Committing to treatment is a huge step, but it’s not easy. Your loved one is away from home and removed from various things they love, including you. It’s tremendously difficult to navigate life without the mask of alcohol and drugs. It’s worthwhile, and means addressing problems that haven’t been in a long time.
During your loved one’s stay in treatment, you may be curious about what you can do to help. There are a variety of factors that will determine the success of your loved one’s recovery. One of them is the level of support they have, and how much they are able to focus on themselves while they’re in treatment. One major way family members and loved ones can help is to be supportive, and we want to share what this support may look like.
- Find a trusted friend or other family member with whom you can share frustrations and your own stress while they are in treatment. Coming to treatment and leaving behind family responsibilities can cause guilt. This guilt can quickly turn to a desire to leave treatment if they feel responsible for what’s happening at home. Your loved one may not be able to provide the support you need, but they will be eventually. It helps to have a friend or other support to share your frustrations and stress with while they are away.
- Participate in Family Weekend. Family weekend is a 2-day program offered by the center. You will learn about addiction, recovery, family dynamics, and other related topics. It’s an important time to discuss expectations and boundaries as well. Please plan to attend.
- If you have doubts, avoid sharing them. Many people in early recovery are doubtful of their ability to stay sober. Having encouraging loved ones makes all the difference! If you have concerns, consider speaking with their therapist instead of airing your doubts to your loved one.
- Know that ups and downs are normal. There are many reasons your loved one may sound great one day, and irritable or down another day. Do not be discouraged. These ups and downs are completely normal and may be related to how the brain adjusts in early recovery.
- Do not pick them up from treatment early, no matter what. Your loved one may experience the ups and downs related to early recovery, and want to make impulsive decisions. One may include asking you to pick them up, early. Be sure to speak with a staff member before giving in to this impulse.