You Can’t Save Everyone

you can't save everyone
Category: recovery

Achieving lasting sobriety by ending your relationship with drugs and alcohol is a significant accomplishment. Once you realize how much better you feel, learn to let go of internalized guilt and have more enthusiasm for life, it’s only natural to want your loved ones to experience the same benefits. Still, in pushing other people to seek help, you might encounter resistance and denial.  

What You Can Learn From Page 67

AA’s Big Book offers many teachings and takeaways for the recovery community. For example, page 67 says, “We cannot be helpful to all people.” While many people can successfully convince their loved ones to join them in sobriety, that is not always the case.

For example, addiction is a common characteristic of many families and couples due to relationship patterns like enabling and codependency. If you and your loved ones have enabled each other’s habits for years, the chain will be hard to break. How can you make peace with the fact that you can’t save everyone in your life?

1. Don’t Internalize Negativity

Deep down, many people know their drinking or drug use is out of control, and having someone to prop them up and normalize their behavior allows the cycle to continue. By getting sober, you may be setting an unwelcome example for your loved ones by admitting you were doing something harmful. Those in your life who haven’t reached that same conclusion may try to deflect, change the subject or make jokes when you talk about your recovery journey. If anyone continues to be unsupportive of the progress you’ve made, limit the time you spend around them and focus on the good things you are doing for yourself.

2. Prioritize Your Needs

The road to recovery isn’t always easy. If you start thinking about giving up, it may be a sign that you are trying too hard to please others instead of finding meaningful activities and building yourself a fulfilling, substance-free life. Don’t be afraid to make new friends who understand your goals – these could be people you meet in 12-step meetings or your rehab program.

3. Be Empathetic, but Not Argumentative

When you were in active addiction, the idea of getting sober may have seemed impossible. Similarly, you may not be able to reach friends and family members who tend to project their issues and insecurities onto you. They might even feel threatened or resentful about your ability to quit drinking or using drugs. As hard as it is to see your loved ones struggle, don’t let them draw you into an argument – stress and conflict can make your resolve waver and trigger a relapse.

Transform Your Life in Recovery

Reevaluating your relationships in light of your need to stay sober is one of the most challenging parts of the healing journey. You may have trouble accepting that you can’t save everyone, even people who are as sick as you were when you finally accepted the need for help. You can still commiserate with people you care about without letting them pull you down.

In a perfect world, you’d have all the support and love you need to transform your life after breaking free of addiction, but sometimes you have to find the compassion elsewhere. At Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat, our dedicated team treats chemical dependency with accredited medical, psychological and spiritual expertise. We provide clinically sophisticated treatment and specialty services all under one roof, and we are here to help you every step of the way. Contact us to verify your insurance coverage and start living as the best version of yourself.