I know that substance abuse problems vary in terms of severity, fright and heartbreak, and yet I am optimistic! In research and clinical work alike, I've seen the evidence over the past 40 years that families and friends make a difference in helping someone who struggles with drinking, drugs or other compulsive behaviors. Often, it is the critical difference.
Regardless of outcome, stepping in to urge treatment and set boundaries is a way of showing an addict just how far they've fallen at the same time that you're showing them how deeply you love them. Being part of such an event can be a profound, even sacred experience. If it doesn't change the addict, it might change you.
In AA and other recovery programs, willpower is an unreliable tool for abstinence. Effortful self-regulation can and does fail us, and such failures can leave us vulnerable to impatient decision making. A better alternative can be seen in another practice well known in the rooms of recovery -- the gratitude list.
Whether I was sad or happy or bored or lonely, it was there to comfort me and make me feel all better. We started off really happy together. But like most relationships that end, it had a tendency to get ugly. This particular relationship, the one with booze, became destructive, unhealthy and toxic.