It is a challenge loving and supporting someone who is in recovery. Coping with emotions and thoughts that someone else struggles to cope with on their own is difficult. Participating in your own recovery is essential for supporting someone else’s recovery. You need to be able to recognize when you are out of check and projecting your stuff on someone else.
- Ask them how they are doing, and be genuinely interested in their answer: Too often we ask each other how we are doing and we aren’t really interested in the answer. While we complain that people are inauthentic when they answer “I’m fine” that’s really all we want to hear, because we aren’t genuinely capable of hearing more than that. Living in recovery means there are many days and many moments through a day when you’re loved one isn’t fine. They’re going to struggle, but they will persevere. When you ask them how they are doing, let them know they don’t have to answer that they are “fine”, that you are truly interested in hearing how they are doing and learning more about their experience of living in recovery from whatever they are recovering from.
- Check yourself before you wreck your loved one’s self-esteem: You cannot be strong and supportive all of the time. Your loved one is learning to be honest with other people and rely on them for support as well. If you aren’t in a place to take anything on objectively, you need to communicate that. Taking out your anger, making snide remarks that are insensitive, or acting otherwise without compassion can be damaging to your loved one’s sense of self in this sensitive time.
- Offer real help to make their recovery process easier in any way: Going to treatment for recovery can mean leaving a lot of life behind. Managing kids, bills, watering plants, collecting mail- there are a hundred things that can get in the way of focusing strictly on recovery and recovering. You can’t help the way your loved one feels and you can’t recover for them. You can be of service in truly helpful ways so that they can keep focusing on their recovery.
LEAD Recovery Center encourages family involvement. We regularly host family outings to participate in our adventure and nature therapy as well as intensive clinical family therapy programs. For information on our multiphase transitional care programs, call us today: 800-380-0012