When someone you love is dealing with addiction, hearing that they’ve decided to enter rehab can be a huge relief. Entering a treatment program can be a challenging step to make, but it is a step in the right direction. While your loved one is in rehab, day-to-day life will look very different for both of you. As the time nears for you to say goodbye, there are things you can do to help ease the transition for everyone involved.
The Build up to Goodbye
In the months, weeks, or days leading up to rehab, your loved one may run the gamut of emotions. They may doubt their decision or feel nervous and afraid. You, too, may be dealing with some tough emotions; all of that is completely normal. Many people become fearful before they leave for addiction treatment – are they making the right decision, will it work? Are they ready? These questions are very normal and very common, but it is important to stick with your decision to go to rehab once you’ve made it. Addiction treatment is the only way to help someone overcome addiction – just like diabetes or heart disease, you cannot do it without professional help. Let’s look at a few ways to ease the goodbye.
1. Support their decision
Even if your loved one doesn’t directly ask if you think they’re doing the right thing by seeking addiction treatment, make it a point to tell them that they are. Be clear with your support by saying “I think you’re doing a wonderful thing,” or “I have faith in you.” Don’t assume that they know you support their decision. This time, more than ever, they need to know that you’re on their side.
2. Let go of negative emotions
Addiction can bring out the worst in people, and if you’ve seen the dark side of your loved one’s behavior, there’s likely to be some anger or disappointment. Now is not the time to hash out those emotions. Avoid picking at them or highlighting behaviors that upset you. Your feelings are valid, but do your best to say goodbye under positive circumstances. We’ll talk about how to work through your emotions later.
3. Look toward the future
For some, entering addiction treatment or rehab can feel like walking into a dark room. You aren’t sure you want to do it, and you don’t see a way out. Your loved one needs to know that you will still be there when they find the light. Mention that you’re looking forward to spending time with them when they complete their treatment program.
If you or someone you love is suffering from the effects of alcohol abuse, substance addiction or any other type of addiction, please call us today. Our addiction treatment counselors can help you deal with physical, emotional and psychological consequences of drug and alcohol abuse. A substance abuse treatment program is effective, safe and has helped many men reclaim their lives. Destination Hope is a full service drug, alcohol and dual diagnosis treatment facility in Florida for men suffering from substance abuse and mental health issues.
See the next blog in this series for more information about What You Can Do while your loved one is in rehab.