In this guide we prioritize “taking care of yourself” because it is critically important to helping effectively and helping for the long term. Having a partner struggling with substance use is incredibly stressful, and has the capacity to wear everyone down, losing your patience, balance, and resilience.

In this section, we focus on three important aspects of taking care of yourself:

  1. Understanding the stress of this situation and developing concrete ways to relieve that stress,
  2. Being aware of your emotional states, in particular your very natural negative emotions, and learning to effectively manage them,
  3. Finding ways to get support and avoid isolation, and
  4. Managing the very painful feeling of shame.