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Addiction is becoming a common story of almost every second home. Families covering in addiction shadow try to control the substance abuser in their daily life. Unfortunately they don’t know how to deal with addiction. They deal with addict either with love or toughness. Codependent family members perpetuate the similar consequences with old actions. They remain unable to deal with addiction. Therefore, a new emerging technique has been introduced in the emotional and social perspectives of dealing with addiction. This technique is based upon the mutual collaboration of toughness and love. It is basically a loving attitude without being sentimental when dealing with an addict, is called Tough love!
Tough love is basically the mixed attitude of toughness and love together. Most of the time parents/ care takers adopt such techniques which are not good for a substance abuser but still they continue it because they don’t want to give up on the old action. Tough Love phenomenon postulates the basic themes of change in a manner that desired results will arise with changing their old actions.
By enabling the addiction, it is almost like giving consent to the behavior or at least it will appear that way to the addict. Those who fall into substance abuse get completely caught up in denial and anyone who enables them may be just reinforcing this departure from reality. Tough Love helps such parents and gives them a message that they need not to be disappointed and depressed for this disease because sunflower always blossoms towards the sunshine. It’s the substance abuser who himself is responsible for this addiction but he alone cannot get out of this addiction hell.
There are five basic guidelines to Tough Love. These guidelines have to be incorporated with personality building in order to attain fruitful results of learning. Basis of the Tough Love are as follow.
- Old actions perpetuate old results: Most of the family members are unable to change their actions which they were using in the past because they become used to such actions. Expecting new results with practicing old actions would be a mistake. It is the first base of Tough Love that in order to deal with addiction what you have to do, you will change you actions which were you using in the past.
- Changing attitudes: Though it’s never easy to change one’s attitudes but it is not impossible that we can bring positive change to attitudes. We cannot change our loved one who is suffering from addiction unless we change our attitude. Most of the time when families come for the session and we start 12 steps of recovery, they consider it as a dream. They forget that there will be no real interpretation if we will not dream. In order to change the addict, we have to change our attitudes which can only be the result of a good treatment.
- Strategizing Emotions: Planning of emotions and aims are necessary in daily life of humans. Emotions are energies in motion which need a appropriate direction. If someone has not planned his emotions he will not be in a position to deal with addiction. Families, suffering with addiction lose their emotional control. Similarly they do not plan their aims. It is the base of Tough Love that we have to plan to our aims and emotions. Once we have planned our aims and emotions we will be in a position to deal with substance abuser.
- Focusing on Positive Activities in Recovery: Family sacrifices a lot in terms of emotional and social health when addiction hits family. They unknowingly tend to focus on the activities which directly or indirectly encourage addiction. They remain unaware of how to become part of the solution. Tough Love provides true guidelines on how we can get rid of addiction and related behaviors. Treatment is the first step of this effort.
- Problem solving with mutual cooperation: Addiction is a chronic disease which cannot be managed without mutual help. Unfortunately when addiction runs in the families we try to solve our problem without help. We think of ourselves belittle even asking for a help. In order to escape from fears of stigmas we do not ask for help. Tough love give us the bas that we will solve this problem by mutual cooperation.