Our tips for taking care of yourself all come from the personal experience of Jimi Jones at Thai Rehab Helper. It is practical and straightforward advice for self-love in a trying time.
Are you someone who loves and cares for an addict and would do anything you can to make sure they are comfortable and okay? If so, then you probably aren’t putting yourself first. Many people who love addicts are used to trying to please others and take care of them above themselves. Their role as a people pleaser can begin long before they find themselves in love with an addict. It feels normal to them, comfortable even, to choose a spouse that needs all of their time and attention. Most co-addicts are just natural caretakers.
This isn’t healthy though, and you need to take steps to break the cycle, including;
- Admitting that you are co-dependent and a co-addict
- Acknowledging and affirming your desire to change
- Finding someone to support you, such as a friend, therapist, or support group. They will hold you accountable to making the changes you desire.
- Writing down a list of everything you do for the addict that you know you shouldn’t be doing, and then writing a list of the things that you aren’t doing for yourself that you know you should.
- Start out with the first item on each list and work your way through them at the same time. Don’t move on to the next point until you successfully complete the prior step on each list.
When it’s second nature for you to care for the needs of others before your own, it could take some time and practice for you to successfully break those habits. It’s important that you take one step from each list and continue to work on them simultaneously. This way you have a negative action that you need to stop and a positive action to replace it with. These actions can be as simple as you want them to be. Don’t worry about making it something grand.
For example, you could decide to stop checking your phone for late night calls and texts from an addict that hasn’t come home, and instead replace it with five minutes of meditation. What you want to do is replace a bad habit and replace it with a positive action rooted in caring and loving yourself.
Take Care of Yourself First
The first and most important step in loving yourself is to admit that you aren’t doing it. If you are able to be honest with your inner self, then you’re ready to start taking action towards solving the problem. Beginning the process of loving yourself and giving yourself the attention you deserve is one of the most empowering things you can do. It’s difficult to let go and change your behavior, but it is ultimately worth it to get rid of the illusion of control you have over an addict and take back control of the only thing you really can in this life; yourself.