Recovering from addiction is an action that demands our utmost attention. Not only does the process affect the individual in question, but it also influences the social circle involved in the patient’s life. From parents to friends, watching a loved one become sober and free from substance abuse is a journey that creates beautiful memories, but also instances of anger, anxiety and crippling stress. Whether your beloved is currently in a treatment facility or reaching out to addiction counselors to become sober once and for all, there are thoughtful strategies that let the person know you care about their future.
Spending Quality Time
There’s a difference between occupying the same space as another individual and taking time to explore their personality and interests. When visiting an addicted individual, take time to listen more than you speak. And if you’re lucky, they’ll reveal small clues that you can use to understand their addiction and history of substance abuse. When you learn to identify their triggers, you can put them in situations where they’re more likely to thrive and succeed rather than relapse and spiral downward. More importantly, these conversations may reveal toxic individuals in their life who, when left alone with your beloved, encourage them to partake in unhealthy habits.
Make Productive Plans Together
A key component for sobriety is having a productive routine in place. Addiction thrives during moments of downtime and distress, but when an individual has a busy day filled with meaningful tasks, there’s little time left for self-destructive behavior. Knowing this, attempting to include the individual suffering from addiction in your daily routine is a brilliant way to start the conversation about sobriety or make their stay in a treatment center pleasurable. If the age-old adage of “you become the sum total of the people who you spend time with” is correct, sober living will come as a proxy of being surrounded by good company.
Don’t Shy Away From Love
Lastly, we encourage you to wear your heart on your sleeve. While your first inclination may be to give “tough love” or “tell it like it is,” being vulnerable and approachable is your best option moving forward. If verbalizing your love feels uncomfortable or unnatural, that’s okay! Instead, find unique ways to communicate your feelings without articulating them. If this sounds confusing, think of activities or pastimes that you and the individual mutually enjoy. Small tasks, such as watching a football game, visiting a park, going for a hike, or enrolling in a creative-arts class can unlock hidden gems along the road to sobriety.
We won’t lie: going through the recovery process will demand your best, make you feel less than adequate and cry uncontrollably. But in the end, once drugs and alcohol are no longer a part of your loved one’s daily life, the process is worth the struggle. Don’t feel guilty or too critical of yourself during these moments — after all, you’re only human. Find a drug rehab center today and see how beautiful life can be when it’s not riddled with drug and alcohol abuse.