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What Does It Mean to Give Them One More Chance?

April 25, 2024

Something I hear often from families who approach me and are curious about our services is, “I just think I should give them one more chance.”

For some background context, the situation usually looks something like this:

  • The family reached out to me because they were at the end of their rope.
  • Right around the time the family is considering doing a form of alternative intervention, their loved one starts talking about taking new action—finding a therapist, attending meetings, going to detox, etc.
  • The family sees this and wonders if they should wait and let their loved one try on their own. If they should “give them another chance.”

What does that mean to you? To give your loved one “a chance”?

I can tell you, as an addict, I would ask my loved ones all the time to give me one more chance, one more chance, and I often had every intention of following through.

And then I wouldn’t. 

Not because I didn’t want to but because I didn’t possess the internal resources required to do what was needed, long term, to sustain long term recovery.

That’s the thing about chances…

If the chance you’re giving someone is for something that they can’t actually do because they don’t have what they need to do it—the internal drive, unwavering willingness, internal and external tools, treatment, support, etc.—then all you’re really doing is setting yourself (and them) up for disappointment. 

I want you to give your loved one a chance, while also setting them up for success.

Which may require a few safeguards in place.

Ask yourself when giving someone a chance:

Question #1: What is it you want?

This question comes up in all of our trainings: what is your intention? What is your hope? If you want to give someone a chance, what is it you really want from that person?

  • Do you want your loved one to be abstinent and that’s it? 
  • Do you want to see them making forward progress in sobriety?
  • Do you want them to be actively working a recovery program?
  • Do you want them to have a chance at reestablishing themselves in life? 
  • Do you want them to gain life skills they maybe haven’t yet acquired?

Question #2: How many “chances” have you already given them?

Can you count how many chances you’ve given them? If you’ve run out of fingers for counting, keep that in mind. 

I find a pretty reliable way of predicting what will happen in the future is by looking at the past. That past is likely to repeat itself unless something changes. 

If your loved one has tried before without changing, maybe it’s time you change your approach. 

When it comes to giving chances, I want you to give the absolute best chance for success.

There often seems to be this idea that “they have to do it on their own” when the reality is no one recovers alone.

What seven years of this work has shown us again and again is that the best chance of success for your loved one comes from the family being at the recovery table. 

So when it comes to giving one more chance, I invite you to look at where you land in that dynamic.

  • Do you know what you’re really wanting from your loved one?
  • Do you know what it takes and looks like to sustain long-term recovery?
  • Are you turning over the chance to someone else, letting go of the reins, and hoping for the best? 
  • Is it a chance they need or is it a set up for disappointment?

Or are you also looking at where you have agency and putting safeguards in place for yourself?

If you’re looking for where to start…

Our next Stop the Chaos Study Group begins this Wednesday, May 1st!

Here’s a snapshot of everything included when you register for the study group:

  • 4 60-minute video trainings delivered as soon as you register, packed with information on what is really going on with your loved one.
  • 2 bonus trainings for a total of six hours of recovery content.
  • Worksheets, tools & practical resources to guide your recovery skills.
  • PLUS 4 LIVE study group sessions held over Zoom. Go deeper into the material each week in group sessions and get the support you need to get started with your recovery journey.
  • **FOR A LIMITED TIME** a free PDF copy of Kate’s upcoming book Dear Family, Why Your Loved One Won’t Accept Help and How To Help Them Anyway

Register for Stop the Chaos HERE, and make sure to check the box for the live study group to join us on May 1st. The group sessions will run on Wednesdays from May 1st-22nd at 12-1pm EST.

Join us and give your whole family the best chance for success.

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