As a family member, you may want to protect yourself and your loved one from coming to terms with the reality of addiction. You may fear that if you accept your loved one’s addiction, you are giving up on them, admitting defeat or thinking things will get worse. Paradoxically, the opposite happens. Facing the reality of your current situation opens a space within from which you can more clearly assess the realities of the situation, more easily contemplate options and more soberly face the necessity of change. When I truly accept something there is a sense of letting go and relaxation, I am no longer fighting with the reality of my present experience. There is a feeling of slowing down. I am anchored in my body and more awake to my felt sense of the situation. I feel resourced, more in touch with my wisdom, creativity and inner equanimity. This step of acceptance is necessary for both you and your loved one to begin living a life free of addiction. Once taken, you have joined your loved one on their journey out of addiction. In your willingness to accept you are modeling and extending a sense of mutuality and support to your addicted loved one that greatly impacts his ability to take the same step. Through acceptance you are providing the space for something to change, demonstrating your faith in life as it unfolds and honoring your loved one’s process of learning and growth.
When someone repeats the same behavior over and over despite negative consequences, they are attempting to fill a longing for true contentment disguised as seeking after the high of a substance. The peace and sobriety bought with acceptance will connect you and your loved one to the source of wholeness and wisdom and with time the resolution of discontent.