves they don't deserve to be heard.
I have been writing about loving someone with an addiction for over a decade, and I truly believe we are not helpless over this disease.
We can fully recover and be happy if our loved ones get sober or not.
We need to be willing to learn about our own healing and recovery. I am so proud of you for doing just that today.
You are making progress, whether it feels like it or not.
Take a deep breath, reread or listen to this helpful tip, and give yourself lots of credit and love for putting in the effort.