You’ve likely heard that addiction is a family disease. And, along the same lines, recovery is a long, hard road for both you and your loved one with a substance use disorder. In honor of Mental Illness Awareness Week, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) created some articles for caregivers to help support and encourage family members and friends struggling with mental illness. Here, we take some of their best tips and talk about how they can help you on your loved one’s journey toward sobriety:
- Maintain your own mental health. This means eating right, sleeping, exercising and managing stress. The more effort you put into your own health, the more energy and encouragement you’ll be able to devote to your loved one.
- Learn about your loved one’s addiction. The more you know about addiction and its treatments, the more you’ll be able to be supportive and understanding as your loved one undergoes rehab. Along the same lines, don't be afraid to ask your loved one’s addiction counselor or therapist questions or for recommendations on where to go to learn more.
- Listen carefully. Simply listening is perhaps the best way to show your support. Your loved one is going through a tough time and may say some hurtful things. Do your best to recognize the emotions behind the words (anxiety, confusion, fear) rather than focusing on the words themselves, notes the NAMI.
- Resume "normal" activities and routines. While caring for your loved one is a big part of your life, it’s not everything. Do your best to return to your regular routine and don’t forget to make time for fun activities like watching a movie or going to the park.
- Find support. Outside support and encouragement is critical for everyone in the family, not only the person struggling with addiction. And face it: Stress is easier to handle when you regularly talk to people who understand your experience, notes the NAMI.
Healing Families at Christian Rehab
If you or someone you care about is caught in the bondage of drugs or alcoholism, Christian Rehab Network can help. We help families to find faith-based drug rehab programs based in Biblical truth. To learn more, call today: 877-310-9545.