by Sally Writes
If recovery from addiction is a sunny day, there are sure to be a few clouds that try to mask the brightness of those glorious rays. It’s inevitable. But, there are also many ways to keep those clouds or distractions from hovering too close. A support system is a crucial part of recovery. Your relationships are vital.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 40% to 60% of treated patients will experience a relapse. Those who don’t relapse often report having a close relationship to keep them clean when motivation wanes and addiction tries to take back over.
Loved ones can offer support when you find yourself struggling. Here are a couple tips to manage your relationships so you can get the most out of life.
You might pick up a new hobby or delve into an interest of yours. Whether you choose to start reading more or volunteer your time, establishing new habits and routine can help you to avoid relapse. You might also think about incorporating regular exercise into your lifestyle, and invite your loved ones to join you.
Additionally, getting away from the normalcy of the everyday can be the best medicine for recovering. Travel offers a new perspective and visiting a new place can spark new interests or adventures that will lead you away from the path of addiction. Experiencing new places and being active with the ones you love can also deepen your relationship in mutual love and respect.
Because recovery is a lifelong battle, there are bound to many triggers and distractions. Make sure you talk out with your loved ones what those might be for you. For example, if you’re a recovering alcoholic, maybe restaurants with a large bar are not the best dinner choice. If you used to eat pizza with your beer, maybe you avoid ordering pizza to not summon the urge to drink. These are some examples of things to reflect on and explore with your support system. They want you to succeed in recovery and are likely to understand.
Addiction feeds on secrecy and deception. Keeping lines of communication open with your loved ones will keep some of those clouds at bay. Let them know how you feel and what you think. It can be difficult to be honest with those you love when you feel your desires will hurt them, but be reminded that this is a journey and those who love you want what’s best for you.
Addiction will not define you. Be sure of that and celebrate life with others who support you and know your true self. There is so much more life to live.
If you are interested more about the programs we offer to help here that support relationships, check out our Family Program Page!