Episode 118: How To Create A Safe Space When You Love Someone Suffering From Addiction
Your safe space is something that you need to have if you love somebody suffering from this disease. A safe space is a place you can go if your loved one has been drinking too much or they’re using drugs. Or maybe they’re even a dry drunk and behaving nasty or mean.
You can go to this safe space in your home to get away from them. I’m going to be talking today about what your safe space needs to consist of and hopefully give you some inspiration to create a space for yourself, especially if you don’t have one. You can think of it as a little gift to you for your holidays.
What does a safe space look like?
Your safe space needs to have a door, so if things get out of control, you can go to your safe space, close the door and lock it. This helps create safe space between you and addiction.
Now, for those of you that are like, “Michelle, that sounds great, but I don’t have an extra spare room with a lock and a door.” I hear you. For those of you that really genuinely cannot find a dedicated room, even if it’s a laundry room, then you can use the couch.
Next, you’ll want to stock your safe space with supplies. Purchase an air mattress or use a spare bed.
We’re going to treat this safe space like your secret spot, like it is your heaven away from hell. It’s going to become your favorite place to be in your home.
Go to a store this holiday season and buy the nicest blankets and sheets that you can afford.
Now, for some of you, that store might be Walmart or HomeGoods. It doesn’t matter. The price of your new bedding doesn’t matter. The point is that you have to love it, and it has to be new. These sheets and blankets are honoring you, and they’re a gift to yourself. They are an investment in your sanity and your health.
If you come to me and say, “Michelle, there’s no way I can afford that,” I’d say, “Really?” How much money have they spent on their addiction this week? I’m guessing more than $20. Why not take that money that’s being applied to drugs or alcohol and apply it to yourself? Give yourself permission to purchase a new set of sheets and a blanket.
And while you’re picking up new bedding – select a candle.
Candles are always wonderful.
They create warm, beautiful light.
Take your time smelling every candle and really make the decision on what you like best. Ask yourself, “Do I like the smell of this?” If not, put it down and try smelling another candle. The point is you want to love the scent that you’re now going to use to fill up your new safe space.
Also, take some pictures that you love of friends and family, pictures that give you joy, and pictures of wonderful, fond memories. The pictures that you’re going to bring into your safe space, aren’t going to include your loved one so that means no wedding pictures allowed, no pictures with them on vacations.
If you can, frame your pictures and set them out around your safe space.
Flowers are a beautiful way to make you feel special. Now, sometimes flowers feel extravagant, or they feel like a waste of money, but they also can make you feel special. They’re a little treat just for you. I get flowers occasionally from the grocery store, and they’re $5. I put them in a vase. Every time I walk by, I just smile. I feel good.
Also, books. What do you like to read?
Fill your safe space with books that you love.
They can be fiction or nonfiction, but here’s the deal: nothing about addiction, codependency, or anything to do with them getting sober. These books are just for you and they’re words that will fill your mind and your heart with happiness and joy, maybe even laughter. Nothing depressing and nothing that has to do with this disease because this is your disease-free safe zone. Nothing in this space, nothing in this room reminds you of addiction. This is your new spot.
Then, bring in your favorite mug that you can fill with tea or coffee or maybe you have a pitcher of water that you like to fill. The point is that this is your tranquility amongst the dysfunction so this is your way of creating some peace and space physically to think, to reflect, to enjoy, to separate from this disease.
You can do this.
It will be so rewarding and it’s a project for you, and I know that you’re very, very good at projects. Your assignment is to create your safe space this holiday season. This is part of your New Year’s Eve resolution. Create your safe space and then send me a picture.
I would absolutely love to see what you’ve done so please post it in our secret Facebook group if you’re inside of that or just email it to us. We won’t share it with anyone, I promise.
I’m married to a great man who doesn’t have a drinking problem, but you can often find me on a Sunday with a really good book curled up in my safe space with a warm fuzzy blanket and enjoying an hour or two of just complete solitude, which, for me as an introvert, fills me up.
P.S. Don’t forget a pretty night light.
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