Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness characterized by long-standing, ongoing patterns in both moods and relationships. People with BPD experience widely variant self-image and moods, which influences similarly unstable behavior—including relationships. BPD prompts mood swings, impulsive actions, and other behavioral symptoms that make all kinds of relationships difficult, from friendships and relationships with colleagues to romantic and familial relationships. Continue reading…
The National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) defines psychosis as any one of a number of conditions that affect the mind, causing a loss of contact with reality. This kind of episode can include hallucinations and/or delusional thinking, firmly-held ideas that are false and an unwillingness or inability to accept evidence that contradicts the false ideas. Psychosis is relatively common; about three percent of people will experience it at least once in their life. Continue reading…
Drug addiction is a disease of the body and brain. Also called substance use disorder, drug addiction triggers uncontrollable behaviors and renders a person unable to control their use of medication, alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs—whether they are legal or not. Addictive substances such as nicotine, alcohol, opioid medications, and marijuana are considered drugs just as much as heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine. Once you are addicted to a substance, you will feel compelled to use it, regardless of the damage that use does to your body, your brain, and your life. Continue reading…
People who have survived various kinds of trauma often emerge with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD can make it more difficult to thrive within personal relationships, including those with spouses, partners, family members, friends, and even children. This can be true of people who’ve just begun to experience trauma and PTSD, or of longtime PTSD sufferers alike. Continue reading…
It’s easier to recover from most eating disorders with earlier detection. That’s just one of the many reasons why its important for families and friends to be on the lookout for signs of eating disorders. However, it’s not always easy to identify eating disorders. They are not all the same, and can present in different ways. Make yourself aware of some of the warning signs of the eating disorders so you’re in a better position to notice when something is wrong. Continue reading…
Public health officials and lawmakers alike seem to agree on something: the United States is in the midst of an opioid epidemic. Part of this American drug crisis is heroin abuse, which has been on the rise. In 2015, deaths from opioids soared past 33,000 people for the first time in American history. In fact, heroin deaths alone topped even gun homicides in 2015, another gruesome first in America.
Part of the reason this crisis is so severe is the incredible extent of heroin’s addictive power. But what is it about heroin that makes it so addictive? Heroin actually changes the brain, and it’s these chemical changes that make heroin so addictive—and so tough to resist. Continue reading…
Recovering from substance abuse is incredibly difficult, and for many people, it is a lifelong journey. It stands to reason, then, that preventing substance abuse from ever happening would be a serious goal. While there is no foolproof way to prevent substance abuse in every situation, there are some good ways to start. Continue reading…
Are you worried that someone close to you might be struggling with anorexia nervosa, usually just called anorexia? If so, you probably want to make sure that have all the correct information before confronting them. This eating disorder is a serious and secretive problem, Which makes those struggling with it difficult to reach. Continue reading…
Navigating the recovery process can be difficult for both the person undergoing recovery and their loved ones. Recovery can present new physical challenges as well as emotional hurdles. Often, the recovery process is also a period of repairing damage caused during an extended period of addiction.
Repairing and rebuilding relationships, along with forming new bonds, is an integral aspect of addiction recovery. It is important to understand that recovery is not a “one-size fits all” process, but rather a journey that is as unique as every individual that undertakes it. Because of this, the following tips are a general effort to provide guidance that may or may not apply to your specific situation.
Communication is key
Having strong communication skills is an important foundation to any healthy relationship. This is particularly true when your loved one is going through the recovery process. Maintaining open and honest channels of communication is an important way to support your loved one and strengthen the bond between you.
Open communication helps your loved one feel safe enough to share where they are in their recovery process. It also allows them to be vulnerable when discussing potential difficulties or setbacks they may be experiencing during recovery. Communication can help your loved one recognize negative patterns or emotions that crop up during recovery.
Recognizing these patterns or emotions can help them seek out alternative means of dealing with emotions, and guide them towards forming healthier lifestyle routines. Both of these are critical to ensuring the success of any recovery program.
Be open to supporting the addict in your life
Many people who are currently going through recovery have faced addiction in the past. Sometimes those coping with an addiction have failed to completely recover or made promises they have failed to keep or could not keep in the first place. Rebuilding trust after addiction is perhaps the most challenging aspect of helping an addict during recovery.
However, it is important to remember, in order for the addict in your life to have the greatest chance of success in their recovery, it is necessary that they have unwavering support from loved ones. Being mindful of past failures is acceptable, but also be open to treating this effort to recovery as a new experience.
This can be a difficult undertaking for you and can test the bonds of your love. However, being mindful of the previous tip: maintaining open and honest communication can help you to navigate this process.
Build a support system for yourself
As the saying goes: no one is an island. No one person can hope to be the sole supporter of someone in recovery. Often, supporting an alcoholic or drug addict in recovery can be taxing. In order to give them the best support possible, you must also be sure that you have your own support system in place.
Friends, other loved ones, and relatives can all help give you the support you need to cope with loving an addict. Having a person or multiple people in your life that you can lean on for support during difficult times can give you the strength you need to see your loved one go through the recovery process. Your support system can also give you guidance, and even teach you how to help an addict throughout recovery.
Learn about the recovery process
There are many paths to long-term recovery. Spend some time to learn about the recovery process, and the specific path your loved one is taking to break the cycle of addiction. Being knowledgeable about the process will help you feel in the loop as your loved one progresses through their recovery. It will also give you a base of knowledge from which you can discuss recovery.
The recovery process is difficult – being knowledgeable about the process will convey to your loved one that you understand what they are going through. Being knowledgeable about the recovery process also enables you to spot potential setbacks or pitfalls as your loved one goes through recovery.
