Addiction is a Family Issue – Here are 5 Ways to Encourage Your Loved One In Recovery
Having a loved one in recovery is an exciting — yet uncertain — time. While you may be ready for things to get back to ‘normal,’ your loved one is navigating new waters in their newfound sobriety. By setting clear expectations, boundaries, and continuing your own therapy, you will be able to help your loved one succeed in recovery without enabling or making them feel suffocated.
Helping a Loved One in Recovery
Is a loved one coming home from rehab? Here are five ways you can show love, respect, and support.
#1. Give them Space When They Ask (and Even if They Don’t)
Enthusiasm when a loved one returns home from rehab normal, but it’s important to remember that they are entitled to space and privacy. Recovery is a very personal process, and dealing with lingering feelings of doubt, guilt, or insecurity is normal. Your loved one may ask for space or privacy when it comes to their recovery, and they are absolutely entitled to it.
Sometimes, those in recovery can feel that they ‘owe’ information to their family and friends to ‘prove’ that they are still on the right track, so giving your loved one space, even if they don’t ask, is equally important.
#2. Set Clear Boundaries
Having a loved one in recovery can be nearly as taxing as being the person in recovery. Understandably, you may have reservations about your loved one being out of rehab, especially if it’s earlier than expected.
It is okay to set boundaries and expectations, such as not returning to environments where your loved one had previously bought or used substances. Enabling someone to re-make poor decisions isn’t helping anyone. It is also important to maintain open communication for all parties. If something is making you feel uncomfortable, share your feelings with your loved one, and be sure to open yourself up to concerns on their end, as well.
#3. Do Not Ignore Your Own Needs
When a loved one returns home from recovery, it is easy for their family or friends to let that person’s needs become all-consuming. During this time, it is crucial to make sure you are tending to your own needs.
Practice self-care, continue seeking therapy to process your own emotions surrounding your loved one’s addiction and give yourself grace. Once your loved one returns home, this isn’t ‘the end of the road.” It’s a journey. It’s okay — and completely necessary — to make sure you’re taking care of yourself during the process of helping your loved one.
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#4. Ask Them What Kind of Support They Need
Sometimes the best thing to do is ask your loved one how you can best support them. Whether it’s regular check-ins, making sure they comply with their medical directives and routinely attending therapy, or just someone to listen, everyone’s needs post-rehab are different.
Remember that your loved one may insist that they do not need any help at all. This doesn’t mean that they don’t, or never will, but let your loved one know that you are there when or if they do is support in and of itself.
#5. Reach Out for Professional Support
It’s ok to feel like you can’t do it all on your own. The professionals at Ocean Hills Recovery are here to help you and your loved one navigate recovery post-rehab. Sometimes it is necessary to seek out the assistance of an objective third-party to support you and your loved one on this journey.
Contact Ocean Hills Recovery
If you need additional support for a loved one who’s come home from rehab, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help both you and your loved one in recovery on the road to success.
About the author:
Greg opened his home and heart to alcoholics and addicts in 2003. He is a Certified Addictions Treatment Counselor (CATCI). Starting in 2009 Greg has fostered the growth of Ocean Hills Recovery into one of the most respected and effective treatment centers in the area and has been working with people with addictions since March of 2001. Greg believes in a holistic approach to recovery. His focus is on drug alcohol addiction treatment with a combination of 12 Step work, therapy and counseling, and the rejuvenation of the body through healthful eating and exercise. He has designed his program to foster a family-like atmosphere and believes that people in recovery are just beginning their lives. He encourages the people he works with to learn to enjoy life in sobriety. Greg is married to Nicole; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.