You might talk to them on the phone multiple times a day, visit them for visiting hours multiple times a week, and participate in the family program every time it’s offered. You’re a rockstar support system for your family member in treatment. The support doesn’t have to stop there.
- Send them inspirational cards: Thoughtfulness and consideration is a blessed surprise during the treatment process. Addiction and alcoholism are full of shame for the person who experiences them. The disease of addiction and alcoholism is also misunderstood, making it riddled in shame from the outside world. Your family member probably feels like nobody thinks very much of them because they probably aren’t thinking highly of themselves right now. Inspirational cards can be set up around their room and serve as reminders that they’re on the right path, they’re doing great, their hard work is worth it, and that they are supported by a family who loves them.
- Bring them new clothes, journals, or items they’re allowed to have: Many treatment centers advise patients to pack for at least two weeks of treatment, though most patients stay for thirty days or longer. In and out of therapy sessions, group activities, exercise, outings, and meetings can mean many outfit changes. On the one hand, having a small number of belongings can be comforting during treatment. On the other hand, clothes can start to get worn down. Unless a treatment center provides laundry services, that can mean many laundries, which can feel overwhelming. It is nice to surprise your loved one with some new clothes or other new items they might need. Inspirational journals, water bottles, and food, if they have to provide for themselves for meals, are great ways to show your support.
- Be as involved as possible: As the family member of someone in treatment, you are going to learn all about boundaries and knowing where to set your limits when it comes to supporting your loved one in treatment. In between, you can learn everything you can about addiction, living with addiction, supporting loved ones with addiction, and how to recover from addiction. Attend family programs, attend family therapy, hear your loved one out, go to Al-Anon or Nar-Anon (the twelve-step programs for friends and family members of alcoholics and addicts) if you want community support, and find forums online. There are many ways to be your family member’s number one cheerleader. They can use all the support they can get to take back, save, and change their lives.
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