How to Live with a Recovering Alcoholic

How to Live with a Recovering Alcoholic

Rehab clinics for alcoholics can do a great job helping the recovery of even the most severe addictions. Contrary to common assumption however, what happens in the rehab centre itself is only one piece of a much bigger puzzle. More often than not, it is in fact what happens when the person in question leaves the rehab centre that will make the biggest difference of all when it comes to the long-term recovery and progress.

It could be a very challenging time for everybody involved, but the fact of the matter is that family members and friends play an extremely important role in the recovery process. The reality of living with a recovering addict often turns out to be quite different than expected. Usually the good times are better, the hard times are often worse and the level of help and support they need is much higher than most imagine. Still, there is a lot that can be done to assist their recovery and make sure that you yourself are also looked after at the same time.

The key is in taking heed of a few guidelines and tips from the experts with the following examples:

1 – Study the Topic

First up, you have to consider the fact that the more you know about what your loved one is dealing with, the better equipped you will be to help them with the situation. Not only this, but studying the subject of alcohol addiction and recovery will help ensure you’re able to offer the best possible support for them whenever they need it. Building a better understanding of what is going on can be more reassuring than simply sitting in the dark and not being aware of what you are dealing with. There are simply endless resources available nowadays for anybody in such situations, along with expert consultations and hundreds of guides and information books.

2 – Get Rid of Alcohol

It might be an obvious tip to live by during recovery times, but it’s nevertheless crucial to bear in mind how important it is that alcohol be completely kept out of the equation. Ensuring there is no alcohol at home should go without saying. But at the same time, it is also a good idea not to let a recovering alcoholic see you enjoying drinks, being under the influence or experiencing the ill effects the next day. In whatever form and shape it may be, alcohol right in front of a recovering addict could feel like a slap in the face and an incredible temptation. Even if it means cutting down on alcohol completely for some time, it is an investment in the wellbeing of both of you that is well worth the effort.

3 – Keep Entertained and Active

Above and beyond everything else, there are no relapse triggers that are quite as common or strong as simple boredom. The main problem being that when a recovering addict is mentally and physically drained, feeling sick all the time and coping with emotions of depression and guilt, chances are they won’t want to do a lot and hence will welcome boredom. Therefore, one of the most useful things any family member or friend can do is make concerted efforts to make sure the person in question is kept as active and entertained as possible. Try new activities together, make plans and look forward to things and involve others in the process, too.

4 – Seek Guidance and Support

It is crucial to remember that there are so many online networks and support groups available these days for the families and close ones of recovering addicts – not just for the patients themselves. The predicament of the caring and concerned family member is unique and could only be understood by people going through exactly the same. Therefore, it could be extremely helpful to seek the help of others in similar situations, in order to share your experience, ask questions and generally be reminded that you’re not alone.

5 – Pay Attention to Relapse Signs

Last up, while it is quite a responsibility to bear, you’re nevertheless in the most essential position of all in terms of recognising the symptoms and signs of potential relapse. The simple fact is that while experiencing relapse is very common, it can’t and shouldn’t be something you’re looking for and being terrified of on a constant basis. If that becomes the case, it is exponentially more likely to happen. Instead, it is a case of looking for certain characteristic behaviours and signs. Suddenly declaring having achieved a full recovery, denying having a problem, insisting that no more support or help is required, slipping back into bad habits, hanging out with old friends, sudden mood changes and so on. If there is anything on your mind, feel free to bring it up. If they have nothing to hide, they will not mind discussing it with you.