The Counseling Center says that families often feel the full force of the impact of addiction when a family member needs help. They are usually the ones who end up paying money for the addict, they routinely bail them out of trouble, and they are the ones that the addict takes their anger out on when they cannot get their way. Does this sound familiar?
1. Go to a meeting
One of the best ways that you can understand the recovery process and your loved one is by attending an open AA or NA meeting. Learn about the steps they have to take to avoid pitfalls and where they can find support. Showing them that you care enough to get involved is often something that keeps the addict in the program. They do not want to let their family member or friend down, so they keep pushing themselves to do better and stay sober for longer.
2. Find calming activities for everyone to enjoy
One of the most important things you can do when living with an addict is to help everyone find new ways to deal with stress, according to Recovery.org. Get everyone a journal to write in, practice aromatherapy, buy scented bath soap, practice yoga, do a new exercise routine, learn meditation, go for a walk together, or find a quiet place to listen to a waterfall or the birds chirping. Whatever activity you choose make sure that it helps the user to calm down. The goals are to prevent stress and knowing how to cope with it when stress is unavoidable.
3. Steer clear of your loved one’s triggers
When you are with an addict, you should always help them avoid their cravings by staying away from certain neighborhoods, bars, or people that could make them want to relapse. If you avoid their triggers, then they are less likely to consider testing their sobriety. Help Guide says that showing solidarity with your loved one is a small way to help them recover.
Helping a family member or friend through recovery is a long and complicated process. It takes a lot of strength, honesty, and awareness to continue to stay sober. You can help your loved one through education, compassion, and distraction. The more involved you are in their life, the more work it takes to help the person because they depend on you. Experts say that you should refrain from judging the person or pointing out their flaws. The key is to listen to them whether you agree or not, but do not change position on your views. The addict needs to know that their goal is to recover not convert you.