I have learned from Nar-Anon that there are several ways to keep myself encouraged while living with an addict. When I go to meetings, read literature, work the steps, get a sponsor, and trust a Higher Power, I am choosing to take care of myself.

But what about the addict? If the addict chooses not to be in a program, I feel there is no one to encourage him except me. I know there is nothing I can do to change the addict, or to make him want to change, but I can constructively encourage him in little ways:

  • I can stop trying to control or run his life. Let him choose, fall, fail, and learn on his own. Saving him from the consequences may mean that it takes longer for him to reach his bottom and get help.
  • I can trust in him and believe that he can succeed in recovery. This does not mean I have to trust him or believe what he says. My positive attitude and energy will rub off on him.
  • I keep expectations low. Instead of a high level of expectation, I note progress from where he was to where he is, not where I think he should be.
  • I give verbal reinforcement for accomplishments, progress and growth. I show appreciation for the good things even if it is expected or seems insignificant.
  • I trust in a Higher Power to take care of the addict and thereby not interfere with the working out of the addict’s process.

Thought for Today: By practicing these few ways to encourage the addict, I stay out of the way of the addict’s recovery and I stay in peace and serenity by ridding myself of the responsibility I might have mistakenly taken on to try to get and keep the addict clean.“Love and let be.” ~ Nar-Anon Blue Booklet