If you have a loved one who is receiving addiction treatment and has achieved sobriety, that is a big milestone to celebrate. Now, you get to step in and encourage them to keep their progress going strong. It is important to acknowledge their accomplishments, which will keep them motivated.
Acknowledging Their Hard Work in Reaching Sobriety
Early sobriety sometimes takes weeks of detoxification. During this time, your loved one must have endured a lot of challenges due to withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes these symptoms can cause severe pain and even life-threatening conditions. It takes great resilience to go through these trials with the goal of sobriety in mind. Verbalize how important this progress is. Tell them that they have shown great strength in not succumbing to cravings despite strong withdrawal symptoms. When family and friends show pride and support, it can be very motivating.
Working toward sobriety may feel like a lonely path for people in recovery. Let your loved one know that you are committed to supporting them and you are invested in their success. Your companionship can show up in various ways, such as sending a daily text to see how they are doing, inviting them to a sober event, or meeting up for a chat. Keep these interactions regular so they will be encouraged to open up if they have struggles.
Conversing about how much hard work they put in during treatment can help both of you learn more about addiction and recovery. Consider sitting in on one of your loved one’s support groups or counseling sessions, or seek your own counseling or education, so that you can better understand what is needed. Remember that your role is to support unconditionally.
Affirming Progress and Hope
If your loved one has achieved sobriety, this also means that they are learning from their past mistakes. Affirm this experience as a restoration of personal strength and willpower. Remind them again that addiction is a treatable disease, and you are proud of them for doing what needs to be done to treat it. Build up a hopeful expectation for what is to come. Encourage them to replan their life with hopeful aspirations.
Learn more about the coaching your loved one has received about relapse prevention. Bear these principles in mind and be alert—or, help your loved one be alert—to triggers, stress, and cravings. As strong support, your role is to motivate them beyond burnout or complacency. The risk of relapse is real, but a relapse experience does not mean the end of recovery. Showing any despair and disappointment regarding a relapse can be very hurtful to your loved one. Let positivity and hope rule over negative emotions.
Envisioning Sobriety Anniversaries
Early sobriety takes hard work, and it is a high-risk phase for relapse to occur. Reinforce with your loved one the idea that recovery is a marathon, not a sprint, and this first phase of victory can point to a better chance of long-term success. Let them know that you are also committed to supporting their sobriety. Both of you can envision what you can do on their next sobriety anniversary. You can celebrate weeks, months, and years sober to celebrate success and encourage them to keep going.
People tend to be motivated by positive roadmaps. Sobriety anniversaries can become guideposts for your loved one’s achievement and your ongoing support. Even if there are detours on this roadmap, both of you know the overall direction of where you are heading.
Practicing Self-Care for Yourself
Caring for and supporting a loved one going through addiction treatment can be emotionally draining. To preserve all your positive energy to motivate your loved one, you must diligently practice self-care. Apart from eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and learning relaxation methods, consider connecting with a peer support group. These sessions can help you meet other families who are supporting their loved ones and get tips and encouragement.
Opening up your frustrations in peer support groups can help you process negative emotions while caring for your loved one. This is also a place where you can continue to be educated about addiction recovery. Maybe you are struggling with communication between yourself and your loved one, or need tips for maintaining boundaries while encouraging them. Bring those issues up for discussion, and you can learn from a group of concerned people who share similar challenges.
Some treatment centers offer family-based therapy. Take advantage of this opportunity as a way to work out relationship issues between your loved ones. As your loved one is experiencing personal transformation and growth, you are too. With the help of mental health experts who are familiar with family dynamics, you can receive coaching on how to best support and accompany each other for your loved one’s best chance at long-term sobriety.
If you have a loved one who is receiving addiction treatment and has achieved sobriety, this is cause for celebration. At this point, they’re going to need your help for support, motivation, and accountability. It takes great resilience to go through detox and treatment with the goal of sobriety in mind. Verbalize how important this progress is. Recovery is a lifelong journey, and the more help they have from friends and family, the more sustainable and possible that journey becomes. At Laguna Shores Recovery, our experienced mental health professionals can coach and support family members to support their loved ones. We will walk alongside you as your loved one continues their recovery. Call us today to discover how you can be part of our community, as family support is key to your loved one’s recovery. For more information, call 866-934-5276.