Supporting a Family Member in Early Sobriety
Do you have a loved one who just achieved early sobriety? Are you informed enough to continue supporting their long-term recovery? Are you prepared for the challenges ahead, such as their potential relapse? You may know that family support is a significant motivator for recovering individuals, but rebuilding a recovery-supportive home environment is no small task. There are challenges that, if handled poorly, can even sabotage this stage of sobriety.
The Importance of Family Support
If it takes a village to raise a child, it is also a collective endeavor for a family to support a recovering member. Family support is often the last defense against this person’s total isolation from society. Financial support from parents can also be the only way a young person enters detox treatment. If motivation is the key towards recovery, family support can also be the primary source of sustained motivation for a recovering individual.
However, no family is perfect. There can be dynamics or unresolved conflicts in the home that create stress for a recovering individual. For a home environment to become recovery-supportive, it is crucial to re-establish healthy boundaries. If you are a parent or a spouse, your loved one’s sobriety is worth celebrating. Still, it is also a convening call for the whole family to become healthy, caring, and recovery-supportive.
Identifying and Avoiding Triggers at Home
The main goal in supporting your loved one at home is to avoid triggers. These include visible triggers and invisible ones as well. Most people know that the home needs to be substance-free. Drugs and alcohols are visible triggers, and yes, they should disappear from your home. You also need to be aware of any illicit online drug access and develop strategies to limit that kind of access.
The most potent triggers are relationship struggles at home that create stress and anxiety for the recovering individual. Sometimes when someone in recovery relapses, family members may again feel disappointed and even betrayed. These emotions are genuine and typical, but they can be very hurtful and add stress to your loved one.
Many families have gone through shock, disappointment, mutual blaming, and conflicts when discovering that one has become addicted to substance use. Or worse, some families have had a history of addiction over a few generations. These painful experiences and sometimes unresolved trauma in the family can be risk factors for relapse. For example, it is essential to be aware of the trigger of judgmental finger-pointing and blaming.
Be prepared that your loved one will surely experience cravings and maybe even deceive you to get access to drugs and alcohol. In these moments, remember that confrontational attitudes are not effective in motivating your loved one to stay sober.
When your loved one attends a social gathering, you can offer to drive and accompany them as a kind of accountability. You can also use the professional sober escort service from an intervention center.
However, before you arrange these, be sure to discuss with your loved ones and assure them that you are doing this out of precaution, not distrust. Sometimes you can invite a professional interventionist to educate your loved ones on this. All in all, sobriety-inducive family support is marked by respect, understanding, healthy boundaries, and careful planning.
Self-Care as Top Priority for the Entire Family
Taking care of a recovering individual can be a very demanding task. It can also be very emotionally draining because you are doing a lot of emotional labor in reducing friction in the home. Therefore, it is imperative that you also set aside time for self-care. The whole family can use this opportunity to learn how to self-care even during situations of emergency.
Maybe you can join a peer support group for people who are going through similar challenges. Be aware of your stress level and seek counseling if necessary. You can also learn a new relaxation exercise, such as mindfulness and yoga. Encourage the whole family to build similar activities into your weekly routines. By becoming emotionally resilient as a family, you can better support your loved one towards long-term recovery.
Overall, rebuilding a recovery-supportive home environment means that all family members now have new alertness about healthy boundaries for the sake of their loved ones. They should commit to meaningful, structured activities that minimize backlashes in recovery progress. Some family relationships have the opportunity to be reborn. Given time, the goal of long-term recovery for your loved one can be within reach.
Do you have a loved one who has just achieved sobriety? Are you committed to continuing to support them? Do you know the challenges at this stage of early sobriety? Are you aware of the many triggers at home that might cause a relapse? Family support is critical, but it needs to be better informed. At South Florida Intervention, we understand the importance of rebuilding a recovery-supportive home environment. Over the past years, we have helped many families navigate this stage of early sobriety. We know how to help families heal wounds and prepare for supporting their loved ones. Our clients include families with addictive teens, young professionals, and entrepreneurs. As experienced interventionists, we are committed to providing you with first-class, custom-made service, including recovery coaching, parent coaching, sober escort service, and detailed case management. All of these are effective tools to help your loved one and your family claim back health and harmony. Call us at (202) 390-2273 today.