When a loved one decides to enter treatment for drug addiction recovery, the process he or she tackles isn’t solely their own—it’s a feat for the entire family. The spiritual, mental, and physical health of everyone is challenged, paving the way for an intense, intimidating season.
Thankfully, this journey isn’t all gray and bleak. In fact, when close family, friends, and support systems back home understand the active role they play, even when their loved one is engrossed in treatment, it creates an opportunity to lift spirits, establish a sense of purpose, and pave a trail for their loved one to travel throughout rehabilitation.
For family members or close friends who are wondering what to do now that their loved one has started addiction recovery treatment, here are a few simple but important next steps for the journey.
Realize That You Are Also A Victim
At Renaissance Ranch, we understand that: “When we say victims of addiction, we are not only referring to those who abuse substances, but also to the families and friends of substance abusers.” Though this might seem like an exaggeration, the family and friends of the person struggling with substance abuse need healing, too. If they don’t find help for themselves, they will be of no help to their loved ones when they complete treatment and reintegrate into healthy relationships.
When people think of victims, they often jump to the most extreme episodes of 48 Hours mysteries, but many times, victims are living, everyday people who are walking through tough life phases like everyone else. They blend in, often by choice, to avoid rehashing their traumatic experience(s).
According to the Natural Center for Biotechnology, simply put, a victim is someone who experiences a “normal reaction to abnormal circumstances.” Something abnormal, scary, or off-putting happens, and the body does what it deems “normal” and safe: it produces whatever response it deems necessary to remove a person from the traumatic experience as quickly and efficiently as possible.
When a family member or close friend watches a loved one abuse substances to the extent to which they must get clinical help, it’s no secret that some form of trauma has taken place. This doesn’t mean each situation has been violent, wild, and criminal, but it’s a scarring thing to watch a loved one fight a battle that no one else can begin to fix but them.
Take Advantage Of Renaissance Ranch’s Family Program
Renaissance Ranch provides programs and therapeutic treatments for family and friends that can be completed with their loved ones in treatment. Not only does this create a safe space where family and friends can healthily share their journey through this grueling process, but they can also work with their loved ones alongside clinical professionals who offer Renaissance Ranch’s Symbolic Family Addiction Therapy. This type of therapy establishes the importance of viewing the family unit as the long-term foundation for success, giving each member a crucial part to play.
The Symbolic Family Addiction process opens the floor for family members and their loved ones in treatment to discuss dynamics, word choices, and outlooks that might need to change to produce a stronger, more loving unit. Once these factors are laid out for everyone, it’s easier to start piecing roles back together and establishing a mutually understood definition of respect and boundaries.
Experiential Family Therapy is another resource that Renaissance Ranch provides, which offers more insight and resources for family and friends who have a loved one who not only struggles with drug addiction but also combats a mental health disorder. With so many stigmas and false assumptions around mental health disorders, it’s important for a recoveree’s support system to understand how to navigate conversations and everyday experiences with a person who suffers from mental health issues.
Receive Grace And Extend Grace
Rehabilitation is a two-way street. Not only does it require the individual to get help and implement program practices into their daily life, but it requires the family and friends to understand the science and believe in the journey enough to re-open their doors so they can make amends and hearts can begin to heal.
Those who are on the outside looking in, waiting on their loved one to fight through addiction, should actively pursue ways to extend grace. When they do this, it provides stronger encouragement for their loved ones to continue the uphill battle, knowing they have family, friends, and a support system that they believe they are worth showing up for.
When both parties look for solutions rather than excuses and are looking out for the other more than themselves, the journey isn’t necessarily easier, but everyone can recognize that the end goal — the healing — is far worth the roughest days, as they trudge through the rehabilitation process.
Should You Support Your Spouse through Rehab?
Few things are as difficult as watching a person you love go through the pains of addiction. Addiction is a behavioral disease that has a profound impact on the actions of those who suffer from it, and seeing the person you love fall victim to the cycle of hurt that addiction causes can put significant strain on your relationship.
In these situations, it is so important for the addict to seek professional help and treatment to help them overcome this dependency. However, this isn’t always the easiest thing to go through as their significant other. Here’s some information about whether you should support your spouse through rehab…
You Don’t Have to Be Their Only Support
This cannot be said enough, but it’s important to remember that you can’t be the only support for a person who is going through rehab. True and lasting recovery takes a strong network of people to rally around an addict, and recovery is partially about healing those relationships with the people who want this person to get better. As a spouse, you shouldn’t have to go through supporting a person through rehab all on your own.
Tough Love Can Spur Action
Sometimes, a person going through rehab needs the nurturing support of their spouse to help them through the hardships. However, there are also times where you need to put more accountability on your significant other. Sometimes, it takes tough love from a person whom an addict is very emotionally close to to spur meaningful action that pushes them towards a lasting recovery.
It’s Your Decision
Ultimately, it’s important to remember that you are your own person. There are almost certainly times when loving an addict has caused tremendous pain, and if you can’t put yourself through more strain to be a part of the recovery process, then you shouldn’t be expected to. You need to take care of yourself before you can take care of other people.
At Renaissance Ranch, we understand how important it is for family and friends to be involved in their loved one’s journey through drug addiction recovery and rehabilitation. After all, the reintegration part of treatment requires participants to try and establish new, healthy, foundational relationships with those who have been their support all along. We welcome you to ask questions and take advantage of our clinical staff’s programs, treatments, and therapies that are available for all family, friends, and support units. We understand that some of the hardest, most scarring parts of addiction center on how loved ones were hurt, and we want to be part of the healing process for everyone involved. If you have a loved one who has entered treatment and you’re left not knowing what to do next, look no further than at Renaissance Ranch. Dive deeper into the programs that we have available for you and your entire family. Please contact us today at (801) 308-8898 to learn more.