When someone suffers from addiction, everyone around them suffers as well, especially the ones that care about them the most. In the heat of things, it can be easy to spew out hurtful remarks or take drastic measures as an attempt to make sense of the situation or just out of mere frustration. However, in time, you may end up truly damaging the relationship and pushing your loved one away.
We all make mistakes. And while this is a known truth, someone who addicted to drugs or alcohol may take any fight or bit of criticism harder than they normally would. This is when you should bite the bullet, and step in to take measures to repair the wounded relationship. And though this may seem like a difficult task to accomplish while they are away seeking treatment at a recovery center, there are plenty of ways to get on common ground and repair the damage. Here are five tips to help you out.
Apologizing is a simple remedy, but so many people miss the mark. This can be due to pride or just being caught up on seeing things from one perspective. And while you may have had a logical reason to speak out about whatever was bothering you, it is important to look at the bigger picture. Focusing on who was right or wrong will only make matters worse.
The best apology is an uncomplicated one that does not involve excessive explanations, finger-pointing, or beating around the bush. All of these things will only further ignite the fire. To emphasize the sincerity of your apology, be direct by stating exactly what you are sorry for. You may even benefit from telling your loved one what you could have said to them instead. Steer away from excuses, and only explain your actions if asked.
2. Allow Them Their Space
They will hopefully accept your apology and agree to start fresh, but there is a fair chance that they won’t. And this may not be because they no longer want you to be a part of their lives; instead, they may just need time to think. While this may hurt, the smartest thing to do would be to give them space to figure things out. Breathing room will allow them to clear their head as the situation dies down.
3. Show Up For Them
Once you have given your loved one an adequate amount of time to get over the initial hurt, it will then be time to show up for them. Most recovery centers have visitation days that permit friends and family members to come by and spend time with their loved ones. Showing up to these events is the perfect way to prove that they are still important to you and that you are willing to stand by them during their toughest life phases. You can also reach out by making phone calls to check on them or writing letters to stay involved with their progress.
4. Ask Them How They Feel
Communication is double-sided. It is super important to hear what your loved one has to say about the matter. Without forcing them to answer, ask them how they are feeling. You would be surprised at how powerful this step is as most addicts feel misunderstood and have a desperate need to be heard out by those who claim to care about them. Offering a listening ear that is free of judgment will not only make them feel valued in your eyes, but you may also become aware of more important details about your loved one and any underlying issues that may have urged them to choose this path to begin with.
5. Make Noticeable Changes
Don’t insult your loved one by feeding them an apology without placing any effort towards making tangible changes in the future. Now is the time to make the necessary improvements to be a better companion. This can be achieved by speaking more positively, encouraging them to stay on an upwards slope, and educating yourself on addiction and recovery so that you can become a stronger support system.
You can also support your loved one on the path to sobriety by making sure that they are being cared for by those that are just as passionate about them as you are. No matter how far addiction has taken them, we have enough faith in our team and practice to help our patients wave goodbye to addiction for good. Call us today at 844-639-8371 to see what we can do for both you and your loved one.