Alcohol and drug addiction takes a toll on interpersonal relationships, family life, marriage or domestic partnerships, friendships and work. Although getting professional help is an essential first step, interpersonal challenges don’t disappear after the person in recovery returns home or to work.
By Michael Desjardins, APRN PMHNP-BC, Psychiatric Supervisor
Loving someone in recovery is difficult. While you feel relieved that they’re sober, the fear of relapse may always be in the back of your mind. You wonder if they’ll revert to old, destructive patterns. You worry about whom they spend their time with and whether they’ll slip up if they attend that concert or go to that party. You may feel uneasy bringing up these concerns for fear of alienating or triggering them.
Everyone has regrets, but people in recovery have the added burden of facing the things they did when they were lost to active addiction.
Does it seem to you that giving up drugs and alcohol means that you will never feel upbeat or euphoric again? Getting sober is the first step in a journey of learning to live life without relying on mind-altering chemicals, but there are a lot more lessons to learn once you are able to stop using alcohol and other drugs. While you may experience a lot of extreme emotions in early sobriety, feeling joy while you are sober is probably not as hard as you think
When you have a loved one who’s gone through drug rehabilitation and is about to return home, you’re likely to have mixed emotions. Intermingled with the excitement and joy you feel over the homecoming is bound to be an element of fear and uncertainty.
When your friend has gone through rehab and come home to begin living a clean and sober life, your initial thoughts might be tinged with worry or anxiety about his or her prospects in recovery. You’ve heard all the stories about how relapse is common and how many of those who are just getting clean have a difficult time of it. Should you stay away and allow your friend to sort it out on his or her own? Is there something else you could be doing? Here are some tips on how to best help your newly sober friend.