Supporting our loved ones through their recovery process can be incredibly challenging for us, whether or not we ourselves struggle with addictions. Each recovery process is different and unique to the individual, but there are some things we can do to support our loved ones as they recover.
When it comes to addiction recovery, the issues we’re dealing with are difficult to say the least. There are complicated emotions involved. Sometimes all our loved ones need to feel supported is to have someone listen to them. They may not have felt heard or supported in the past, and your being willing to listen to them is a true gift.
Our loved ones may have felt criticized, judged, rejected and shunned in the past. They are likely struggling with intense inner turmoil as well as very difficult life challenges. One of the most loving, supportive things we can do is release our judgment. We can try to offer them what they may not have received in the past – acceptance rather than rejection.
When we can see someone’s addictions as manifestations of their pain, we are better able to have compassion for their suffering. Compassion doesn’t mean we condone their behaviors or enable their patterns. It means we can recognize that this person is hurting and offer them our love and care.
Seek to Understand
We might not be able to understand everything our loved ones are going through, especially if we ourselves haven’t personally struggled with addiction. We can, however, seek to try to reach for understanding. We can open our minds and hearts. We can try to put ourselves in their shoes and look at their pain from their perspective.
We can try to stay present for our loved ones and do whatever we can to make them feel that we are there for them, that we are not abandoning them, that we love them unconditionally. That might mean checking on them. It might mean telling them that no matter what happens, they are not alone and we are in their corner.
We are facing some very emotionally overwhelming issues when dealing with loved ones with addictions. One of the best things we can do to support them is also get support for ourselves, in the form of therapy, a support group, friends, mentors or spiritual guides. Just as we don’t want our loved ones to feel alone, we sometimes need reminders that we too are not alone. There are so many other people living with similar challenges who can offer their love and support, wisdom and guidance.
We are here to support you in getting your loved ones the help they need. Call (800) 871-5440.