One of the most painful things to experience is watching the person you love deteriorate in front of your eyes.

At this point, it can be easy to feel both helpless and resentful towards this person who is now becoming a shadow of the person you once knew.

Previous attempts to approach this individual likely resulted in their denial or piercing words of anger. Eventually, after exhaustive attempts to help them, one fact will stand out like black on white…

In life, all that we can control is self.


There is a reason that Al-Anon selected this idea of control in the 1st of its 3 C’s.

1. You can’t control an addict

2. You can’t cure an addict

3. You didn’t cause the addiction


Similar to the expression, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink”, there really is only so much that you can do in this situation.

If the individual is not ready or willing to change, their life of self-destruction will continue.

Rather than focusing on the individual’s behaviours, I would encourage you to shift the focus back to yourself. If you find that you are constantly feeling worried, angry or resentful towards that person, then it’s time to turn away from the chaos and take back control.

Reflect on your own needs, and establish appropriate boundaries that will protect those particular needs. Ask yourself, “What role are you willing to play in their life?” 

Should you choose to step away understand that the individual will neither understand nor respect your need for space. However, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you know what you need.

I go back to 3 pillars: Faith, hope, and love can remain from a far.

I will ask you this…

If someone had intervened too soon in my own battle with addictions, would I have learned what I needed to learn?

Your loved one has their journey,

and you have yours.


When you truly understand that all we can control in this world is self, you will immediately be in a position of power and control.

If you want more information please feel free to contact me and I will email you the chapter called Healing Yourself When A Loved One is Addicted from my first book Stepping Out from the Shadows: A Guide to Understanding & Healing from Addiction.

Take care of yourself through this difficult time.


“What’s stronger than a broken man who has the courage to rebuild himself? It’s time to redefine what it means to be strong.”

- Allan Kehler