How to Encourage Your Loved One While in a Recovery Program
Recovery programs like Adult and Teen Challenge excellent.
Countless lives have been saved in them. Families have been restored through them. They truly are helpful centers of hope for addicts and for those who love them.
But they aren’t without their challenges.
When an addict is in a program, the family often wonders how to help.
They don’t see the addict every day. Communication isn’t always perfect. And sitting around waiting back at home while hoping for the best can be difficult.
But that doesn’t mean it’s hopeless. In fact, there are several ways families of addicts can help the person they love while in a recovery program.
Let’s look at 4 opportunities together.
Attend Support Meetings
It is not uncommon in recovery programs for family sessions to be held. These are done with the family, the addict, and the program staff. Some of them are even done as open group sessions.
Being present at these meetings communicates several things. One, it lets the addict know you believe in them and their recovery. Two, it shows the person (s)he is not alone in their battle to overcome addiction. And three, it makes the person feel loved.
Additionally, the people leading these sessions have experience in producing long-term results from such activities.
Above all else, this is perhaps one of the strongest ways you can help someone you love who is going through a recovery program.
Communicate with Staff
The staff may get insight in the addicts that you may otherwise not understand yourself. They can also help you as the support family member to deal with the struggle you are facing. Talking with them opens communications and may give you additional ideas of how to help the particular addict you love.
Receiving letters of encouragement from loved ones while being enclosed in a program is refreshing. You can include quotes, scriptures, or any encouraging words.
This works best if there is something specific only you and the person say to each other (for example, a wife and a husband say they love each other “forever and always,” or something like that). Include your personal phrases that mean something only to the two of you and your little letter will result in big encourage on the addict’s journey towards recovery.
(If you don’t have a phrase, bringing up a memory will work the same. For example, “I remember the time you took me to my baseball game and spilled the mustard on mom’s shirt,” or something. The key is to send them a personal touch that refreshes the soul and reminds them they are more than an addict – they are a dad, mom, brother, sister, husband, wife, child, etc.
Find Personal Healing
Living with an addict can be a devastating situation. Abuse is not uncommon. This includes mental, emotional, and physical abuse. Financial calamity is also a common byproduct.
The stress and pain this causes can be enormous.
And the addict is not the only one who needs to heal.
Often, the wife does too. The son does. The grandmother.
While we can get focused on helping the addict we love while (s)he is in recovery, it is also a great opportunity for us to take a step back and help ourselves.
The time away can provide a space of safety, renewed perspective, growth, and healing.
The best part about this is that by finding healing yourself, you are better able to help the person you love when (s)he gets out of the recovery program.
This is a perfect time to get involved in your church, to connect with friends you haven’t been able to see, and to do things that rejuvenate your heart.
Take advantage of the opportunity and find healing for the person who truly are responsible for – yourself.