Updated: Jul 14
If you are reading this, you care deeply about someone’s journey in recovery. You want them to be successful in their daily practice of living free from addiction. It is likely you have observed the physical, mental, and spiritual pull of addiction on your loved one or friend. Undoubtedly, you can see it is strong and you may understand at this point that it is relentless. Considering that life brings us ups and downs, you may sense that some days in sobriety are much more difficult than others. Here are 6 powerful ways to support someone in recovery:
6 Powerful Ways to Support Recovery Efforts
Ask what could make daily life a little easier—you may be surprised at how a simple effort can make all the difference. Check-in several times a year because requests can change with the seasons or with new schedules.
Tell your loved one or friend that you see them as a highly capable person and that you have a strong faith in their efforts. Repeat as often as necessary.
Allow someone to vent frustrations about their day. Simply listen. Ask before offering any advice or opinions. This is a very validating way of supporting someone. Note that someone may not wish to participate in such a conversation on a daily basis but the offer is appreciated.
Remind them that they are not alone. In the US, there are over 20 million people in recovery.
Encourage any outside support, whether it is a group, a therapist, or a recovery coach. You might even ask to attend a session or appointment to learn together or to just be supportive.
Support your own mental health with stress-relieving activities or with your own mental health professional…remember that you cannot pour from an empty cup.
The Recovery Challenge for Family and Friends
We all have things or favorite treats that we use as pleasantries throughout our day. Sometimes we rely on them more than we think. So how does this tie into helping someone in recovery? Simply put, if you have not had your own experience with recovery, it is hard to imagine on a deeply personal level, what recovery is like on a sustained basis. So here are some ideas to give you a small glimpse. Maybe you might challenge yourself to try one:
Give up coffee for a month.
Forgo any sugar, in any form, for 4 months. Note that sugar is in many prepared foods.
Permanently delete your Instagram.
Try deleting Facebook from your phone for 3 months.
Go without your phone for an entire day.
Leave your credit card at home and only use cash for 1 week.
Do these challenging ideas bring up any feelings? Hesitation? Curiosity? Anxiety? Relief? Inspiration? The list can be extensive and sometimes even conflicting. It is important to note what mix of feelings you experience. Try to identify them all. You might consider calling a Recovery Coach about these feelings in order to process them better.
Note that there is both a mental and physical pull from these everyday things that we enjoy, particularly if they are utilized as coping mechanisms (what we utilize to help deal with daily stress). That pull varies from person to person. If you accept this challenge… you will see that your daily efforts start with yourself while at the same time, are absolutely tied to everyone and everything around you. Overall, your experiment with this little challenge may help fuel your efforts at supporting someone in recovery. Good luck.
For more information, about addiction or recovery or to learn more about recovery coaching as a part of your plan for a healthier life, email email@example.com or call 877.449.6393.