Vail Daily column: Recognizing a problem is addict’s first step |

Vail Daily column: Recognizing a problem is addict’s first step

Catherine Zeeb
A New Perspective
Vail, CO Colorado

Do you have a family member(s) who is addicted to drugs or alcohol? Do you feel like you have lost them even though they are still alive? Do you try to connect but know you’re not really getting through to them? It can feel so lonely and disconnected.

Addiction is a cry for help. You want to help your family member but don’t know what to do. You want to help yourself by helping them but feel you can’t do anything. You get them to check into a rehab program but they come out drinking as much or more than they did before. You talk with them, tell them you love them and hope something you say will break through to them.

The truth is that no change will take place without their willingness and participation. It won’t matter what you do. You can ask, you can beg, you can pray but they still have to step up in their own lives.

Now, of course, if they get into the court system, they may be required to do an enhanced outpatient group, jail, or some type of addiction class. For some, this may be the only way they will stay clean for a period of time; and hopefully a long time. We hope this doesn’t happen to them and that they can make good decisions for themselves and not get into trouble.

So, what can we do besides pray or do nothing? We can talk with them and ask them if they realize they have a problem. They have to recognize it first. If they say no, then you don’t have much of an option at that point. You may have the option of having an intervention if it comes down to having to do that.

If they say yes, then move forward. Begin discussing as many options as you know to be available to them. Call organizations and counselors who deal with addictions and see what’s available. Ask your family member/friend what they feel will work for them; it is important they participate in the decision. Get them into some kind of recovery or treatment program as soon as you can.

Sometimes though they won’t step up in their life and you may feel that you have lost the addicted family member or friend. This is a tough, emotional situation to find yourself in. There is a grieving process. Understanding that people make their own decisions and that you have no control over them may help. Letting go and releasing them, with love and compassion, may help as well.

Change is scary and most people don’t like it. Deciding to diet, not be depressed, stop drinking or doing drugs and live a healthy, grounded and centered life may feel, not only impossible, but frightening. There are programs which deal with the mind, body and spirit in a safe environment, all of which can help the process not be so scary by learning how to be more present and make positive changes. You can reach out for support to learn how to deal with the loss and grief as well.

Catherine Zeeb is a private counselor in the Vail Valley working with people in search of spiritual healing, healing from addictions and energy healing. Zeeb has started a healing and recovery intensive program. For more information, contact her at 970-376-6660 or visit her website at for more information.

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