It’s the holiday season, and while we’re still living with uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, strides have been made. Many people who have been vaccinated are now around other people for the first time in a while. It may seem that everyone is partying and celebrating.

Most people in recovery choose to stay away from parties or events where there may be drinking or other substance use. But you may feel pressured to go to family events after a long time of not seeing them. Or you may end up at an event you thought was straight-edge, only to learn there is substance abuse taking place.

A Few Easy Ways to Say No

Saying “no” to somebody isn’t as complicated as it sounds. You may feel pressured if the question catches you by surprise. Making “excuses” isn’t necessarily healthy, so don’t feel pressured to make up a lie. Saying “no” and continuing with whatever you’re doing is a good plan.

Again – for the most part, lying isn’t worth it. If you aren’t upfront about the reason you’ve quit drinking, you may be tempted. However, being upfront doesn’t mean breaking your anonymity. Here are a few ways to reject a drink:

You may want to make an excuse or lie up if you’re with strangers, and you don’t want to divulge what’s going on. But if you’re around people you know, don’t be dishonest. Let them know you don’t drink (or smoke weed) and do not intend to any time soon. If that offends them, that’s their problem.

Think, Don’t Drink! Have A Plan

You don’t have to drink or use marijuana or any other substance if you don’t want to. However, if you’re worried about triggers at holiday events,  it’s vital to have an “exit plan,” such as planning to go to a 12-step meeting or another sober gathering.

In recovery, it’s important to keep your feet on the ground. Your safety and serenity should come first in your life. For one thing, COVID isn’t over, and it hasn’t been cured, and you may not even want to go to a party.

If you realize that you’re in a sketchy or uncomfortable situation, it’s time to THINK of your exit plan. Call your sponsor, text a friend, or let somebody else you trust that you’re having a bad time and are heading to a meeting.

Getting Help for Addiction

If you or somebody you love needs help with a substance use disorder, we’re here to help you get started on your journey. Give us a call at 760-216-2077 to learn about your options.

When a person gets clean and sober as an adult, they go through a lot of dramatic changes. Parents are almost always happy but leery when their son or daughter decides that they’re ready to try a new way of life in recovery. The person in recovery may start to make a lot of big changes, quickly, and expect that their family will rejoice. For some people in recovery, it can seem like a let-down when people realize that repairing relationships will take a good deal of time.

Trying Family Therapy

Getting sober and working a recovery program can take some time. Many people go to treatment and ask to include their families in therapy. Family therapy is good for everyone because it allows there to be an intermediary who can help with having difficult conversations. Parents likely feel guilty but have many hurts at the same time about their child’s addiction.

The person in recovery may have hurt left over from their childhood years. Other family relationships such as spouses or children of the addicted person also benefit from therapy.

Family therapy allows people to sort out their issues with a professional guiding the way to resolution. Sometimes, parents have been in a codependent relationship with their adult child for years and may need help finding their own recovery. A treatment center can help you find help one-on-one therapy for family members as well.

Earning Trust Again in Relationships

As the old adage goes, trust is earned. This is very much true in recovery when a child is repairing their relationships with their parents. If this is you, remember that your recovery is about yourself. Focus on what you can do today and in the future for your family.

Maybe you should help your parents around the house or run errands for them. Ask them what their needs are. Repairing relationships is a day-at-a-time. Try doing things for your loved ones and not expecting any specific rewards.

Getting Help for an Addiction

Are you worried that you or somebody you love is living with a substance use disorder? Help is available in an empathetic, professional environment. Hundreds of people come to Present Moments to chart their paths in recovery. We’re here to get you started by calling 619-363-4767.

Addiction is a disease that can tornado through family life and leave loved ones trying to pick up the pieces. While a person may act selfishly when in the grip of their disease, recovery, too, focuses on the self. If you have a loved one in recovery, they will need space and time to heal and begin their recovery journey.  It’s important that you let them have the space to heal and change at their own pace. It may be hard for you to let go. This is why we recommend that family and friends have their own “recovery plan.”

Understanding Addiction as a Disease

Addiction, also referred to as a substance use disorder, is a disease that is progressive in nature. It affects the way the brain thinks and a person acts and feels. No one chooses to become addicted to substance, and most people say they wouldn’t wish it on their worst enemy.

There are many aspects of a person’s life that are affected by addiction, as well as their brain chemistry and physical health. Once the substances are removed from a person’s body, there are still many things that need to be worked on. Your loved one will never be the exact person they were before they started using substances; after all, addiction is a traumatic disease and trauma often changes people.

