This article is aimed at those who have stood by a loved one through addiction, watched them progress through rehab and are now ready for a progressive post-rehab life.
Tough time behind – Challenging one ahead:
There is certainly no value in denying that the time spent watching a loved one slide deeper into dependence upon their substance of choice was tough.
Heartbreak, anguish, angst, concern, worry and anger will have had their peaks and troughs. For many there will have been times when maintaining the strength and determination to stay was far more difficult than actually asking the addict to leave.
But, you should be extremely proud at the way your perseverance won through, that your loved one ended denial, agreed to professional help and is now making progress along the recovery road.
Far reaching effects:
Living with a person who is addicted has far-reaching effects. Not just for them or you. This spreads to other family members and friends and will affect those involved once the recovering addict returns home.
It must be remembered that recovery has to be seen as a lifelong process. Your loved one will not be cured just because initial rehab treatment has successfully been completed.
5 ways to make a noticeable difference:
There are many ways that your contribution to helping a loved one progress positively through healing can be achieved. Here are 5 that need to be considered:
- Continued treatment: It is important that doctor’s appointments are kept and that after-care services are maintained. Accompanying your loved one to these sessions will show support and encouragement.
- Therapy sessions: Regular therapy sessions should be maintained. While some of these should be one-on-one sessions between your loved one and therapist it will benefit all to be involved in group/family therapy sessions.
- Continued addiction education: It is quite possible that you have made it your business to understand addiction and the specific problems that come with it. This is obviously a very positive step, but it should be continued. Changes will occur, new situations will develop. By expanding your knowledge base you will be helping your loved one. Just as importantly it will help you understand why unexpected situations crop up and how to deal with them.
- Involve other family members and friends: It can help greatly if you involve other family members and close friends in the recovery process. You will be able to explain things more clearly, understand any additional stresses others are going through and encourage a togetherness that will be a great boost for the recovering addict.
- Crucial lifestyle changes: Sacrifices in terms of lifestyle changes may be necessary. Examples being that the house should be completely free of alcohol and/or potentially addictive substances that the recovering addict could be tempted by. Such sacrifices will also show all concerned how determined you are to ensure relapse is a distant thought.
Long-term sobriety CAN be achieved:
The past will have been tough and the future challenging, but it must always be remembered that with your continued commitment, love and support a recovering addict can maintain sobriety and benefit from the love and care of a normal family environment.