As a sibling of someone who struggles with addiction, you may feel or have felt lost, afraid, alone, or helpless. It can be frightening and frustrating to watch your sibling struggle with addiction or mental health problems. Siblings are often our first support system and friends and it’s hard to know where to turn when they’re struggling with something that’s out of your control. Here are a few ways to support your sibling (and yourself) whether he or she is in active addiction or recovery.
Accept Your Sibling
While you don’t need to condone your brother or sister’s actions, it’s important to accept his or her addiction. This way, you can have an honest relationship as you move forward.
Educate yourself on addiction and recovery. Education is a great way to feel empowered and less helpless. It’s vital to get educated not only about addiction and recovery but also about how you can best support yourself.
Consider Your Relationship
Consider the kind of relationship that you and your sibling have. Moving forward, what needs to change? What works and what doesn’t? Through your education process, you can find out if you’ve been exhibiting enabling behaviors and steps you can take to change these patterns. This way, as your sibling moves through the recovery process, your relationship can grow and move forward.
This is perhaps the most important element of the equation. By supporting yourself, you’ll be supporting your sibling. During difficult times, it’s easy to sink into sadness and depression, neglecting self-care and self-love. Options for support include therapy, Family’s Anonymous meetings, NARANON, and ALANON. These groups will help you feel less alone in your journey. Your sibling is on a recovery journey and you are on your own journey of self-care, discovery, education, and healing.
Tree House Recovery of Portland, Oregon uses cutting-edge techniques in individualized programs to help men achieve freedom from addiction. Taking a holistic, sustainable approach to the inner and outer effects of addiction ensures you or your loved one will emerge with the confidence and skills to manage your addiction independently. No one is beyond help- our Admissions Counselors are available 24/7 at (503) 850-2474