Witnessing a loved one deteriorate through drug and alcohol abuse can result in a multitude of emotions.
You may feel responsible, you may feel disappointed, you may live in fear that the worst outcome will occur, and you may feel helpless through the attempt to promote recovery. All emotions are common, associated with the challenges of the addiction cycle, of the unexplainable and complex diagnosis of addiction, and of the stigmatisation of brain conditions.
The challenges of living with a recovering addict continue even on a post-rehabilitation basis. As a unit, you may be over the initial build-up of drugs, alcohol and their addictive traits. This is a positive position to be placed within. However, through the aims of long-term recovery, tests can continue, heightened emotions can continue, and the strains caused by addiction can continue.
Yet, as a family member or friend, it’s your job to help alleviate this difficult, unknowing time. Your support can play a significant part in the long-term recovery journey of a recovering addict, helping to reduce pressure, helping to disable drug and alcohol exposure, and helping to ease everyday challenges, linked to previous addiction experiences.
Here are some tips for living with a recovering addict, helping you feel useful, proactive and optimistic with your approach. With your help, overcoming addiction can feel worth it. Make it worth it by learning how to deal with a family member in recovery.
Challenges of living with a recovering addict
There are many challenges of living with a recovering addict which can make the upcoming weeks and months very difficult for you as loved ones. However, while these challenges may seem tough when approached, you as a unit have overcome one of the hardest steps this far, known as drug and alcohol rehabilitation.
The below challenges can be managed, can be worked through and can alleviate the experience and response of recovering addicts, helping to turn recovery prospects into positives, rather than risks of relapse, rather than stigmatisation and rather than the strain of normalising sobriety.
While the initial recovery stage may be fulfilled when considering addiction recovery, stigmatisation is still attached to the stereotype of a recovering addict. Through supporting a loved one, you may also be stigmatised and judged by others, which you should be aware of. Please however remember why you are supporting those you care about, and how the stigma of mental health issues and addiction is highly incorrect and unrealistic.
Living with a recovering addict can cause significant stress, placing pressure on your relationship. By following our tips for living with a recovering addict, daily stresses can be reduced, helping you purely focus on maintaining a positive and balanced recovery environment.
Worrying about the prospects of relapse can consume the recovery process for loved ones. It’s understandable that you will worry about what’s ahead when living with a recovering addict. Yet, by boosting your awareness around recovery, along with how to compassionately and proactively offer support, you can contribute to reducing drug and alcohol exposure.
Money/legal problems may have been experienced throughout the initial addiction diagnosis. You may have to face up to these problems by actively supporting a family member through the addiction recovery process.
Changes in behaviour
While initial recovery may have been achieved, your loved one may be climatising to sober living. Through this process, their behaviour, their outlook and their personality may have changed, placing pressure on living with a recovering addict. You can ease this pressure by understanding the realism of addiction recovery, along with placing flexible expectations.
Tips for living with a recovering addict
While challenges are common, with preparation and greater awareness, you can alleviate your time of living with a recovering addict. Here are some tips to start off your experience through helping a loved one, which we can run through with you here at Asana Lodge.
Raise your awareness of addiction recovery
Understanding addiction recovery as a long-term process is very important if you’re looking to support a recovering addict. While journeys will differ, all depending on personal responses, understanding that time, effort and patience are required to work through the normalisation of sober living is recommended.
By raising your awareness of addiction recovery, you’ll understand the instrumental part you can play when living with an addict after rehab.
Set mutual routines
As you’ll be living together, it’s important that you have a routine which will benefit both parties. Having a mutual routine which will focus on your wellbeing, on management, on development and on the steppingstones of addiction recovery will benefit your relationship and lifestyle.
Prioritise your needs
Living with a recovering addict can be draining. You should always prioritise your personal needs to ensure that you’re in the best position to offer support. Family and friend support services are regularly on offer to provide insight, to offer perspective and also to strengthen your position within the addiction recovery process.
Support as much as you can
Support should be offered as much as possible, whether that’s helping to form a positive routine, to disabling drug and alcohol exposure. While you should still focus on your life, this is an opportunity to help your loved one stay on the straight and narrow.
Reduce stress and triggers
In tandem with boosting your awareness of addiction recovery, understanding the triggers and stresses of your loved one, in relation to drug and alcohol abuse will be wise. By doing so, living with a recovering addict can be eased, as you can create a neutral environment, as you can support your loved one on an immediate basis in the event of triggers, and you can improve the viability of their coping strategies.
Disable addictive behaviours
One of the most significant tips for living with a recovering addict focuses on disabling their addictive behaviours. While it may seem easier to give into the cravings of your loved one, this will unravel their achievements this far. Doing what you can to reduce drug and alcohol exposure, and the necessity of its presence will help to improve the quality of life of all parties.
Reach for professional support
Living with a recovering addict can result in unexpected and uncontrollable experiences. Down to this, it can be difficult to fully plan ahead and make strong expectations. While you can manage the addiction recovery process from home, in the event of a mental health crisis or relapse risks, reaching for professional support will be recommended.
Through our support services at Asana Lodge, we help families dealing with recovering addicts, making sobriety a positive status for all, from the user themselves to support networks. Following our tips for living with a recovering addict will help to suppress the common challenges of offering support.
Yet, we are also here to offer personalised aftercare plans, to make long-term recovery a sustainable and comfortable possibility for you and your family.Back to all posts