If you have a loved one who is going through recovery, your loved one needs all the support they can get to have a better chance of success and to maintain their sobriety in the long term. You may feel helpless while watching your loved one struggle during this time. Though you can’t step in and just make things right for your loved one, you can offer your support, which will help them get through it.
Here are five things you can do, specifically, to be supportive while your loved one is seeking Chandler addiction treatment:
A lot of misconceptions persist about drug and alcohol addiction. If you have any of these misconceptions, you can say or do things that will be harmful to your loved one’s recovery. For example, you might blame your loved one for the addiction or tell them that they just have to decide to stop using and that’s it.
These are harmful notions that will not help your loved one, and will also distance your loved one from you. Start by educating yourself about addiction and what your loved one is experiencing. You’ll then know better how you can help – or, at the very least, things to avoid.
Your loved one doesn’t mean you to feel sorry for them. They don’t need your sympathy – they need your empathy. The difference is that, with empathy, you find ways to relate to what they are experiencing. You may not have ever beaten an addiction, but you have most certainly gone through times in your life where you felt overwhelmed, or scared, or worried about your future.
Being empathetic doesn’t mean trying to share your own stories about hardships you have faced. It means recognizing the suffering in another and being willing to be there for them. That might mean doing nothing more than sitting in silence together. But the key is to let your loved one know that you care and that you are there for them, even when things get hard.
We all need connection. We all need to know that people are there for us – that they love us, that they care what happens to us, and that they are ready to help us when we need it. You can show your loved one that you care by finding ways to connect.
Connecting does not need to be complicated. You don’t have to make grand gestures. You just have to show up. Call. Check in. Make visits. Go to functions together. Even small things can strengthen your connection.
You may blame yourself for your loved one’s problems. You may tell yourself things like you weren’t there for them, or you treated them badly at one time, or you did things to enable their addiction, like give them money.
Take responsibility for your own actions, of course, and get counseling for those issues where needed. But don’t fall into a blame game or intense feelings of guilt. That won’t help you or your loved one. Learn to forgive yourself for any mistakes you may have made, and focus on finding ways to make them better and to move forward.
You need to care for yourself before you can care for anyone else. Make sure you are focusing on your own self-care and mental health while you are supporting your loved one. Get your own counseling, as well, to help you process the feelings you are having around your loved one’s addiction and to get helpful tips for how you can take care of yourself and be supportive of your loved one at the same time.
Overcoming an addiction is going to be very hard for the addict, as well as the addict’s loved ones. Know that you are not alone in your struggle. Speak with an addiction counselor in Chandler and go to a support group for loved ones of addicts to get support and learn more about how you can help your loved one.
Corebella Health and Wellness offers addiction counseling for those suffering from addiction, as well as their friends, family, and other loved ones. We offer complete addiction treatment services, including counseling and medication therapy. Call us today to learn more about services in Tempe, Scottsdale, and Glendale.