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What To Do When a Loved One Won’t Stay Sober

What To Do When a Loved One Won’t Stay Sober

When a loved one who is struggling finally gets sober, it can come with a huge mix of emotions. There is excitement and hope, often mixed with fear and uncertainty about whether they will be able to maintain their sobriety. 

The initial step of getting sober is a big milestone for anyone struggling with addiction, but for many, relapses are part of a long road to healing and recovery. Watching a loved one go through this can cause a storm of emotions. You may feel concern, confusion, or even a sense of betrayal as you watch them go through these ups and downs. It’s complex, to say the least. Navigating this situation requires a blend of understanding, action, and a lot of heart. So what can you do when someone you love is struggling to stay sober? 

Understanding Relapse

Recognizing that recovery is more of a marathon than a sprint is fundamental to supporting your loved one. A stumble, such as a relapse, isn’t about failing; it’s a part of many people’s healing journeys. It signifies a need to reassess and readjust the recovery plan, not a reason to lose hope.

Finding the right words when you first learn about a relapse is crucial. Try to approach the conversation with empathy, steering clear of judgment. Criticism can lead to shame, making the road to recovery even more difficult. Let them know you’re concerned about their well-being and that you’re there to support, not judge.

What To Do When a Loved One Won’t Stay Sober

What To Do When Someone You Love Won’t Stay Sober?

We don’t bear responsibility for causing someone’s addiction,  but it’s also important to recognize and remember that we lack the power to control it. There are proactive steps we can take to safeguard our own well-being when faced with the challenges of a loved one’s battle with sobriety and to support them along the way, but ultimately we have to remember that the choice and outcome is in their hands. 

Wherever you are on this journey with your loved one, here are some tips to support you as you navigate this tricky terrain. 

  1. Educate Yourself on Addiction: Understanding addiction as a chronic condition can be empowering. The medical community largely supports viewing addiction through this lens, recognizing that recovery is an ongoing journey. It’s important to accept that relapse can occur without signifying defeat, and to acknowledge that someone struggling with addiction may not yet be prepared for change.
  2. Build Your Support Network: Establishing a robust support system is crucial. This network might consist of relatives, friends, a professional counselor, and participation in support circles, which can provide invaluable perspectives and coping mechanisms.
  3. Practice Detachment with Compassion: This approach is not about issuing ultimatums or threats to the person facing addiction. Rather, it’s about focusing on your own needs and well-being, even if your loved one does not achieve or maintain sobriety. Consider ways to release the fixation on your loved one’s addiction, allowing you to prioritize your own health and happiness.
  4. Set and Uphold Boundaries: Determine the specific ways you will cease enabling the addictive behavior. Reflect on what behaviors you deem unacceptable and decide on the extent of your support (such as facilitating attendance at recovery meetings or assisting in finding treatment options). It’s crucial to communicate these boundaries clearly and consistently, ensuring they are respected and upheld.

These steps are not about distancing oneself from the loved one struggling with addiction but about fostering a healthier dynamic where personal well-being is also a priority.

Support from loved ones is invaluable, yet professional guidance often plays a key role in addressing the deeper issues tied to addiction and relapse. Encouraging a meeting with addiction specialists can make a significant difference. It’s about empowering them to seek the help they need, offering a nudge rather than pushing them.

If encouragement isn’t enough, an intervention might be the next step. This doesn’t mean confrontation but rather coming together in a supportive manner to express concerns and encourage change. It can be helpful to have a professional guide this process, ensuring it’s as constructive as possible.

Support doesn’t mean enabling. Establishing healthy boundaries is essential for both your well-being and theirs. This might mean not covering up for their actions or setting limits on how much their behavior can affect you. It’s tough love, communicated with care. This journey can be draining for you too. Make sure to look after yourself. Seek support, engage in activities that replenish your spirit, and remember, it’s okay to take a step back to breathe.

What To Do When a Loved One Won’t Stay Sober

How True Life Recovery Can Support

In moments like these, knowing there’s a place to turn to can make all the difference. At True Life Recovery, we believe in the power of community and the promise of a new beginning for anyone touched by addiction. If you or someone close to you is finding it hard to stay on the path to sobriety, we’re here to help. Our dedicated team is committed to providing the care and support necessary to navigate the complexities of recovery. Feel free to give us a call to talk through your situation and learn more about how we can help. 

Facing a loved one’s relapse is undeniably tough, but hope and healing are always possible with the right mix of patience, empathy, and expert assistance. True Life Recovery is here to be part of that mix, guiding and supporting you and your loved one every step of the way towards a brighter tomorrow.

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Stephen White - True Life Recovery

Thank you for reading our latest article. My name is Stephen White, Director of Business Development for True Life Recovery. If you or your loved one needs help with addiction recovery, please don’t hesitate to call me directly. I am passionate about what I do, and here to answer any questions, support you, and guide you on your journey towards recovery. Let’s take the first step to a brighter future together. Call me at 714-909-2337 now!

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