Why do active and recovering substances users often run away from loved ones trying to “Save” them? The truth is, no one feels good when they feel bullied and managed. Caring doesn’t feel like love when it comes in the form of someone telling you what to do. When a loved one leaves you, find other solutions when what you’re doing doesn’t work.

Professionals Are Trained To Manage Addiction Family Members Are Not

You may be offering solutions with the best of intentions, only to have your at-risk loved one calling you a mean bully (or a lot worse) as he slams the door on his way out. It’s like being left at the altar. Except worse. The bolter feels absolutely justified in taking off. The one left behind is hurt, baffled, and frightened. That would be me in the old days.

This Is A Really Good Time To Examine What’s Really Happening

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking only of what might happen to someone you love:

  • Will he come back?
  • Is he lost to you forever?
  • Can he survive without you?
  • What if he finds what he’s looking for, and you’re not included?
  • Doesn’t he love you, doesn’t he care?

These are the questions that could consume you. But, it’s a waste of time. Frankly, right now he or she doesn’t care about you at all. He only cares about what he feels is right for him; she only cares about herself.

So What About You

Getting left by a loved one, either in recovery or still active in addiction, is the perfect time for self-examination. I’m not saying this as someone who has never been fired by a son or daughter. Let’s just say, I’ve experienced the door slammed in my face a bunch of times. I used to think I was dying every time I tried to help and was rebuffed rather graphically.  My thoughts ran along these lines:

  • Oh My God, it’s terrible.
  • It’s awful.
  • Ungrateful beasts. Now I know why animals in the wild eat their young.

That was my old reaction. The new one is:

  • Nice break from the drama.
  • Either all will be well, or not. I am not the one in charge of the outcome.

This is a more comfortable place for me to reside. I know that More Will Be Revealed. And I’m okay with that.

What Do You Want For Your Life?

So, if you have been yelled at, rebuffed, walked out on by someone who doesn’t like your solutions for their life, then this is the time to relish the moment of quiet and find solutions for your own life. Find Your True Colors in 12 Steps is a great recovery coloring and workbook to help you discover what you want. 100 Tips For Growing Up is 20 years of recovery experience in 100 simple tips from the experts with space for journaling.

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Leslie Glass

Leslie Glass became a recovery advocate and co-founder of Reach Out Recovery in 2011, encouraged by her daughter Lindsey who had struggled with substances as a teen and young adult. Learning how to manage the family disease of addiction with no roadmap to follow inspired the mother and daughter to create Reach Out Recovery's website to help others experiencing the same life-threatening problems. Together they produced the the 2016 ASAM Media Award winning documentary, The Secret World of Recovery, and the teen prevention documentary, The Silent Majority, distributed by American Public Television. Leslie is also the creator of Recovery Guidance, the information website for those seeking addiction and mental healthcare for professionals nationwide. In her career, Leslie has worked in advertising, publishing, and magazines as a writer of both fiction and non fiction. She is the author of 9 bestselling crime novels, featuring NYPD Dt.Sgt. April Woo. Leslie has has served as a Public Member of the Middle States Commission of Higher Education and as a Trustee of the New York City Police Foundation. For from 1990 to 2017, Leslie was the Trustee of the Leslie Glass Foundation.

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