Learning that a family member is struggling with an addiction is a life-changing experience. At first, you may be hyper-focused on making sure they get the help they need. While that focus is understandable, it’s important to make sure you and your other family members get the help that you need as well. Addiction is a family disease and has likely impacted each of your loved ones – and yourself – in some way.
Make sure that you consider your own mental and emotional health. This will enable you to provide your loved one with the support they need to be successful in their long-term recovery. Read on for some tips and insights into healthy ways to handle this situation.
Manage Your Expectations
You may feel a massive sense of relief when your loved one admits their addiction and chooses to seek treatment. While addiction can be successfully managed, it’s also a lifelong disease. There’s a chance that your loved one may relapse or struggle when they are no longer in treatment. Be prepared for the peaks and valleys of your family member’s recovery journey, and always keep the bigger picture in mind.
Educate Yourself About Addiction
Gaining knowledge about addiction can help you better understand the struggle your loved one is facing. That sense of understanding might allow you to overcome resentment, or help you know the types of boundaries you need to enforce to have a healthy relationship. Learning more about addiction can also bolster your sense of hope that it truly is a disease that can be managed and overcome.
Attend Personal or Family Therapy Sessions
Throughout the course of treatment, your loved one will attend group and personal therapy sessions in order to work through the issues that led them to addiction. Therapy can also be beneficial for the other family members of the person suffering from addiction. Therapy provides a supportive environment to build trust, overcome guilt or resentment, and establish a new and healthy family dynamic.
Join A Support Group
It’s important to find support outside of your immediate family. Different, more objective perspectives can be invaluable, and can also give you the sense that you aren’t alone in the struggles you’re facing. A support group provides a nonjudgmental space for you to continue your addiction education and discuss the stressors and emotions that you may be experiencing.
How Can I Get Help for My Loved One?
If your loved one has not entered treatment or admitted their addiction yet, the best thing you can do is encourage them to get help. Let them know you care about them, but you need to set boundaries for your own well-being. If you would like to inquire about outpatient rehab for your loved one, call Rehab After Work at (610) 644-6464.