You may be breathing a sigh of relief that your loved one agreed to treatment for a substance use disorder. Knowing that they are in a Los Angeles drug and alcohol rehab can give you confidence that things will be different in the future. But it can also be a scary time. How will your life be different now? What changes will you have to go through?
Just as the person struggling with addiction will have to implement changes in their life, the rest of the family will too. Addiction does not only affect the person misusing drugs or alcohol; it affects the entire family. The work is not over because they are in rehab. It takes time to adjust to a new lifestyle and new routines once they return. Rebuilding trust and strengthening communication does not happen overnight. Family members have to be committed to supporting recovery as well. There are many changes that will take place.
- Educate Yourself
One of the best things you can do for yourself and your family is become more educated. Make sure that everyone understands what addiction is and how it affects the person and those around them. Talk to children about what is going on and answer their questions as honestly as you can while keeping things age appropriate. Learn more about recovery processes and the changes your loved one is going through. Having a sense of the challenges they face can make it a little easier to provide support and talk things through.
- Let go of Guilt
Remind yourself that your spouse or family member’s addiction is not your fault. Do not place all of the blame on yourself. You can’t control what someone else does. You may have had disagreements in the past, but everyone does. There is not a single factor that triggers addiction. It is the result of many things. The more you continue to blame yourself, the more difficult it is to move forward. They are getting the help they need now and working through their challenges, so everyone should be ready to start a new chapter. You can’t change the past, but you don’t have to let it control the future.
- Seek Counseling
You may be dealing with your own issues in regards to a loved one’s addiction. It can be very helpful to seek counseling or therapy for yourself. This gives you someone to talk to about what you are going through who can provide support and guidance. You may also want to start attending support group meetings for family members. Here you can connect with others who understand what you are going through because they have been there too.
- Create a Sober Environment
It is important that when your loved one returns home, they enter into a safe environment. This means getting rid of any alcohol or drugs that may be present. If prescription drugs were an issue, keep them locked up. Do a thorough sweep of the house to uncover any hidden stashes that may exist, or items that you forgot about. It is a good idea if everyone in the home commits to not drinking, especially during the early stages of recovery. Show solidarity and support as you stand together to overcome addiction. It can help everyone to get on a healthier path.
- Strive to Communicate
Communication is imperative. Part of the problems of the past may have been that you didn’t acknowledge when challenges existed. In recovery, it is important to have open communication and work through these issues as they arise. You will probably have to get more in touch with your feelings and learn how to better problem solve. If you’re unsure about something, ask. Ask your loved one how you can help them or what you can do to support their recovery.
- Share Responsibility
You’re probably used to shouldering a lot of the responsibilities around the home and regarding the family. While your spouse was in active addiction, you probably had to take control and step up to make sure things got done. Now that they are in recovery, it’s time to start rebuilding trust and sharing responsibilities again. It can be scary to give over some of this control, but you are a team. Give your loved one the benefit of the doubt and let them prove that they have changed.
- Be Flexible
Recovery is an adjustment for everyone. It takes time to figure out what works for you and your family. As things progress, you will probably have to keep adapting. Be willing to try new routines and activities. Keep an open mind when your loved one makes suggestions and talk them through.
- Take Care of Yourself
Don’t overlook your own needs. It can be easy to fall into the trap of constantly worrying about your spouse and whether or not they will relapse. Fretting over what they are doing and how they are coping. But they have been through treatment and they are aware of what they must do. It is up to them to be accountable, though you can be supportive. But you can’t make them change. Take time to focus on your own health and wellbeing. Do things that you enjoy and spend time with your friends. It is a matter of finding balance.
Everyone in the family must work together in recovery. Each person has their own role to play and changes they must integrate into their life and behavior. Work through challenges together and support one another. Keep the bigger picture in mind that you are doing this to create a better life together.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, there is hope. Contact Chapters Capistrano at 949-371-4198 to learn more about our luxury rehab facility. Through customized treatment plans, we work with each client to determine what is best for them. Start a new chapter in your family story today.