Setting Expectations After Treatment
When your loved one goes to treatment, it’s an amazing experience. One of the most difficult parts about the disease of addiction is that a person is often extremely resistant to get help. So, once they get the help they need, it can be a breath of fresh air because you know your loved one is getting the help they need. Treatment can be life-changing for people and can help them achieve long-term sobriety, but it’s also important to have the right expectations once a person completes the detox or rehabilitation process.
Misconceptions About Treatment
The biggest misconception about addiction treatment is that the person is going to leave treatment a completely different person. Treatment is often seen as an automotive repair shop with the expectation that it “fixes” the person, and they come out brand new. The reality is that the goal of treatment is to help create a solid foundation for recovery, but recovery is a journey with a lifetime commitment. It’s important to realize that your loved one is going to need patience and tolerance after they leave treatment.
Addiction begins for a variety of different reasons, but the most common reason is to help cope with life. Everyone has coping skills for dealing with the difficulties we all face in everyday life, and some of them are unhealthy. While some people turn to shopping or poor eating habits as a way to cope, those with addiction turn to drugs or alcohol. Treatment helps addicts discover healthy coping skills, but change doesn’t happen instantly.
When your loved one returns from treatment, it’s going to take a while to rebuild relationships. Remember, your loved one spent years in their addiction, so it’s going to take some time to really implement long-lasting change. Your loved one may be irritable and have difficulties managing their emotions, but as long as they continue with their recovery plan, your relationship will begin to get better. Many people find that their relationship with the person recovering from addiction often becomes stronger than ever before.
Setting Boundaries with Your Loved One
Aside from having patience and tolerance for your loved one after treatment, you also need to remember that it’s important to set boundaries. People who go through treatment learn that they need to practice patience and tolerance as well with the people in their lives. Sometimes, their emotions overwhelm them, and they lash out, but this doesn’t mean that you must allow it. If your loved one becomes verbally or emotionally abusive, then it’s time to set up some strict boundaries, and it may be a good idea to reach out to Enlightened Solutions to discuss. Another great resource is Al-Anon meetings, which is designed for loved ones of those in active addiction as well as in recovery.
Something else to remember is that accountability is important once the person leaves treatment. If the person hopes to maintain their sobriety, they must continue to put in the work. While you shouldn’t harass them about their recovery, you should be aware of whether or not they’re engaged with their aftercare plan. This aftercare plan may involve going to meetings, receiving therapy and taking their medications.
Much like active addiction, the whole family is affected by a loved one’s recovery as well. By understanding what you can do to support a loved one’s recovery, you can be a crucial part of his or her support system. Also, remember that if your loved one fell off track and relapsed, they shouldn’t give up, and we’re here to help, so feel free to call us any time at 833-233-7336.