Knowledge about the path to recovery will both allow you to recognize if your loved one is returning to old patterns, while also giving you the foresight to guide your loved one to making beneficial and helpful life choices.
Actively engaging in the recovery process of your loved one along with the aforementioned tips provides the best benefit. There is perhaps no better way to support your loved one on their path to recovery. Engagement with the process is also the most effective way to determine how successful the recovery is going, and improve the odds of success for your loved one.
Having an engaged, informed, and communicative loved one can be a valuable asset of support and strength for the addict in your life. Learning about the recovery process, including speaking to professionals and staff in the recovery program your loved one is enrolled in, will empower you to stay informed, while also giving you a foundation of knowledge.
Having this foundation can open new avenues of communication, and will demonstrate to your loved one that you understand what they are going through. Engagement with the recovery process demonstrates to the addict in your life that you care about their future and invested in their success. At the same time, it is important for you to ensure that you are taking care of yourself.
Building up a strong support system can alleviate some of the stress and emotional fatigue that can arise through supporting an addict in recovery. Having others to rely on for support will allow you to be more available for support and guidance for the addict in your life. Helping an addict in recovery can be a balancing act, but with the right tools, knowledge, and mindset, it can be an uplifting and positive experience.
If you or someone you love needs advice or guidance to help an addict, call 888-481-4481 to speak to a medical professional at Casa Palmera.
One of the most devastating and lasting effects of addiction can be on the relationships with loved ones and those close to an addict. Spouses and family members, in particular, can experience the alienation and loss of trust that often results from addiction and its accompanying behaviors.
Sometimes, the damage that an addiction has brought on a relationship can seem irreparable, to both the addict and those close to them. Nevertheless, navigating the process of rebuilding and repairing relationships after addiction is a cornerstone of any successful recovery program.
In this article, we will discuss some of the challenges that addicts and their loved ones will face when working to rebuild a healthy relationship in recovery and present some tips that we hope will prove helpful to those undertaking this journey.
Rebuilding Will Take Time
In today’s digital age, we as a society are more prone than ever to desire instant gratification. However, rebuilding a relationship after addiction takes time. For some, this process can take years. Whether someone you love is an addict in recovery, or you yourself are going through recovery and seeking to repair damage caused by your addiction, you must be prepared to be patient. This can be difficult for many to cope with, particularly early on in the recovery process.
Many loved ones, or former addicts, want their relationships to return to a state of normalcy after an addiction. It can present a new source of stress if this does not happen immediately. Repairing the damage caused by addiction is going to be difficult or even painful at times. It is important to remember that the period of rebuilding is a process of reforming old bonds, and forging new, stronger bonds. This period of growth is essential to cultivating long-lasting, loving, and meaningful relationships.
Rebuilding trust is the most difficult and time-consuming part of recovering from addiction for many relationships. For the addict seeking to rebuild trust with those they love, they must demonstrate over time that they are trustworthy and this requires them to be vulnerable. Even when their loved one or significant other does not validate that belief, they must continue to show that they are worthy of trust.
Demonstrating that you are trustworthy is a process of showing that no matter how big or small the issue, the person you love can once again count on you to follow through. For former addicts, this process, while difficult, can be beneficial in multiple respects.
First, it helps to show your loved one that they can again rely on you or believe you when you say something. Secondly, it proves to yourself that you are worthy of their trust. This can be a validating and powerful way for you to further experience loving yourself once more.
For those that are in a relationship during addiction recovery, learning to trust them again can be especially difficult. Ultimately, allowing yourself to trust someone again, that has proven themselves untrustworthy in the past, requires allowing yourself to be vulnerable again.
Over time, you will begin to see that your loved one in recovery is not the same person as they were when they were using. Even if it is hard at first to trust your loved one in recovery, learn to trust in the recovery process itself. Over time, the trust will come.
Create and Maintain Structure
Creating and forming a new and healthy routine in an addict’s life is an important part of any recovery program. Building new life skills and creating routines that encourage accountability are a strong part of recovery programs.
Transitioning structure into your relationship is a useful tool to help you rebuild your personal relationship with an addict in your life. The structure can be useful to create and maintain healthy boundaries. While boundaries are particularly important for those whose loved ones are suffering from addiction but have not yet undergone the recovery process, creating clear boundaries in a relationship is also crucial in nearly any healthy relationship.
As such, when rebuilding a relationship with a recovering addict in your life, clearly defining and demonstrating boundaries can provide structure and consequently stability in your relationship.
Along with using boundaries to provide stability in a relationship, for loved ones seeking to rebuild a relationship with someone in recovery, a structure in their relationship can add a much-needed sense of normalcy. Addiction can affect the lives and relationships of those around the addict, and one subtle but profound result can be a constant feeling of instability. Creating and maintaining structure in the relationship with an addict can demonstrate what your expectations of a normal relationship are, and implement a form of stability in both your life and the addict’s life.
By creating a more stable relationship, you are also forming a relationship that integrally has a greater sense of normalcy. This can be particularly beneficial for both sides during the early stages of recovery when past hurts or suppressed emotions can come to the forefront.
Rebuilding a relationship after addiction can test the bonds that form between people. Those of us who have loved ones in recovery have already seen how drug addiction affects relationships. Although it can be difficult, rebuilding a relationship after addiction requires work, time, and patience. Trusting in the recovery process can help lay the foundation for rebuilding trust between yourself and the addict in your life over time.
It is important to remember that when rebuilding your relationship, the foundation you create during and after the recovery process can lead to a longer, healthier, and more meaningful relationship. If you or someone you love is struggling to rebuild a relationship during recovery or treatment call 888-481-4481 to speak to a medical professional at Casa Palmera.