If you’ve got a loved one with an addiction problem, you probably already know the challenges it can cause in both their life and yours.
Overcoming addiction is a process that can sometimes be just as challenging as the worst parts of addiction, especially for a person’s loved ones.
It’s essential to keep in mind that having the support of their family and friends is critical in helping people recover from their addiction. At the same time, you need to know how and when to support them, so you don’t accidentally end up enabling them instead.
As you focus on your loved one’s recovery, it’s crucial to keep yourself in mind as well. You cannot help anyone if you cannot help yourself first, which extends to taking care of your mental and emotional health. Make your boundaries clear, and then figure out how you can help within those boundaries.
Addiction affects the person suffering from it, as well as the people around them. Loved ones of people with addiction often find themselves struggling with depression, anxiety, and other concerns. Remember to get help for yourself as well as for your loved one – neglecting yourself can often create resentment and bitterness, increasing the risk of relapse.
If you’re supporting a loved one, you should have a clear understanding of not only what goes into recovery, but also what goes into addiction and alcoholism in the first place. Being educated will help you understand how you can help and what path you can expect the recovery process to take.
It’s also essential to know the signs of addiction, especially if you are worried about your loved one relapsing. As pointed out by the team at Shoreline Recovery Center, there are numerous signs that can indicate an addiction. These include easily identified symptoms such as withdrawal and financial distress, and other symptoms you may overlook, like red, drowsy eyes and increased social isolation.
If you’re living with a loved one in recovery from addiction, there are chances that you will have to make changes at home to help them maintain sobriety. This is especially common in the first months after rehab and if they are struggling with alcoholism. Some actions you can take include:
This doesn’t mean cutting out old friends and family members – this simply means expanding the life you share together to accommodate the changes that sobriety will cause.
You can still visit friends and social gatherings where the substance will be used if you are not addicted – however, you will need to be empathetic of your loved one’s needs during this time as well. For example, if your loved one is in recovery from alcoholism, this may mean that you stay at a friend or relative’s house if you go to a party and have a drink.
When supporting loved ones in recovery, it’s crucial to take your signs from them. Every person has different needs and triggers, and the support they need differs as well.