One of the most tenuous times in early recovery is the period when an individual leaves the safe confines of the treatment facility and begins the process of transitioning home. For some this transition will be achieved through living in a halfway or three-quarter house until such time when they are ready to move out on their own, while for others this transition will consist of them moving back into their family house.
The latter group has to experience some hurdles with transitioning home, that the former does not, as they are moving back to the place where they experienced their active addiction, and they are going to be living with family or loved ones which can produce a number of difficulties and anxieties. This is not to say that moving back in with family is a bad thing, but rather that it creates a scenario where healing must occur in real-time on a daily basis, rather than from a safe distance like it can when the recovering individual does not live at home.
There will be times when tensions run high, as all parties learn how to acclimate to the new family dynamic, and although everyone is pleased that the recovering individual is now sober, this does not mean that everything from the past is water under the bridge.
Addiction and alcoholism are in a very real sense family illnesses that affect everyone around the addict or alcoholic, and as such, when an individual in transitioning home, they are also to a certain extent bringing some of the baggage of their past home with them. Deep seated resentments may still be present and mistrust may still be at an all time high, so due to this it is important to understand that the act of transitioning home after treatment must be dealt with in an understanding and supportive manner, creating a familial environment that is neither too soft nor too hard. It is not an environment of total forgiveness and forgetting, but rather creating an environment that is conducive to recovery and accountability.
Some families can take this notion of accountability to the extreme, smothering the newly sober individual with all sorts of stipulations and questions. While this is to be expected to a certain degree, it is best to give the newly recovering individual the space they need in order to strike out on their own in recovery, while offering them the emotional support they need in order to feel comfortable in their new way of living.
Striking this balance is never easy and it will never be done perfectly, but if both the family and the recovering individual work together during transitioning home, they will in time be able to experience a new level of love and relationship that they never deemed possible.
At JoruneyPure Bowling Green we understand that recovering from substance abuse is a lifelong journey that requires patience and understanding from the addict’s whole family. Below is a list of five suggestions for families and friends to offer support after rehab to your loved ones in recovery:
5 Ways to Help a Loved One Transitioning Home After Rehab
- Create a drug and alcohol free environment – Remove triggers and encourage your loved ones to avoid environments where they may be susceptible to relapse. Research indicates that recovering addicts are much more likely to stay sober if they live in substance-free environments. For some families this may sound like too much to ask, as they themselves do not want to feel like they are being punished for the alcoholism or addiction of their loved one, however, it is important to note that this will not be forever (unless the family decides it should be) and that this small sacrifice can go a long way in helping your loved one continue their recovery.
- Listen – Maintain open communication and be available to listen to your loved one’s celebrations and struggles. Doing this is probably the most important thing that you can do in order to ahead in the transitioning process. By being an active listener you are not only able to help your loved continue on their journey of recovery, but you are also, in the process, rebuilding your relationship with them on a new footing.
- Patience – Recovery is a lifelong process. A popular saying amongst AA and NA attendees is “progress, not perfection.” It’s important for people in recovery to know that mistakes are inevitable, but that regardless of their struggles, they’ll still have your love and support. This is not to say that you let them off the hook for everything that they do, but rather that you show patience and tolerance when it comes to their adjustment back into society. Offer them love, care, and understanding, and let them know that you are willing to walk with them through this new journey they have embarked on.
- Avoid negativity – Addiction is commonly described as a disease of shame. The best way to offer your support to the recovering person in your life is by providing positive feedback, and always expressing love and understanding. Avoid nagging or putting undue guilt on them, because neither of these approaches do anything in the long-run and only serve to isolate your loved ones from you.
- Care for Yourself – The process of recovery teaches all of us that we are powerless over other people. You can’t control the addict in your life, but you can make healthy decisions that will in turn help you offer better support.
Finding The Right Treatment in Kentucky
If you think that you or your loved one may have a problem with drugs or alcohol and you believe that they professional help then call the professionals at JourneyPure Bowling Green today. Our trained, caring, and knowledgeable staff is standing by to help you in any way that they can. They know exactly what it is that you are currently going through and they want nothing more but to help you through this trying time. Please give us a call today.