Perhaps the situation becomes clearer when you remember what you cannot do for your loved one. The biggest thing to know and remember is that you cannot make him or her quit. No amount of pressure or consequences will cause your loved one to quit. He or she must realize that there is a problem with substances and that the using must stop.
If your loved one has stopped using or is in rehab, remember that you cannot work your loved one’s program of sobriety. You cannot carry the person through this phase—he or she must do the work, put in the effort and care about his or her future in recovery for him or herself.
You also cannot accept any behavior that violates your healthy boundaries. If your loved one is creating havoc within your life, you can’t help him or her as well. Think of the safety measures recommended when on an airplane—first get your oxygen mask situated, then tend to others.
All of this is easier said than done, of course. Watching someone you love spiral downwards due to addiction is one of the hardest things to witness. Removing enabling factors and setting clear and healthy boundaries helps you and your loved one.
They say if you want to finally reach rock bottom, stop digging. By removing yourself as a resource from your addicted loved one, he or she will have to find other ways of getting his or her substance of choice. You won’t continue to be hurt while this happens and your loved one is more likely to tire of the hustle quicker without your help to easy the situation.
Though it sounds cruel to suggest removing yourself from your loved one’s life to varying degrees, sometimes it is exactly what he or she needs to get motivated to get sober.