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The path to recovery is a long and continuous one. It is not an easy road to travel for anyone who has battled alcohol addiction or substance use disorder. You can just imagine the challenges a person must have had to overcome to get better and all the preparations they have had to arrange beforehand.
They had to mentally prepare themselves for the treatment and take care of their personal and professional obligations. In addition, they had to look for a safe and comfortable rehab facility. The facility’s location could also be a big factor. For example, if they were searching for one in the southwestern area, chances are they stumbled upon an Arizona drug rehab facility while doing their research.
The truth is the real work begins after treatment. But they can’t do it alone. After all, they will need help applying what they have learned during rehab. If you are part of your loved one’s support system, here are some ways you can prepare for their recovery.
The first thing you need to is to prepare the home they will stay in after their treatment. You need to make it conducive for their recovery by removing drugs and alcohol that may tempt your loved one to relapse. You need to make an intensive search and be on the lookout for any secret stash. Those who have battled alcohol abuse and illicit substance addiction are very creative in hiding them. Also, you need to avoid consuming alcohol in front of them and keep them away from places with drugs and alcohol like bars and nightclubs.
When preparing their space, you need to create a peaceful and comfortable environment. You can help them feel more relaxed by choosing a room that receives the most sunlight. Also, exposure to sunlight helps boost the body’s serotonin, which is a natural hormone that boosts a person’s mood. Meanwhile, placing plants in the room can also improve perception and lower anxiety.
Be Open to Changes
As your loved one recovers, you may witness changes in their mood and behavior. They will have bad days and good days. It won’t always be the same when dealing with them on a daily basis. When this happens, be patient and don’t take it personally. They may still be adjusting to their new lifestyle, and it’s best to give them time to settle.
On the other hand, you will have a positive impact by being part of their support network. You need to remember that they may have already cut ties with people who could hinder their recovery. This has reduced their social circle and they may feel lonely sometimes as a result. To make sure that they won’t get depressed, you can ask them to join you in trying a new hobby or an exercise class.
Recovery is not easy, for you or your loved one. You don’t have to pressure yourself to always keep them happy. They can still feel down no matter how much you try to lighten the mood. You have to accept that it could happen. Remember, you are not responsible for their recovery. You’re there to support them, so be kind to yourself too.
At the same time, you need to be kind to them. Encouraging them to continue their recovery is good, but don’t overdo it. You also need to allow them to make mistakes and learn. It’s all part of the process, and once they overcome their struggle, it will boost their confidence. Meanwhile, you have to avoid comparing their process to others. Everyone has their own way of healing and every progress takes time, so it’s best not to judge.
Recovery is a long-term process. It’s best to manage your expectations at bay, including the possibility of a relapse. Yes, it can still happen, but focusing on it won’t help their recovery.
Moreover, you need to rethink any assumptions you may have. Most of the time, it’s the fear you have that fuels the assumptions. When this happens, take a moment to assess if your thoughts are based on fact or brought by fear.
Keep Communications Open
Honesty is important for healing. Communicate with your loved one and ask them how they want to be supported. Aside from that, let them feel that they can talk to you about anything. You can start by being vulnerable and make them feel that they are safe to express themselves. Vulnerability is not a weakness but an act of courage.
On the other hand, you also need to be mindful when talking about the past. In fact, some advise not to talk about it at all because what may start out as a constructive discussion can lead to blaming if you are not careful. If you happen to encounter a major issue, you can consider outpatient therapy sessions for you and your loved one.
Open communication doesn’t just revolve around you and your loved one. It can also include asking for help from local support groups for families, friends, or partners of recovering people. It is here where you can also learn more about other people’s experiences in similar situations.
Sobriety is a never-ending process, and it can feel like a constant challenge for those who are in the process of recovery. However, the preparation for post-treatment care partnered with positive support from family and friends can make a difference.