So, you want to support the recovering person in your life, but you’re probably not sure where to start with this. Before your loved one went to treatment, you probably witnessed some scary things about their life. Watching somebody spiral out of control with addiction can be frightening and upsetting. But once that person gets help, life isn’t all sunshine and daisies. Real life is difficult for everyone at one time or another. Your recovering loved one needs to be able to spread their wings, but they need support to have the confidence to fly.
Adjusting to life in early recovery can be especially hard. However, it’s also an excellent time to set boundaries. Life can’t be the same as it was when your loved one was in active addiction. New and healthy behavior patterns can help both you and your family member in recovery get along and thrive together!
- Create a safe, “clean” environment: Do you smoke medical marijuana or drink? Maybe it’s time to stop keeping these things in the house. Don’t do it around your loved one. The temptation is everywhere, even if your loved one didn’t drink much, it could easily remind them of their drug of choice. So do your loved one a favor and don’t use or keep drugs or alcohol in the same environment that they are living in. Don’t keep opioid prescriptions around, either. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of them safely.
- Encourage healthy habits: Invite your loved one to participate in healthier life choice. Do you go to yoga? Maybe you can go together with a day pass. Are you into making smoothies? Share your passions for healthy living. These are the habits that you can share together. Have you had a rough day together? Go for a walk and admire nature. It does wonders for stress.
- Help where you can, but don’t enable: Does your loved one need a ride to a 12 step meeting? That’s great to do every once in a while. One thing you don’t want to do is enable your loved one, even in recovery. Enabling is a way that loved ones often help the addicted person stay sick. In the past, you may have given a loved one money that they misspent or bailed them out when they got in trouble. There is still plenty of “trouble” in regular life, such as problems paying bills or issues with responsibility. If your loved one needs money, and you can help once or twice, that’s great. Don’t hand it to them, though. They can earn it. Think up some chores that you need to be done. Make sure that things are fair and don’t let anyone take advantage of you.
These are just a few ways you can make healthier lifestyle choices together. Recovery is a journey that your loved one will make in their own time and on their own, but you can always help along the way. Just make sure that you take care of yourself and let your addicted family member live their own life.
Do you want to learn more about substance abuse treatment and recovery? Please give us a call at (619) 363-4767. All calls are 100% confidential, and we’re happy to answer any questions about treatment that you might have.