Recovery from addiction is often a difficult journey for many people. And while addiction and recovery are different for everyone, one constant that is important no matter the recovery is a support system. Everyone’s support system looks different, but whether it’s comprised of friends, family or trusted professionals and peers, it still plays an important role. And if you happen to be a part of someone’s support system throughout their recovery, you have the power to help that person heal, and to be there for them throughout the process.
While it may seem a bit intimidating at first and you may not always know what to do, supporting someone throughout their recovery is all about showing them kindness and care, just like any rough time. Whether you’re supporting your partner, friend or family member through their recovery, there are so many ways you can show them kindness and help them heal. If you’re at a loss for where to start, here are some of the kindest things you can do to support a loved one throughout their recovery.
1. Offer Moral Support
While moral support can mean a variety of things, offering moral support in whatever your loved one needs is one of the primary ways you can show them kindness. Recovery can often feel like a lonely process, and spending time with your loved one and offering that emotional and moral support as they go through the trials and tribulations of their recovery process can often be just what they need. Sometimes, staying positive all the time can feel hard, and knowing that you’re there for them through the good and the bad can work wonders.
2. Take Care of Little Things
Recovery can often be a full time job — that being said, your loved one in recovery may need help with a lot of the little things that life brings on. Everything from taking care of a load of laundry to bringing your loved one food or a hot drink every now and then can mean one less thing on their plate to take care of. While constantly doing things for a loved one while they’re in their addiction is often enabling behavior, supporting them through recovery is a means of comfort and kindness.
3. Be Open Minded
Unfortunately, many people still hold a stigma against addiction and treatment for addiction. Whether you once held those beliefs or are still adjusting to the idea of your loved one as having an addiction and recovery journey, one of the best ways to offer them kindness is to be open minded. This goes for their methods of treatment and therapy, their emotions and any other needs they have during their process. Being a part of someone’s support system is often about making the necessary efforts to understand them, and keeping an open mind is the best way to do that.
4. Set Healthy Boundaries
While this may seem like something you need to do for yourself — and it is that, too — it also offers great benefits for your relationship as a whole. When you set the necessary boundaries for your needs, you set up the relationship for prolonged success, not just temporary support. While showing someone support and kindness is all about showing up for their needs, you can only do that consistently when your own needs are properly taken care of. In order to ensure that you are taking care of yourself, setting boundaries is necessary, no matter how much you love someone. In fact, it’s especially important if you love someone.
5. Encourage Self Care
While showing your loved one care is an incredible thing to do, one of the best ways you can encourage their successful recovery is to encourage them to practice self care. Practicing self care is important for everyone, but especially for those who are in recovery from addiction. Self care can be anything from exercise to talking with someone, and no matter what form it comes in, it can open up so many opportunities and emotions. Addiction can often make people feel unworthy and alone, but self care is a great way to feel worth it, present and happy. It’s the most reliable and rewarding form of care out there.
Showing Kindness to Your Loved One in Recovery
Recovery is a journey, no matter how you look at it, and having a support system is one of the key ways to feel held and secure through that process. If you are a part of someone’s support system, showing kindness and compassion throughout their journey is one of the most important things you can do to help them along. By keeping an open mind, helping them out with the little things and encouraging them the practice self care, you can be a solid part of their support system and help your loved one achieve the recovery they deserve.