How to Support a Loved One in Early Recovery
A loved one going to treatment to get sober is an amazing thing. After months or years of watching someone you care about struggle with the disease of addiction, it’s great to see them finally get help. As a loved one of an addict, it’s important to understand that treatment is just the start of the journey, and it’s going to take work for someone to stay sober. One of the best things you can do is to understand the best ways to support your loved one in early recovery to increase their chances of staying sober.
Treatment Isn’t a Magic Bullet
A common misconception about treatment is that it’s like an auto repair shop. People believe that someone goes into a treatment facility “broken” and comes out fixed. While it’d be great if it was that simple, it’s not. Treatment helps a person come off of the drugs or alcohol safely through the process of detox, and then they begin going through addiction therapy. The primary goals of treatment are to help a person understand why they turn to alcohol or drugs in the first place and what they can do moving forward. Your loved one is going to gain a wide-range of coping strategies in treatment that will help them manage life without turning to substances.
It’s important to realize that for a long time, your loved one has been turning to alcohol or drugs as a way to manage all sorts of situations in their life. They’ve been using substances to manage depression, anxiety, anger, happiness, stress and other thoughts and emotions. Now that they’re sober, these emotions come rushing back, and it takes time for the new habits to develop. Being able to empathize with your loved one and understand they’re going to have a variety of emotions in early sobriety can help you help them. By having the ability to be patient and understanding, you’ll be able to be a great support to their recovery.
Education and Boundaries
Educating yourself about addiction is going to be extremely helpful, and you can do this by attending family sessions with your loved one at the treatment center. Knowing more about addiction can help you support the person while also making sure that you’re not enabling them. Some family members believe that supporting a loved one means letting the person do whatever they want now that they’re sober, but that can lead to relapse if there’s no accountability. When you’re educated about addiction, you’ll know what they should and shouldn’t be doing and how to spot different warning signs. Now, more than ever, you need to learn how to set boundaries with the person to help keep them on the right path.
Working Together in Recovery
They say addiction is a family disease, and it definitely is. Everyone is affected by a person’s addiction, and even though you may not realize it, you need to heal as well. In order to begin healing together, each person needs to take responsibility for their personal mental and emotional well-being. This will help you develop better forms of communication as well as ways to manage your emotions while everyone gets accustomed to the new normal. Eventually, you’ll see that your relationship than it’s ever been, and it’s because you’re all recovering together.
If you have a loved one struggling with addiction, allow Enlightened Solutions to help. To learn more about treatment and our family programs, call us today at 833-233-7336.