There are so many complicated things you can go through in life. And a lot of the hardest things don’t even happen directly to you. When a loved one is going through a tough time, it can be extremely hard on you too. Addiction can devastate families and ruin friendships. But a period in a rehab facility can help to put an addict back on track. However, when they come out of rehab, both you and they may feel at a loss for what comes next. If you want to continue to support them once they leave, you can do so in several different ways.
Listen to Their Wishes
The easiest way to find out what you can do for someone who has just left rehab is to ask them. All too often people worry about what they should do in a given situation when a simple conversation could solve everything. Talking isn’t always easy, but it is often the most sensible way to address things. You can ask them how they would like you to support them. It could be by being a listening ear or even by giving them some space. You might want to make some rules about what they wish to talk about and what they would rather not discuss. Perhaps you can speak about how you will know if they want you to leave them alone for a while. There are lots of things you can address together to make things clearer.
Accept That They May Make Some Changes
Naturally, change is good for someone who is recovering from an addiction. You don’t want them to come out of rehab and go straight back to their old ways. However, you still might find it difficult to accept some of the changes they make. For example, they might want to consider living in a sober environment like A Fresh Start Sober Living. Moving might require being further from you then you’re comfortable with. But you have to consider that it’s what they want and may be better for them. They may also be uncomfortable attending any events or outings where alcohol or drugs may be present. It’s important to remember that they are in control of their recovery.
Avoid Substance Use
It can often help to avoid any substance use around your friend or family member, even if you do so in moderation. Is it more important to have a glass of wine or to recognize their feelings and help them with their recovery? Eventually, they may want to feel more comfortable being around certain substances. Resisting temptation is an important skill, and will help them maintain a social life. It’s especially important to avoid substances if you live with them.
Focus on the Positives
Dealing with addiction is a very difficult thing. It can affect someone’s mental health and often cause them to feel anxious or depressed. One of the ways you can help them is by helping them to focus on the positives. Recognize and remind them of the achievements they make, no matter how small. Offer them compassion and try to give them hope for the future, while discussing their feelings and yours.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself while you’re supporting someone in recovery. You need to be in a good position to help them.