It was totally unfair. I had never drank to access or abused any drugs, but I was paying for my husband's choice to do so. When he finally agreed to go to rehab, I thought my problems were over. I couldn't have been more wrong.
After Ron had been there for 30 days, I was invited to the center to visit him. It was the first time I had ever seen him sober. When we met as young teenagers, he was already getting high every day.
It was love at first sight all over again, only this time he was sober.
After spending some time together in the morning, the center had organized a support group meeting for all of us who were visiting our loved ones. And that's where my bubble burst.
The first thing we learned was that recovery is a lifetime process, and as long as we were in a relationship with an addict in recovery, it is a lifetime process for us, too.
Haven't we suffered enough already? They've gone through the program; why wasn't that enough?
It stands to reason, however, if our loved one's active addiction affected us, then his or her recovery does as well. In addition, The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that it is important to address every element of life, and an addict's relationships play a vital role.
Therefore, the development of family-based recovery support systems are critical to the success of someone in recovery.
These five tips explain how you can identify common problems family members can experience and what actions you can take to effectively address them:
1. Understand Long-Term Issues
The results of addiction can, and usually do, include health problems and financial struggles in addition to relationship issues. Health problems often linger long after getting sober, so it is important to encourage your loved one to receive routine medical care to diagnose and treat any problems that could make sobriety even more difficult to maintain.
Financial problems can also be a source of extra stress. If necessary, meet with a financial advisor who can help you get back on track. And remember family-based therapy is critical to maintain healthy relationships.
2. Educate Yourself and Stay Involved
Since the entire family needs to be involved in both treatment and recovery, you need to learn the best ways to offer support. Meeting with a certified therapist can teach you healthy intervention and communication skills.
3. Maintain Your Own Sobriety
Removing temptation from someone in recovery is essential. While they will not be able to be in control of all situations, their home environment should be a safe zone. Make sure there are absolutely no intoxicating substances of any kind in your home. Incorporate healthy family activities instead. Some examples are: sports, gardening, board games, and family outings.
4. Take Care of Your Emotional Health
There are many outpatient support groups available for you that will provide encouragement and coping skills that are necessary in order for you to support your loved one. By seeking treatment, you will also be setting an example for your loved one to follow.
5. Provide Stress-Reducing Resources
Since stress often leads to relapse, it is important to offer your loved ones the opportunity to learn new coping skills. In fact, you both can benefit from journaling, exercising, and meditating. Again, by setting the example, you both benefit.
The greater your understanding of what is involved to support your loved one in recovery lessons the likelihood of relapse and contributes to the greater happiness for each member of your family.
The Anaheim Lighthouse is a modern and effective addiction treatment center in Southern California. To talk to us about treatment options at our affordable drug and alcohol rehab that fit your needs, call (844) 494-4939.