Learning About Addiction

Learning about addiction will help you understand the process your loved one is going through.  There are many books you can check out from the library or recommended videos and movies that you can stream online. Treatment counselors or members of Al-Anon groups may be able to point you in the right direction.

Neither Addiction Nor Recovery Happen Overnight

When your loved one first gets clean and sober, it can seem like life is back in a whirlwind. It’s easy to worry about a person in recovery’s comings and goings and wonder if they’re going to be able to stay clean and sober.

Addiction didn’t take place overnight, and trust and relationships won’t heal overnight. You may find yourself falling into old patterns of behavior when you’re worried about your loved one, or questioning why they have to go to so many therapy appointments and 12-step meetings.

Recovery for Family Members

Family members may need a support group to help them as their loved one goes through changes. Many people who go to groups for family members of addicts say they’ve learned more about themselves and their loved ones’ addiction. A group can help you learn more about how addiction has affected you, as well as your loved one, and how you can start to heal from the damage and learn to focus on your own life.

There are many groups available for families of addicted people, including Al-Anon, Codependents Anonymous and groups hosted by treatment recovery centers. If you’re unsure of resources available in your own area, ask a local treatment center for recommendations.

Getting Help for Addiction

No matter what or how much you or a loved one has used, recovery is possible. At Present Moments Recovery, we offer a nurturing, addiction-informed environment that helps our clients chart their own paths to recovery. If needed, we can also provide Medication-Assisted Treatment, which has been referred to by the FDA as the “gold standard” of treatment options when offered alongside talk therapy.

Please contact us to learn more how we can help! Call us at 619-363-4767.

Are you an enabler? Addiction is a scary disease; it can cause your loved one to take risks they usually wouldn’t take and start behaving startlingly. People who are close to a person struggling with substance abuse often want to help their loved one, but they may not know how to help. Sometimes this desire can outweigh good judgment, and instead of improving their loved one's life, you may enable them to continue acting out on their disease. This is what psychology calls being an “enabler.” It means you help a person out in a way that keeps them from suffering the effects of their addiction.

Does this sound like you? Think about it carefully. Although the word may seem cynical, it’s not about being judgemental. Have you bailed somebody out of jail, helped them with debts or otherwise done things to help them out? Do you give them money they haven't earned whenever they ask you for it? If so, it’s likely you’ve enabled them in the past.enabler gives money

Being an enabler doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person. You want your loved one to get better, and you want them to stay out of trouble. However, for them to start recovering, you’re going to have to let them become responsible for their actions.

Everyone wants to help the people they love, but when you enable a person, you may be taking away an opportunity for change or growth.

 

Setting Boundaries with an Addicted Person

 

When you enable your loved one, they feel free to let you take some of the burdens of responsibility away from them. It’s easier for them to be free from consequences of their own actions. Bailing somebody out, paying their bills, or giving them money is a way that enabling helps prevent repercussions. To keep yourself from enabling, you’ll need to begin setting boundaries. If you’ve been helping a loved one with money, you can start the process of cutting them off. You don’t have to stop everything at once, but creating new healthy patterns that encourage independence is a part of recovery for both of you.

People tend to enable out of love, but it can cause resentment and heartache. If you give your adult son money, for example, and he disappears for a few days, you’re going to worry and wonder how they spent it. It’s not your responsibility to watch after your loved one and clean up their messes.

Addiction can cause people to become codependent. This is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation, but it’s not healthy. It can cause you pain, resentment, and heartache, even when your loved one enters recovery.

Boundaries in relationships are essential. An addicted person needs to learn to be responsible for their own lives and choices. Enablers need to learn to live their own lives and let that person learn to be accountable again.

 

Help for Enablers

Learning to take care of yourself is important when you have a loved one in recovery. The great news is, of course, that there is help for the whole family.

If your loved one is in treatment, ask the recovery professionals that are helping them to recommend local resources for you. You can also look for meetings such as Codependents Anonymous or Al-Anon to find other people who have been through the same thing. If you are experiencing depression or other emotions that are tough to cope with, please also do yourself a favor and explore your options for one-on-one therapy and family therapy with your loved one. Addiction is a family disease, and everyone deserves a chance to heal and grow.

Recovery can be a bright and hopeful journey, but it’s not without bumps in the road. Getting help for yourself, as well as your loved one can make the journey easier and more rewarding.

If your loved one is looking for help or more treatment options, please give us a call at (619) 363-4767 to learn more about your options. We’re happy to recommend resources for you, as well.

 

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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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