There is no denying that each of our lives in a stressful world, one in which it sometimes seems as if too many things occur, too quickly, and in too rapid a succession. It can be dizzying to keep up and at times it seems as if all of us are overstressed – parents, children, co-workers, and friends alike. Life teems with temptation, and no one is perfect. Your troubled loved one isn’t the first, and won’t be the last, to stumble. As someone who cares, it is important for you to realize the sphere of your influence as well as how best to use it. Consider the following thoughts as you consider what your role will be.
You Can’t Fix It
Realize as soon as you possibly can that you can’t fix someone else’s problem. Your job is far more likely to be to orient yourself within the larger picture and decide where and how to set appropriate boundaries. Much in the way that a clear set of dos and don’t provide two-year-old children with the safety parameters of their little worlds, people who act out via risk-taking behaviours will benefit from knowing what they can and cannot count on. The way to communicate a boundary to another person is to quietly state what YOU will or won’t do within a given circumstance. “I will not lend you my car if you’ve been drinking or doing drugs, ever” makes no attempt to control the other’s behaviour. It simply sets a standard.
By All Means, Do Seek Help
Some poor choices are so common that entire helping industries have arisen to meet the community’s overwhelming need. Such is the case with rehabilitation. Help is available. Don’t believe the myth that states that only those who want to get help benefit from rehab. Many recovering addicts initially entered a rehab program kicking and screaming. Rehab isn’t what people think it is and the statistics are overwhelmingly consistent. With the right help, people do get clean and are able to turn their lives into a more meaningful direction. The use of a rehab program such as Harris House can help turn someone heading in all the wrong directions back around.
Look for and Focus on the Good
When someone in your life seems to be focusing their attention in all the wrong places, don’t waste your time or breath trying to argue them to your point of view. This approach, common as it is, rarely works and is the cause of many relationship fractures. Instead, build a bridge wherever you can. Focus on your good memories and make the most of whatever good moments come your way. Don’t let the struggles the individual is going through become your sole focus. Sometimes, humour breaks through and becomes the common denominator through which people can connect. Look for it where it can be found.
Everybody makes mistakes, but past mistakes are not necessarily an accurate predictor of future ones. It’s a rare person who hasn’t fallen down at some point and been forced to get back up. The best thing to do when someone in your life begins making bad choices is to be the person who shows they care by listening, standing firm, and pointing the way to find help.