There are few realities more difficult to face up to than a close friend or family member checking into rehab. While it’s true to say that alcohol rehab represents an important step in the recovery process for so many, it is still so difficult in the early stages to see any real light at the end of the tunnel. This is especially true in instances where prior to making the decision to go into rehab, the individual in question may have left something of a trail of destruction in their wake.
According to the majority of those who specialise in alcohol counselling in Kent, friends and family members of those going into rehab very rarely speak out or seek help for their own issues. It’s important to remember that when an individual enters rehab, the shockwaves of both their decision and what has happened before can potentially affect any number of people in a wide variety of ways. Family members in particular are of course likely to be hit the hardest – many of whom simply will not know what to do with themselves or how to get by. Nevertheless, the way close family members handle things can and will have a direct knock on effect on the long-term prospects of the individual going through the recovery process.
So with this in mind, what follows is a brief overview of five simple tips from the experts on how to get by when a family member enters alcohol rehab:
1 – Self-Focus
First of all, it’s important to ensure that you are not dedicating every waking moment exclusively to the individual in rehab. They are definitely going to need your help, your support and your thoughts along the way, but you also need to give yourself as much focus as necessary to deal with what you are going through. Don’t for one minute think that you are supposed to be the proverbial ‘rock’ and put your own thoughts and feelings to one side indefinitely, given the fact that someone else is going through a worse time than you. In reality, close friends and family members can potentially suffer and struggle just as much as the individual going through the rehab process. The sooner you begin focusing on yourself and accepting this, the better for all involved.
2 – Stop the Blame Game
At this particular stage in time, assigning blame (or directing it all to yourself) isn’t going to help anyone. If anything, it is only going to make things worse. In some instances, there is a clear-cut reason where the individual in question began drinking to such an extent that they ended up in rehab. In others, there’s absolutely no single reason or set of reasons whatsoever – it just happened. In any case, whatever it was that started them on the path to problematic drinking will be discussed and addressed during the rehab process in a positive, proactive and open way. Pointing the finger of blame anywhere and everywhere in a negative, resentful or spiteful manner only breeds the kinds of negative emotions that will make the entire process more difficult than it needs to be.
3 – Speak to Others
Never forget for one moment that there are thousands, maybe even tens of thousands of other people just like you going through exactly what you are going through right now. Even though you may feel alone, the truth is actually quite to the contrary. Nevertheless, it is up to you and you alone to make the necessary efforts to reach out to those facing similar hardships and challenges. Along with the traditional option of support groups and counselling, there are also plenty of online forums and communities dedicated to this subject and process.
4 – Live Your Life
It is neither necessary nor productive to put your entire life on hold indefinitely, during the individual’s rehabilitation and recovery process. Doing so will only put you in a position where you are more likely to become resentful and inherently less helpful than you could be, if you were to continue living your life and focusing on yourself. You are important and need to view your own life with importance along the way.
5 – Be Patient
Last up, it is fundamentally impossible to pinpoint exactly how long it is going to take for the process to reach its completion – precisely why patience is of such importance. It may be a week, a month or even longer than a year before any positive results begin to emerge – attempting to rush things along will only ever increase the likelihood of failure.