Your loved one is on the road to recovery, but it’s not an easy path. It’s full of temptations, and while you mean well, the doubt and fear you have could be casting a shadow over your lives.
Living with a recovering alcoholic is no walk in the park. Since alcoholism affects the whole family, the journey has to be made together. Although it’s a long path to follow, you can act as the North Star that keeps your loved one on track to live the healthy lifestyle they deserve.
The emotions that come with these circumstances can run heavy. Your loved one could be feeling some guilt, and the family might have to watch on and hope for the best. Even if you’re living with someone who has had a rough past with alcohol, help is always a phone call away.
The struggles of any recovering alcoholic impacts their life, along with the lives of family and friends. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. If you or someone you love are struggling with recovery, it’s time to get additional support to maintain the progress.
At Transitions Recovery, we’re helping our clients beat the urge to drink. Instead of turning to the bottle, you can turn to a support system to guide you along your journey of sobriety.
Get Support for Yourself
Learning how to live with an alcoholic is difficult. But it’s not impossible. While family members living with an alcoholic will find themselves living in a high-stress environment, support can make the situation more manageable.
You’re healing from your wounds, and even though your loved one is finally sober, you’re still hurting. If this sounds like you, you should try getting involved in support groups, like Alcoholics Anonymous. You can also seek individual counseling.
Family support is essential for a recovering alcoholic. Outpatient family therapy programs are great for developing communication and stress-reduction skills. You’ll also learn more about coping with trigger situations. With this therapy, you’re also given the education to spot unhealthy behavior and dysfunctional roles to resolve in your home.
Support Your Loved One’s Sobriety
The first year of recovery is always the toughest; it requires an environment promoting your loved one’s clean lifestyle. This means the home should no longer have alcohol, and your family should avoid activities and events in which alcohol is being consumed.
The ideal situation is to have anyone living with a recovering alcoholic abstain from alcohol as they support their loved one’s recovery. While drinking might not be your problem, you can become a part of the solution by steering clear of adult beverages.
Challenges Your Loved One is Facing After Rehabilitation
Alcohol rehabilitation isn’t the end of addiction; instead, it’s the start of maintaining sobriety. Going from substance abuse to living a clean and healthy lifestyle is difficult. This is an entire lifestyle change your loved one will have to bolster, and it comes with ongoing hardships, including:
- Financial worries
- Health issues
- Relationship problems
The best thing to do is be there for your loved one. Support them during their battles, and celebrate their wins with them. Addressing these challenges can also assist your loved one in winning their struggle each day.
Addressing the Challenges of Life After Rehabilitation
Following rehabilitation, you can encourage your loved one to take actions contributing to the successful maintenance of their sobriety. These are some of the methods you can try:
- Have your loved one meet with a financial advisor. A professional can assist with financial worries, helping to plan short-term and long-term finances.
- Bring your loved one to a doctor regularly. While they have completed rehabilitation, the lingering health issues could pose a threat if left to fester.
- Join your loved one in family-based therapy. This therapy acts as a guide to maintaining open communication serving as a foundation for a better relationship.
Guiding Your Loved One Towards Something New
While the physical aspect of recovery is difficult, the most challenging aspect is the emotional and psychological sides. Since alcohol played such an important role in your loved one’s existence for so long, finding something to fill that void is productive on the road to recovery.
Keeping away from the emotional and psychological triggers that feed into the addiction means finding something else to focus on. Some excellent ways to replace substance abuse include new hobbies, activities, charity work, a job, family –– anything enjoyable that fits with your loved one’s clean living lifestyle is up for grabs.
Helping your loved one find the right option and encouraging them to try new things can make a world of difference in the recovery process. While you should avoid being pushy, gentle words of encouragement could be just what they need.
Try Diffusing Stressful Situations
The stressors that come with recovery are challenging obstacles to overcome. These stressors generally include:
- Family conflicts, relationships, and homelife
- Financial woes
- School or work
- Legal consequences stemming from alcohol abuse
But is it possible to mitigate the stress? Of course, but time is of the essence. Here are a few methods for helping your loved one handle stress:
- Maintain open lines of communication
- Avoid blaming or demeaning one another
- Gently encourage support group involvement
- Stay supportive and be available without focusing on stressful situations from yesterday and bothering your loved one about coping abilities
- Keep it light-hearted and humorous –– these are excellent stress relievers
Keep an Eye Open for Relapse Warning Signs
Anyone living with a recovering alcoholic must understand relapse warning signs. These could include the following:
- Preferring to isolate oneself from family and friends
- Reaching out to friends they associated with when they used alcohol
- Shifts in behavior or attitude
- Diminishing interest in recovery and a sober lifestyle
- Speaking of fond memories involving alcohol
Additional Guidance & Support for Your Loved One
If you or a loved one need help to abstain from alcohol, you’re not alone. While recovery is over, aftercare is essential to maintain the successes you’ve had with your rehabilitation.
At Transitions Recovery, we’ve successfully treated thousands of clients for alcohol abuse problems, uncovering the best transition of themselves in the process. For more information call 800-626-1980.