Living with a recovering addict can be fraught with worry, stress, and frustrations. While you want to support them the most you can, some days it can make you feel invisible, and help seems futile. Watching someone you love go through withdrawal, and try to rebuild their lives after such a huge change can be really tricky, but it is possible to help, and your presence is important to them, even if they struggle to demonstrate that. If you’ve found yourself in a situation where you’re supporting a recovering addict, keep on reading.

Listen

They’ve got a lot to think about, and a lot going through their heads. Listen to them and let them talk without being too challenging to their concepts. The best way for them to straighten out their ever-changing thought processes is by talking them through, and your existence and the trust you share makes you a perfect sounding board. Encourage them to discuss their progress, and put a positive spin on the goals they achieve, as this can be difficult for them to do themselves.

Be patient

They’re going to experience some pretty severe ups and downs, so it’s really important that you try to remain patient and understanding. Do your research to understand the moods that they go through and the frustrations they come up against – this will make it easier for you to stay calm, and therefore be a calming influence on their lives.

Encourage them to seek help

People recovering from addiction often need to seek professional help to get them through the withdrawals, but also to tackle the potential mental health problems that lent themselves to the addiction in the first place. Encourage them to reach out to professionals and attend a treatment center to make their recovery easier and lessen the possibility of relapse.

Help them to create positive changes

You’re in the perfect position to be able to effectively help your loved one to create a positive structure to live in. Recovering from addiction isn’t just about banishing the addictive substance, it’s also about creating healthy systems to replace the structure in which their addiction thrived. You can really help them by encouraging them to eat healthily, formulate positive friendships, and practice self-care.

Look after yourself

Living with a recovering addict can really take its toll on your mental health. There’s a lot of pressure and expectation on you to help this person but you’re also expected to put up with their mood swings and depression. It’s important that you take care of yourself, attend counselling sessions for your own good, and try to stay aware of your own mental health.

What you’re doing is an incredible and selfless thing, and although your loved one might not yet be in a position to show gratitude, they know that they would struggle more if it weren’t for you. Try to keep your head above water, stay educated and knowledgeable, but most of all patient. Every day is one step closer to recovery.

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