Drug or alcohol addiction recovery is a trying time that can make or break a person, a relationship, or even a family. If you or a loved one is on the road to recovery, making key life changes and working towards conscious transformations are crucial to maintaining sobriety. Whether you are working towards addiction recovery as a couple, or as an individual with support from a loved one, here are some things you should think about to help you overcome this challenge together:
Overcoming Addiction: First Steps
Whether you are facing addiction with a loved one who’s also in recovery, or on your own, the first step towards rehabilitation is the decision to make a change. This change will involve many aspects of your life and of your relationship as a couple. You’ll both need to rethink the way you deal with stress, the way you spend your time, the people with whom you spend your time, and how you view yourself.
Each section of this four-part analysis should be focused on your and your partner’s recovery. Understanding that you can become addiction free is essential in making these life changes, as this knowledge will fuel your ability to implement changes and empower your courage and will. Once you have both decided the path you will take towards facing recovery, and have explored treatment options, you can begin reaching out for support.
When Both Members of the Relationship Face Addiction
When both members of the relationship face addiction, it can be hard to break from the pattern of comfort that is found in the use of substances. By remembering how important your partner is, reminding yourself of the reasons that you want to change, and setting measurable goals, you two can embark on the journey to recovery together.
Collectively, you will be challenged to break ties with old friends that don’t support healthy life habits, to attend all of your addiction recovery meetings, and to rely on each other for support. For a relationship in which both members face addiction, it can also be beneficial to build a strong support system with other people outside of the relationship to whom you can turn, such as family members or trusted friends. Having support outside of the relationship can help you both in times of doubt or trial.
When One Member of the Relationship Faces Addiction
When one member of the relationship faces addiction, both people have responsibilities and roles that are essential to recovery. For the person who is struggling with addiction, you must set goals, commit to attending recovery group meetings, and be willing to be honest and open about your addiction and recovery. For the person who is supporting an individual that is struggling with addiction, it is your responsibility to be accepting and loving. Together, find healthy habits that can replace addiction, such as exercise or sports; find friends that support outings and activities that don’t center around drugs or alcohol; and find ways to relieve stress and tension without the use of substances. The latter can be activities you do together or alone, such as going for a walk, getting a back massage, taking a bath, or attending a yoga class.
When overcoming addiction, the most important steps are being honest and open, deciding to make a change, considering different treatment options, and then reaching out for support. Whether one person or both people in the relationship face addiction, using each other as a support system, you can overcome addiction together.