Imagine being in the trenches of war for years then suddenly finding yourself back at home in the comforts of your own living room.
What would you do? Relax, breathe, recalibrate, do things you enjoy?
If you’ve been in the up and down battle of helping an addict through and addiction, then you can relate to war. It’s tiring. Stressful. Difficult. And at times, unbearable.
If, however, the addict has gone to a rehab like Adult and Teen Challenge, it’s as if you are back in the comforts of your own home. Instead of the daily battle, you are able to rest, refresh, restart, and renew.
And honestly, the addict is not the only one who needs healing in this situation. You do too. And now that the person is in rehab, you finally have the change to do that.
The question, however, is how?
What can be done to fix all the damage while the person I love is away getting help?
There are actually 3 ways to find healing for yourself and to prepare you for what lies ahead.
Let’s glance through each of them together.
“If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed” – Ecclesiastes 10:10
Most likely, President Abraham Lincoln had this Scripture in mind when he said, “give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.”
Here we see the Biblical foundation for rest. We may feel like we need to hurry up and find out how to fix ourselves. Or hurry up and get ready for when the addict we love returns.
But perhaps it’s best to slow down. To rest.
You have been in a long, difficult battle. High anxiety. High intensity. Constantly.
It’s time to take time for yourself. Enjoy the things you used to do. Spend some time resting both your mind and body.
For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?” – Luke 14:28 (ESV)
This verse shows us the value of planning ahead of time. After resting up, it’s time to put a plan in place for when the addict you love comes back home.
How much, if any, cash will you allow around the house?
What’s the plan to deal with an outburst?
Who will you call if you need help?
These are some practical questions we make addicts aware of at Adult and Teen Challenge. But most importantly, they are questions you will want to work through to establish a plan before the person you love comes home.
A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. – Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NLT)
One of the many unfortunate consequences of living with an addict is isolation. The embarrassment associated with these conditions make it hard for us to open up to people who could help. Furthermore, addicts tend to draw us into their addictive lifestyles, pulling us away from our systems of support outside of them.
While the person you love is away in rehab, you have a perfect opportunity to connect with a support network that will help you heal now and prepare for later.
Now, they can help you process what you’ve been through. Later, they will help you deal with what you could go through.
Relying on one person as your support system is dangerous, especially if that person is an addict. You need a network of family and friends who love you.
And now you have the chance to develop those relationships.
All in all, it’s important to know that nothing changes if nothing changes. While your addict is getting help in rehab, it’s time for you to get help as well. That way, change will last. Use this time to relax, prepare, and establish your support system.
Change what you’ve done in the past while the addict you love is away in rehab, and those changes will endure into your future.