It can be difficult to see someone you care about struggle, but there are ways to support them through this tough time. Recovery is an ongoing journey that takes time, patience, and support from loved ones. Whether your loved one is recovering from addiction, mental illness, or another issue, here are some things you can expect as they embark on this challenging road.
There will be good days and bad days
Recovery is not a linear process; it ebbs and flows. There will be times when your loved one seems to be making great progress, and times when it seems like they’ve taken a step back. Be patient and understanding, and remind your loved one that there is no right or wrong way to recover.
However, make sure to recognize if the bad days might lead to a relapse. If you’re concerned, talk to your loved one about getting professional help or visiting an addiction treatment center. In these institutions, your loved one will be able to get the help they need to avoid a relapse and continue on their journey to recovery.
You might not always understand what they’re going through
As someone who loves and cares for your recovering loved one, you want to do everything you can to help them. But it’s important to remember that you can’t fully understand what they’re going through unless you’ve been in their shoes. Instead of trying to fix everything, just be there for them. Listen to them when they want to talk, and offer your support however you can.
Additionally, don’t hesitate to educate yourself on your loved one’s condition. The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to support them.
They may not always want your help
Your recovering loved one may not always want or need your help. As much as you want to be there for them, they might need to do this journey on their own. Respect their wishes and avoid pushing them too hard.
Instead, offer support in other ways – such as checking in regularly or helping with childcare so they can attend therapy sessions without having to worry about it. Or, offer to accompany them to appointments if they’re nervous about going alone. Just knowing that you’re there for them can make all the difference in their recovery process.
They will need to find a new support system
To successfully recover, your loved one will need to find a new support system. This might include attending group therapy sessions or 12-step meetings or finding a mentor who is further along in their recovery journey.
Encourage your loved one to seek out these types of support systems. They will help your loved one feel less alone and provide valuable advice and guidance. There are also many online support groups available if your loved one is not ready to meet people in person.
They will have to make lifestyle changes
Recovery often requires making significant lifestyle changes. For example, your loved one might need to give up drinking or using drugs, change their diet, or start exercising more. These changes can be difficult, but they’re necessary for recovery.
Encourage your loved one to make these changes, but don’t be pushy. They need to be ready and willing to make the changes for them to be successful. On the other hand, recognize if your loved one seems to be struggling with these changes, and offer support as needed.
The lifestyle changes are often worth it in the end, as they will help your loved one achieve and maintain long-term sobriety.
It’s okay to take care of yourself, too
While your focus will be on supporting your loved one through their recovery process, it’s important to take care of yourself, too. This can be a difficult and emotionally draining journey, so make sure to have your support system in place. This might include attending family therapy sessions, talking to a counselor or therapist, or joining a support group for family members of those in recovery.
It’s also important to make time for yourself – even if it’s just taking a break to watch your favorite TV show or going for a walk by yourself. Taking care of yourself will help you be in the best position to support your loved one in their recovery journey.
Ultimately, supporting a loved one through recovery can be challenging. But it’s worth it for them and you – as you’re helping your loved one achieve long-term sobriety and start living a happy and healthy life.
Therefore, do everything you can to be there for them, educate yourself on their condition, and support them in the ways that work best for both of you. With your love and support, they will get through this recovery process stronger than ever before.