Supporting Yourself

It’s easy to fall into the habit of trying to ‘fix’ someone who has an alcohol or drug problem. Your days start to repeat themselves, you try to make life easier for the person by lending them money, clearing up after them, cooking for them and the list goes on. We encourage families and friends to start making changes and put their own health first.

It will be difficult to change your routine at first. Everyone finds it hard to say ‘no’ at times to someone you care about, but you should be clear and realistic about what you can and cannot do for them. The first steps are usually encouraging the person you care about to do things for themselves as it can be the push they need. Things may not be done as well or as quickly as you would do it, but that’s okay as it takes time.

When you are living with the alcohol or drug use of someone close to you, it can be stressful and disruptive to your health and everyday life. Many of us react in similar but different ways:

  • Thinking you can deal with what’s going on and control it
  • Thinking you are responsible for or can fix things
  • Focusing on the other person rather than looking out for yourself

Taking some time out in your day for yourself and spending time doing things you enjoy can make a difference to your mental health. Finding time can be hard and trying to stop your worries and thoughts can make everything difficult, but if you don’t take care of yourself, it won’t be long before you are exhausted and risk damaging your health.

We all have our own way of unwinding and enjoying time to ourselves, even if it’s only for a few moments. By reading a chapter in a book, taking a bath, listening to music, or going for a walk to name a few. Doing things you enjoy can reduce stress levels and can help stop any build-up of anger and exhaustion.

Information and apps:

Don’t deal with things on your own

Many people will be on their own and will have no one to turn to or talk to about everything that is happening in their lives. Support is here and is available for you – support is online, face-to-face conversations, over the phone and in groups. Support comes in many different ways and we can help you find what is the best and most comfortable for you:

Support Groups

Support groups can vary in size; some people may want to talk while some might just want to listen. Although everyone will have different experiences, many of the feelings and thoughts are the same. Support groups are a safe place where you can find a place to rest, talk with others, get things off your chest, make friends, and often have the opportunity to get involved in new activities and events.

One-to-one

If you are not ready to go along to a group or would rather speak with someone on your own, one-to-one sessions are available for most services. Sometimes being able to talk to someone you don’t know helps. Usually, your one-to-one will be with a professional who will be there to listen, offer some advice and suggest different ways of dealing with the situation. They are there to listen and sometimes that’s all you need to make yourself feel a bit better.

We are here to support you whenever you are ready.
Call 08080 10 10 11
Email helpline@sfad.org.uk
Use the webchat on our website
Read our information sheets 

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