Deciding to get sober can be very challenging and intimidating. People who pursue recovery from addiction need support from those in their lives. This not only gives them strength through the life-changing journey they’re about to take. An addicted brain is more likely to rationalize drinking or using, so a lack of support can make people question their choice.
At TruHealing Centers, our team will teach you effective strategies to provide support in sobriety for a friend or family member. One of the best ways to help a loved one with their sobriety is for you to enroll in our family therapy program, for example. Learn more about how to provide support in sobriety from TruHealing Centers today by calling 833.631.0525 or completing our online form.
How to Support a Loved One’s Sobriety
According to the Stages of Change model, people often go through many stages before accepting that they need to quit using substances. When someone in your life tells you they’re getting sober, it might be news to you, but it’s probably been in their head a while.
One of the most important things you can do is believe them. Don’t question whether they really have a problem. People all have different reasons for getting sober. Even if you don’t see the consequences of their use, they obviously feel them. People in active addiction tend to be very good at hiding the extent of their use. Your friend might be in a fragile spot in early or pre-sobriety and needs unequivocal support.
What if you have noticed their drug or alcohol use and have many problems with how they acted? It’s acceptable to hold your friend accountable to the ways they hurt you while they were drinking or using. However, it might be best to hold off until they have been sober a while, with more time to process.
Other ways to provide support in sobriety for a loved one include:
- Don’t criticize – Your friend is in a delicate place in early sobriety, so they may be less able to handle criticism. They will be better able to make amends when they are in recovery.
- It’s not about you – Try not to make this moment about you. It takes courage for someone to be open about sobriety, so be mindful of that. There are subtle ways that people might unknowingly center themselves in a conversation with a newly sober friend. Instead of saying things like “I didn’t know you had a problem,” which is about your experience, try saying something like “I’m so proud of you.”
- Show support – Telling someone you’re proud of them can make a significant difference in a recovery process.
- Be careful with your questions – Don’t ask questions like, “So you can never drink or get high again?” This is often about the questioner’s own disappointment about not being able to drink or use with the person, their inability to understand the decision to go without substances, or something else that benefits their own curiosity.
The phrase “take it one day at a time” is used in recovery, especially early recovery, because imagining a lifetime of sobriety can be an enormous challenge. It can make people want to give up. Reminding a loved one about why they are pursuing recovery is an excellent way to keep them on the right track.
What If I’m Not Sure How to Help?
If you’re not sure how to support your friend, it’s okay to say that. You’re not expected to have all the answers. Asking “How can I support you?” is an excellent way to show your friend that you want to be there for them in whatever way will be most helpful. When they answer, listen. Then show the support they asked for. One of the ways people stay sober is keeping connected to a support system. You can be part of that system and begin supporting your friend’s recovery.
Rely on TruHealing Centers for Support in Sobriety
If you or a loved one are struggling with a substance use or mental health disorders, there is hope. TruHealing Centers offers high-quality treatment for addiction and mental health disorders in facilities across the country. Our staff will help you work on the underlying reasons for your addiction and build healthy coping skills for long-term recovery.
If you’re interested in learning more about supporting your loved one in sobriety, contact our TruHealing Centers team today online or call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005. Find resources for support and sobriety from TruHealing Centers today.