Seeing someone you love struggle through addiction and recovery can be very hard. You see them hurting, and that hurts you. Many people want to do whatever they can to just solve the problem and make it go away. While you can’t do that, you can provide support for your loved one while they are seeking Gilbert addiction treatment or are in recovery.
Here are a few things that you and other friends and family can do to support a loved one who is in recovery from addiction:
There’s a lot that many people don’t know or understand about addiction. They may think that the addict can simply “will” themselves to not use drugs and to stay sober. They may think that the addiction is some kind of personal or moral failing. The truth is that addiction is a disease, and many people are powerless to it.
Educating yourself about addiction can help you understand what is going on with your loved one and help you to respond more appropriately. You can join a Gilbert support group like Al-Anon or Families Anonymous to get education and support while your loved one is going through recovery (or is struggling with an active addiction).
It’s easy to judge when you haven’t experienced something for yourself or when you look at a situation in black-and-white terms. Showing empathy means that you are putting yourself in that person’s shoes and trying to understand how they feel, rather than judging their circumstances or voicing hollow sympathies.
If nothing else, you should at least be able to tell your loved one that you see that they are suffering and you are sorry for it. Think about the times you have suffered, and imagine what you would want someone to say to you. Let your loved one know that you are here for them and you are willing to listen and support them.
Everyone needs connection. When we don’t feel connection, we feel isolated and alone, and that can lead to feelings of deep depression and hopelessness. Addicts who feel this way are more likely to use. You can support your loved one by finding ways to connect with them.
One of the best ways to connect is just to listen. Let your loved one know that you are willing to listen, and then be there for them. Be fully present while they talk. Don’t offer solutions or judgements. Any feedback you give should be statements like, “That sounds really hard,” or “I love you, and I’m here for you.”
Trying to help someone in a crisis can be emotionally taxing. The road to recovery is a long one, and it’s not necessarily a straight path. There are going to be a lot of bumps along the way, and if you are going to be strong enough to support your loved one, you need to tend to your own self-care.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to get therapy and support. See a Scottsdale addiction counselor who has treated friends and family of those struggling with addiction. Go to a support group for the loved ones of addicts. You can process your own feelings about your loved one’s addiction and get the support you need.
You may not have always been at your best while your loved one has been struggling with addiction. You may have said terrible things, such as blaming the addict for their problems or abandoning them when they needed you. Or you may feel guilty because you said or did things that you feel could have led to the person’s addiction, such as poor treatment in the past.
You have to learn to forgive yourself for your mistakes or shortcomings, just as the addict will learn to forgive themselves in recovery. Forgiveness will allow you all to heal and to move forward, so that you can create healthier relationships and patterns.
While it can be difficult supporting someone in recovery, it is absolutely essential. Those struggling with addiction need to know they have the support of friends, family, and loved ones to get through what will be one of the hardest things they ever do. Addiction is a disease, and recovery is an ongoing process. Follow these tips and get addiction counseling in Scottsdale counseling for yourself to help your loved one in whatever way you can.
Corebella Health and Wellness is here to support you and your family through addiction treatment and recovery. We offer ongoing addiction treatment services, as well as addiction counseling for individuals and families. We also offer wellness services to support those in recovery to maintain their sobriety. Call us today to learn about our services in Scottsdale, Tempe, and Glendale.