No matter how many times you’ve been warned that relapse is part of recovery, the sting of a loved one repeatedly relapsing hurts every time. When a loved one is in recovery and your full attention is on their recovery needs, it is easy to forget about maintaining your well-being around the recovery process. Setting up appropriate boundaries and reminding yourself that it is not your fault when someone relapses are important steps to take when a loved one is in recovery and relapses. Doing this will help maintain your mental health and well-being so you can remain strong on the sidelines for the many ups and downs that are a natural part of the recovery process.
What Healthy Boundaries Look Like
- Prioritizing your own needs: While not giving up hope for your recovering loved one or wavering in your support, don’t let your needs or the needs of other family members be overshadowed or forgotten when a loved one is in recovery and relapses. Life must continue to go on and will do so regardless, so remember to be gentle with yourself and lean into self-care activities that foster feelings of comfort.
- Seeking support and guidance: Attend Al-Anon or similar support group meetings to learn, listen and feel supported in navigating the many feelings and emotions of being a caring loved one helping someone in recovery. Meeting with a therapist is also a good idea so that you can unload your stress and worries from your mind and receive insight and emotional support.
- Deciding your non-negotiables: What are the rigid boundaries you want to put in place with your recovering loved one? Is it no more financial support? Or is it that if your loved one gets arrested one more time, then you won’t bail them out of jail? Is there a code of ethics and values that you want to live out in your relationship with them, like no lying, insults, or enabling?
- Setting the example: Live out a healthy, fulfilling lifestyle and do your best to include your loved one struggling after relapse to join you. Be encouraging to have them come along with you for a hike or to help you cook a healthy dinner. Creating an environment centered around health and well-being can help set them up for success when they try to make this for themselves.
It is always extremely difficult to watch someone endure a relapse during their recovery. Remember that it is their battle to fight, not yours, and to put in place healthy boundaries to help you stay a strong, supportive loved one. If you or a loved one struggles with addiction, finding the right treatment care is the first step. Avalon Malibu is a California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse treatment center that brings solutions to our clients with their recovery and mental health needs. At Avalon, we believe in meeting a client where they are and tailoring a treatment program unique to their needs with our continuum of holistic and clinical treatment therapies. If you or a loved one is ready to get sober or address a mental illness, call us today at (844) 857-5992.