When a person is struggling with addiction, it can throw their life into a state of chaos. Everything becomes unbalanced. Unfortunately, it is not just their life that is impacted by the disease of addiction. Addiction is often described as a family disease. Significant others, children, and extended family members are often negatively affected.
If an individual chooses to receive treatment and commits to a sober lifestyle, having family support can be a factor that heavily influences their chances for success. If they can learn healthier coping skills and heal from trauma with their family’s support, it will help everyone to operate on the same level of understanding and expectation.
You can make the commitment to support a loved one’s treatment and participate in the healing process as well. There is often damage to relationships that needs to be repaired and sometimes trauma that needs to be addressed. While it is important that you support your loved one in making the transition from addiction to recovery, it is equally important that you take the time to examine your own mental health needs as well.
Learning and Growing as a Family
When dealing with the ramifications of a loved one’s addiction, it can be easy to lose healthy behavior patterns or coping skills that you may have had in the past. While your loved one is learning to make positive changes in their life, you can make an effort to do the same.
Take time to examine your experiences and process your thoughts and feelings. Outline some goals that you want to achieve for yourself and your loved one. Make sure that your needs are being met. Seek professional treatment if you are in need of support during your healing process. When you are at your best, you will be able to provide more love and support to others.
Here are some helpful strategies to improve your ability to support your loved one:
- Take care of your mental health needs: You can’t help your loved one very well if you are struggling yourself. Take the time to heal from past damage and learn coping skills for positive mental health in the future.
- Educate yourself: The more you know about addiction and addiction recovery, the better you will be able to manage your expectations and provide positive, healthy support.
- Develop healthy communication skills: Communicating about touchy subjects can be challenging. When you learn strategies for navigating difficult conversations, you are paving the way for smoother conflict resolution and deeper connections in the future.
Tips for Providing Support
There are several things you can do to provide support to your loved one. Recovery from addiction is possible for everyone. You are in a unique position to support your loved one by letting them know you believe in them. Make sure that they know you love them and believe in their ability to create a better life for themselves. Keeping hope alive can be one of the most powerful ways you can be supportive.
Some ideas for supporting your loved one and helping them keep their goals in mind:
#1. Support Them in Creating a New Healthy Lifestyle
Participate in new hobbies with them, be their workout partner, make sure your home is a safe haven free from temptations, and help them fund activities to participate in that are drug and alcohol-free.
#2. Encourage Them to Utilize Aftercare Resources
The more a person in recovery engages with their aftercare program, the more their chances for achieving long-term sobriety increase. Help them get to appointments, attend support groups, interact with their peer counselors, or any other service they can access.
#3. Perform Random Acts of Kindness for Them
Your loved one will need love and encouragement during this time. You can leave a nice note, send a word of encouragement in a text, or bring them a coffee. Anything that you know they would enjoy.
#4. Check on Them Regularly
Make sure they know that you are available if they need someone. Actively listen to anything they want to talk about.
#5. Set Healthy Boundaries With Them
To protect yourself and help your loved one succeed, you may need to set some boundaries with them. Communicate your boundaries with love and kindness but also be prepared to stick to them.
#6. Watch for Warning Signs
Learning about the warning signs of relapse can help you be aware if trouble might be brewing. You are in a unique position to intervene if necessary.
With the support of family and close friends, your loved one will be more likely to stay engaged in treatment. Ask them how they need to be supported and follow their lead. Together you can maintain the commitment to changing your lives for the better. Long-term recovery and sobriety are better if you work together as a team.
Seeking out help for addiction can be the best, yet most challenging, decision your loved one can make. Treatment looks different for everyone, so finding a program that fits their unique needs is essential. While participating in treatment, family support can make all the difference in the world. At Spero Recovery Center, we understand that connection to family is extremely important during treatment and early recovery. We strive to support our guests in healing themselves and repairing their relationships with their loved ones. Our guests will receive compassion and understanding every step of the way. Call Spero Recovery today at (303) 351-7888 to find out more about the resources we offer.