Recovery is not a one-size-fits-all process. Your loved one’s relapse can be a challenging time for you, as it means that the recovery process will have to start over again. One of the most important things you can do for your loved ones is to offer them support and guidance, so they don’t relapse again. But what should you do if they do? The key is to provide love and support, even when things are really tough. However, there are some things you should try not to do. View more tips if your loved one relapses.
Avoid Enabling Their Behavior
This may seem contradictory, but avoiding enabling their behavior can help to prevent relapse. The reason is that simply being around them when they relapse or make poor decisions can reassure them that things are not as bad as they perceive them to be, thus keeping them from making poor decisions again. Of course, you can still be there for them if they are in need, but trying to shelter them from poor decisions may make them feel more isolated and create the negative cycle of relapse that they want to avoid.
Don’t Blame Yourself
The relapse may have been your loved one’s choice, but it’s not the fault of you or anyone else. Please don’t blame their relapse and don’t use it to punish yourself or others who aren’t supporting you. Stay positive about your loved one’s choices and the choices of those around them, and don’t blame them for relapsing. This is a challenging thing to do because the blame will be directed at you. By holding yourself responsible for the relapse, you’ll find it harder to get through it. If you blame yourself, your loved one is less likely to blame you and will be less likely to blame themselves for relapse. Instead, work together with your loved ones, supporting them and clarifying that they can rely on you when they relapse.
Don’t Give Up Hope
Sometimes the recovery process does not happen overnight, even when a loved one wants it to. Try to remember the good times you had, not the times you didn’t, because of your loved one’s addiction. They are trying to get better, and sometimes it just takes some time. But your love and support should be enough to help them keep trying. Do not let them feel alone. They need you to be strong and supportive of them, so they know they are not alone.
Try Not to Be Resentful
It’s natural to feel disappointed and resentful about your loved one relapsing. You can’t control the relapse and are not happy about it. However, you should not take your frustrations out on them or become resentful. Try to forgive them for relapsing and remember the reasons they relapsed. The more you focus on the relapse, the less time you spend loving them and the more time you spend arguing with them. Of course, it’s still a horrible time for you too. If you aren’t yet ready to forgive your loved one for relapsing, give it time, at least until they’ve gone through some detoxification period. This is when some people need help to get their bodies back in line and help to get their addictions under control.
While it’s natural to want to get angry and yell at your loved one for relapsing, it’s not productive. If your loved one relapses, there is likely to be a period of intense anguish and stress. Just getting them to talk to you can be an enormous challenge. Remember that relapses are incredibly stressful, not to mention emotionally draining. It’s natural to want to shout at your loved one, but it’s unlikely to be effective. Instead, offer support and guidance. There are different approaches to this, depending on the cause of the relapse. Is it drug use? Or perhaps it’s psychological? It can’t hurt to try various forms of support.