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Discovery: Cardinal Rules for Helping

"Good help versus bad help"

For the most part, people like to help people. It generally feels good.

So this is not a suggestion or excuse for anyone to become self-centered and avoid giving others a helping hand. Yet when you live with those who struggle with substance abuse, you come to realize that you are not living out of the "normal" handbook of life. When the one you love is in the throes of their addictive or alcoholic cycle, the helping hand often hurts the circumstance rather than helps.  Or when they are working through sobriety (which is so dad gum hard!) and struggling with responsibilities and life skills, the well-meaning help or unsolicited advice often hinders development of healthy self-worth and it unintentionally fuels resentment.

someone get
another day
is not
~ Mike Speakman ~

For the most part, helping takes on the role of providing payments or money. Many members of our support group can list the numerous times they have contributed payment toward auto insurance, rent, groceries, phone bills, court fines, bus fares - and the list goes on and on. Help may also appear in the form of providing clothes,  transportation, meals, a place to sleep, storage, etc. When our conversations with each other dig a little deeper, many of us realize our loved ones did not even ask for help. We knew they were struggling and offered the help without any request from them.

When a request to help does not hinge on an authentic "life or death" matter, family and friends would be wise to consider the impact of "helping."  


For some reading this, it may seem like uncompassionate, selfish thinking.  Perhaps it does sound that way - but there is wisdom behind the thought. Take the time to read the discovery page on the attached pdf.