How To Be Patient With Addicts And People In Recovery

It can be agonizing to wait as a loved one struggles with addiction or as they progress through the early stages of recovery. We feel like we should be doing something. But exercising patience can be a more active endeavor than it seems. Patience doesn’t mean ignoring a problem or evading responsibility. It doesn’t mean you don’t care for the addict or want the best for them. Being patient as we hope in God is an active and engaged process.

Tips On How To Be Patient With Addicts And People In Recovery

Here are a few things we do as we wait.

Understanding The Addict

Be Patient With Addicts & People In Recovery - Christian Drug RehabThe first step in being patient with the addict and their recovery process is to understand it. Addiction is not rational and the people who are affected by it aren’t either. With the abuse of alcohol or drugs, lies and deceit tend to go with the territory. Behavior is erratic and unpredictable. When you become educated about addiction, you learn how to better love and care for the addict in the midst of a life-controlling disease. Al-Anon can be a good place to start.

Even if the addict is now in recovery, it can be a slow process to eradicate old behaviors and character defects. Learning more about the process of recovery can help loved ones to be more compassionate and understanding of this challenging process.

Praying For The Addict

This feels like a passive activity, but prayer is actually one of the most important things we can do for the addict in our lives. Pray that God would help them to stay strong on the path of recovery and that you would have the patience to allow the process to take its course. Pray that God’s will, not yours, would be done, and ask for the grace to forgive.

Letting The Addict Hit Bottom

We want to fix the situation. We want to make the process move faster. We want to save the addict from impending doom. We believe this is the most loving thing to do. In reality, we may be blocking the addict from that vital first step in recovery: hitting bottom. Any recovering addict will attest, we have to go through hell before we get to heaven. Enabling holds the addict in purgatory.

The hitting-bottom process is often a means of God humbling a drug addict. It’s a vital step. God knows what He is doing and, in the end, we have to acknowledge that we can’t save someone who may not want to be saved. Years of codependency cloud our view and blur the lines between helping and hurting. Getting help from a counselor or Al-Anon group can help us become willing to recover from our own patterns of enabling.

Always let the addict know that you love him and that you are here in any way to support his recovery, but not his detrimental addiction.

Before fully letting the addict hit rock bottom, always speak with a professional to better understand what “rock bottom” is and if it’s safe for your particular loved one to reach that point as every addict and their addiction is unique.

Seeking Support

Having patience in Christian recovery and allowing the addict the time and space to develop their own relationship with God can be a challenge for those who have spent many years suffering as the result of a loved one’s addiction. We want results now. We want to return to better days. This frustration can be overwhelming.

That’s why it is so important that family members have ample support as they walk the road of Christian recovery with their loved ones. That might mean a Bible study with trusted members of your church, involvement in a local Al-Anon group or personal counseling. The problem is not just the addict’s as addiction touches the entire family. That means everyone in the family may need help to patiently and persistently walk the road of recovery.

Get Help Finding Strength with an Addict in The Family