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Feelings of Obligation and Guilt

As the loved ones of people struggling with addiction, we can find ourselves feeling obligated to constantly be there for them and support them, as they’re trying to quit, as they’re dealing with intense personal issues, even as they go through patterns of relapse. We don’t want to give up on them, and we don’t want them to feel abandoned by us in any way. We love and care for them, and we want nothing more than to see them succeed in their sobriety and finally find peace and happiness for themselves. While these feelings are natural and understandable, sometimes our sense of obligation can keep us from doing the work we need to do toward our own recovery. We sacrifice our own needs for those of our loved ones, often because we feel overly obligated to.

Returning the Favor

Very often when we feel a sense of obligation to our loved one, it’s because they’ve helped us in the past, and we feel we owe it to them to constantly show our support. Maybe they were there for us at our lowest point, when our own addictions were at their worst or when we were most depressed. Maybe the relationship is something we feel obligated to keep intact because of our long shared history and deep connection, even if we’re questioning whether the relationship is something that is healthy and beneficial for us in our lives. Maybe we feel more compassion for our loved ones than we feel self-compassion for ourselves, even when we’re being harmed in the process of trying to help them.

Boundaries For Self-Care

Whatever the reason, it’s normal and natural for us to want to continue to help, but we owe it to ourselves to set boundaries and to learn to prioritize ourselves and our needs. We owe that to our own recovery, as we’re recovering both from our own personal issues and from our loved ones’ struggles and everything those challenges have put us through. We can’t allow our feelings of obligation to keep us from our own inner work, from all the things we need to do for ourselves. Sometimes we feel guilty when we want to spend time alone, or with another friend or loved one. Sometimes we feel as though we’re doing something wrong if we try to set limits or boundaries, around our time or our money, or however else we might try to pull in the reigns of how much we’re helping them. Our guilt is a classic sign that we’re acting out of obligation, and when we’re in this place, we have to be extra careful not to continue to sacrifice our own well-being because we want to help our loved one in their recovery.

At The Guest House Ocala, we are uniquely equipped to help our guests heal from trauma-induced substance abuse, process addiction, anxiety and depression in a safe, comfortable and confidential setting.

Call 855-483-7800 today for more information on our treatment programs.

3230 Northeast 55th Avenue Silver Springs, FL 34488