Anyone who lives with or is close to a recovering addict knows how hard it can be to help your loved one on his or her journey to sobriety. Are you saying the right things? Are you being supportive enough? Are you enabling them and you don’t even know it? Do you have the right skill set to help them maintain a sober lifestyle? These questions are common for you to ask yourself when your loved one is a recovering addict. Here are a few reminders to keep in mind when you are trying to cope with a family member in recovery.
Create A Safe And Healthy Environment
When it comes to addiction, the hardest part for many families can be the feeling of helplessness. You want to make your family member be sober and stay sober but you also know that it is ultimately your loved one who is going through this journey and it is his or her addiction to battle with. One thing you can do is create an environment that is safe for your loved one, especially if they live with you. Make sure that your home is a safe space where there are no drugs or alcohol or other triggers (like prescription pills) around. Fill your kitchen with healthy food too and encourage cooking as a family as healthy eating habits can actually help those who are in addiction recovery.
Reach Out For Support
It is important to know that you are not alone and that many other people are going through the process of supporting loved ones through recovery. It is also easy to be consumed with worry about your loved one that you forget about taking care of yourself. Candace Plattor, a registered clinical counselor, provides some survival tips for loving an addicted person including tips such as knowing the difference between self-care and selfishness and to focus on rebuilding your own life.
Listen And Learn
When your loved one in recovery does talk or confide in you, really listen to what they are saying. It is important that they know that they are loved and supported no matter what. Addiction can be complicated so it is also vital that you learn as much as possible about addiction and the road to recovery. The more you learn about your loved one’s addiction, the more tools you will be able to have to offer love and support to them. Resources for learning about your loved one’s recovery can be found online, through groups like Al-Anon and even various treatment centers offer family weekend programs.
Creating a drug-free environment, finding support for yourself, listening to your loved one and learning about their addiction will help you cope with your loved one through their long road to recovery.