When you’re in recovery from addiction, it’s important to have a strong support network. This includes your family and friends, who may not always be the most supportive. In fact, their lack of support might stem from ignorance, anger at your substance use, or maybe they’re afraid of losing you now that you’re sober.
Dealing with this situation can be very difficult, but there are things you can do to help yourself out.
First, be kind to you. You’re not to blame for the stigma around mental health and addiction. It’s not your fault that your family and friends don’t support you. Remember that you’re doing the best you can and be gentle with yourself.
Also, remember that your family and friends may have had prior experience around substance abuse and that history could be coloring their reaction to your recovery. There are ways to work around that — many treatment centers have family programs; consider inviting friends and family to a therapy session or a 12-step meeting.
Emotions run high around recovery, and your loved ones may be experiencing emotions they don’t fully understand when they talk about your recovery. It’s good to give them a little space to process what you (and they) have been through, and what you perceive as a lack of support might just be them not ready to talk about it.
You can also suggest they take advantage of recovery resources themselves, to educate themselves on your new lifestyle.
Take Care of Yourself
Secondly, take care of yourself. Use healthy self-care to give yourself a break. Get enough sleep, eat well, and exercise regularly. This will help you stay strong in the face of adversity.
Stress can fuel relapse, so it’s always a good idea to take some “you time”, especially after a heated argument. Exercise is great for feeling less stressed; maybe consider time at a day spa or just blocking off some time for doing the things you like to do. Sometimes even a nap is all it takes.
Be Patient With Your Family
Thirdly, be patient with your family. They may not be used to this new version of you, and it might take some time for them to adjust. In the meantime, try to help them understand what you’re going through. Explain why you’re in recovery and what it means for your life. Share your goals and dreams for the future.
Also, listen to them. They may have something going on in their lives that makes coping with your situation difficult. You might be able to help them with that situation, given your new perspective.
Get Ready For a Difficult Talk
Finally, get ready for a difficult talk. You may need to sit down with your family and really explain what’s going on with you. This is a difficult conversation to have, but it’s important.
Be honest about your addiction and what led you to seek treatment. Explain that you’re committed to recovery and that you need their support. Let them know that things might be different now, but that doesn’t mean you don’t love them.
It will be a hard conversation, but it’s worth it if it means getting the support you need to stay sober. There are a few things you can do to make this talk a little easier:
- Make a date: Both parties know this is going to be a tough conversation and springing it on them won’t help. Set a date in time for your conversation.
- Stay calm: Emotions can distract or even mislead from your message.
- Listen (and respond): Respect will help. If they’re unclear, tell them you’re having trouble understanding where they’re coming from
- Eye contact: This really matters. Try to keep your eyes at the same level of the person (or people) you’re talking to.
- Don’t blame … or shame: This makes people defensive.
- Try not to interrupt: If the person you’re speaking to has something to say, let them say it.
Remember, Recovery Needs A Support System
It’s awful if you have close family and friends who don’t support your journey into recovery, but it’s also not the end of the world. If you’ve attended (or are thinking of attending) a drug and alcohol addiction treatment center, you’ve likely already got a sizeable support group behind you that intimately understands everything you’re going through … and want to achieve.
So, take advantage of it. Work what network you have when you’re feeling alone or harassed by your decision to get sober. Be ready to do the often-hard work of cutting negative people out of your life if it comes to that. And remember that there’s always room for forgiveness.
There’s another way to get a support group or to enhance your current one: sober living homes.
Sober Living Homes: Ready-Made Sobriety Support
Sober living homes are residences for people in addiction recovery. They provide a sober, safe, and structured environment where residents can live while attending outpatient treatment or continuing care groups.
Most importantly, sober living homes come with an instant support system of fellow residents and staff who understand what you’re going through because they’re going (or have gone) through it too.
If you’re looking for an immediate and ready-made sober support group, sober living homes are a great solution.
Of course, there’s always the option to find an apartment or house with fellow sober people and start your own sober living arrangement. But if you’re looking for something that’s already set up and has a support staff, sober living homes are a great option.
Finding A Sober Living Home With SoberLivingNearYou.com
SoberLivingNearYou.com is the web’s largest directory of sober living sites. With us, you’ll be able to find a sober home for your budget, interests, and personality. Best of all, you’ll have a lot of dedicated, sober people to add to your support group. Start finding your sober friends today with SoberLivingNearYou.com!