Everyone is likely to be excited, nervous, even anxious about the arrival of a loved one after time in rehab. There is something about the expectant waiting for someone that has gone through a challenging time because there are ideas about how that person may or may not have changed during that time. It may feel like skies are the limit now, or that sobriety may take some time. However it is looking, in spite of all excitement and hope, the family has to keep in mind that within a structured rehab setting, life is likely to look and feel different to the loved one once they arrive home. Here are some tips to help everyone work to adjust expectations for a better outcome.
When a loved one returns home from rehab, emotions are high. Everyone wants to make the loved one comfortable, but is probably dying to know how it all went. The person who is coming home may or may not be wanting to discuss everything right then because they are still processing the experience. The following tips can be helpful to hold onto with an open mind:
- Early recovery is full of counseling appointments, meetings, and recovery groups. This may not be a focused time on the family, rather, time to spend with themselves shoring up recovery muscles. Don’t feel offended, this is just a short term situation that will shift with time.
- It is okay to discuss drugs and alcohol. Nothing a person says or does will spark a relapse. Continue to have open dialogue about what the person feels comfortable with and around when out of rehab. Discuss feelings and if he or she wants to talk about drug and alcohol use, that is great. Not having secrets is one key to success for a peaceful family transition home.
- Release concept of helplessness. Parents and loved ones may see the person just home from rehab as being helpless and needing support. The person is still an adult and needs to be treated as such. Give some responsibility around the house, which will help make the transition easier and give confidence for the journey.
- Mood swings are inevitable. Physically and emotionally, the person’s life is shifting. It takes time to process extreme emotions and there are likely things in years he or she has not faced. To avoid escalating everything into an argument, avoid volatile conversations when there is clearly high emotions at stake. Recognize when it is time to give each other space.
One of the best things to do is attend family group counseling sessions and work on releasing judgment. It is easy to tell the person what to do or not do, who to hang with or not be around. It is ultimately up to that person how they treat their sobriety but with the right support network in place, it can be a bit of an easier transition back home to begin the journey of recovery.
Serenity Oaks takes recovery seriously. We are here to provide a safe space to detox, heal, and return home or move forward with sober living in a way that honors each individual’s journey. Call us to find out how we can help you get started: 844-720-6847.