How to Endure the Relapse of Someone Close to You

How to Endure the Relapse of Someone Close to You

Even though your loved one relapsed, you can use this experience to help them better their recovery

You want your loved one to overcome addiction. You have the seen the damage that addiction has caused, and you desperately want that person to find freedom from the prison of drugs. Your heart and life are invested in his recovery. If your loved one relapses, you will feel a variety of emotions from anger to frustration to confusion. These feelings are normal. You can avoid making this situation worse by putting into practice some principles that are important for you to remember. To endure the relapse of a loved one, consider the following:

  • Assess the situation – Determine reasons that the relapse occurred such as triggers or a stressful situation. You may also need to assess your loved one’s treatment regimen and talk about adjustments he or she may need to make. You want to make sure that your loved one is positioned for success.
  • Understand the nature of addiction – Addiction is a chronic disease that often requires more than one treatment to overcome. Recognize that your loved one is not relapsing because he wants to get back at you or loved the lifestyle of an addict. Relapse in addiction is common. Accept that possibility.
  • Don’t panic – Even if your loved one has been clean for several months, relapse is not the end of the world. Your loved one has not lost what he has learned, developed and done. Rather than focus on the fact that relapse occurred, focus on how you can help your loved one moving forward.
  • Don’t play the blame game – Blaming your loved one yourself does nothing to help the situation. Don’t blame the treatment center, rehab program or counselors. This will not be of any benefit to your loved one’s recovery. Instead, look ahead to what you can do in the future to support him or her.
  • Get them help – Your loved one needs to go back to the practices that helped him attain and maintain sobriety. He may need to attend more meetings, work more with a sponsor or go to additional counseling. He may even need to find another treatment program. Work with your loved one to get that needed assistance.
  • Keep your boundaries – Your loved one is still responsible for his behavior. You are still responsible for keeping your boundaries in tact and not enabling. Wavering on your boundaries will not help your loved one.
  • Take care of yourself – You might be tempted to forsake your own needs in order to care for your loved one. The best thing to do, though, is to take care of yourself. Eat well. Exercise. Get adequate rest. Stay involved in your own activities, sports, hobbies and other elements of your life.

Addiction is a chronic disease just like heart disease or high blood pressure. As such relapse is common. When relapse occurs, it is a signal for your loved one or even you to make some adjustments in his life to benefit his sobriety plan.

Getting Help for Your Addiction

If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction, we can help. You can call our toll-free helpline any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can talk with one of our admissions coordinators about the specifics of your addiction. Together, you can determine the best treatment options for your situation. Don’t allow addiction to destroy your life. Call us today to start on the path of recovery.