Realizing an addiction has taken root in your household can be heartbreaking. You likely never imagined you’d live through the experience of watching someone you love falling apart right before your eyes. As a spouse or family member, you know the impact of drug and alcohol abuse doesn’t only affect the person who is using or drinking – it extends to everyone around them.
This same concept carries over to recovery. Once the person you care about has made the difficult decision to enter addiction treatment, they’ll need your love and support at every step of the way. Pursuing sobriety is a monumental goal, and nobody can achieve it alone. With that in mind, how can you play a role in your loved one’s addiction recovery?
Addiction is a chronic brain disease, and there is no quick fix or overnight cure. The sooner you accept these facts, the better off you’ll be. Completing a treatment program is only the first step in learning how to manage this condition, adopting healthy coping mechanisms and accepting a new way of life. Once your spouse or family member returns home from treatment, they’ll need your hands-on help managing the ups and downs of early recovery.
If you want your loved one to get better, you’ll need to commit to taking family work in recovery one day at a time, being patient and accepting their evolving needs at every stage. Be aware that doing so may involve several lifestyle changes on your part, including helping them manage stress and maintaining a substance-free household. If you rely on any prescription medications with the potential for abuse, keep them locked in a secure location, and make sure you’re the only one with access.
Have a Mindset of Forgiveness
Your family may face many hardships due to your loved one’s substance abuse, such as financial difficulties and trust issues. It’s essential that you are willing to maintain an open mind and forgive them for the mistakes they’ve made in the past. It’s likely they are already living with the burden of significant guilt because of the harm they’ve done, so it’s not constructive to blame or shame them now that they’re working on becoming a better person. Instead, focus on moving forward and letting go.
Get Help for Yourself
Loving someone who is caught up in the cycle of active addiction can be emotionally exhausting. Your spouse or family member isn’t the only one who needs therapy – you likely do, as well. There’s no shame in reaching out to others or feeling like you could benefit from extra support. Find a therapist who will treat you individually, or look for a local Al-Anon or Nar-Anon group that meets in your community. Be sure to make time for self-care activities such as regular exercise, getting massages, journaling or taking up a new hobby.
Where to Seek Family Work in Recovery
Your loved one needs your forgiveness, understanding and support to succeed with their recovery goals. At Vista Taos Renewal Center, we recognize that addiction is a family disease, which is why we have developed structured family programming as an additional component of our holistic drug and alcohol rehab program. Reach out today to learn more.