Medication Management: How Do I Guide a Loved One Through Emotional and Physical Anguish?
by 449 Staff

How does your loved one stay consistent after their treatment? How can you ensure that they stay on track in their recovery while giving them enough space to own their independence? Taking on a role as a caregiver can be difficult and may have a lot of gray areas. There is no one way to handle every situation as they will always be unique to the individual. It is important to remember that at the end of the day, your efforts are valid and enough. 

How to Guide a Loved One Through Tough Times 

Regardless of what led your loved one to substance use, chances are, they will have a great deal of emotional stress to process during and after treatment. Understanding that they may not seem like themselves while struggling with these emotions is essential, and the best thing you can do is to support them through it. Displaying empathy toward your loved one and their situation will help them tremendously in their healing process. Showing understanding can help alleviate any guilt they may have, and they can start to build up the confidence they need to push through. 

Create a Routine

For many people returning home following detox and treatment for substance use, knowing how to begin re-establishing their place in the world is challenging. During this time, it can be helpful for their loved ones to put a routine in place for them, eliminating unnecessary obstacles and triggers. Try suggesting that they start by following a consistent sleep schedule and wake up at the same time every day. Making the bed every morning is a small way to foster habits toward a clean and organized environment. Walking or simply going outside in nature daily can help clear the mind and promote feeling refreshed. There are countless ways you can create a routine to help your loved one — and yourself — throughout the day. 

It is just as critical to take yourself into account when creating routines and providing space to grow. You should also take time to do things like go outside, meditate, and focus on your hobbies. You need to practice self-care to give care. However, always listen to your body and know when to rest. You should be very connected with how you feel emotionally and take time to sort through your own emotions. Overextending yourself to others to help them cope with their issues can, in turn, create emotional burnout. 

Practice Tough Love 

It can feel intimidating to think about providing your loved one with tough love, but it can be the difference between them staying sober or relapsing. There are some preventative measures you can take to help your loved one stay on the right path. Before they return home, you can make a checklist of items you might have in your house that could be triggering for them. 

It may be easy to forget about the mini-bar setup in the family room, but it could be a significant and avoidable issue for your loved one once they get home. Establishing a family counselor or finding them a qualified therapist they can trust can help facilitate feelings and emotions. You could even look into seeking outside, consistent professional help as well. 

It may seem like a challenge to ask your loved one to communicate their feelings constantly, and it may initially cause some turmoil, but it is something that can help you all in the long run. Your loved one has made substantial progress already; you can help them dig deeper and unlock their full potential. 

Be Easy on Yourself 

It is crucial to remember that no human is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes, but as long as intentions are good, everything will be okay. There is no guidebook to life explaining how to handle situations like a loved one coming home after substance use treatment. Be easy on them and yourself. 

There are support groups available where you can share your experiences with others. So many people out there understand and have been through what you have been through. People are stronger in numbers, and that mentality can also be applied to mental health. You should never feel like you have no choice but to go through it alone. Similar to how the recovery of your loved one is valid and worth it, so are you. You will have your days where your emotions may get the best of you, but you must have the tools and resources to be able to push past it and into the next day. 

What happens once your loved one is out of treatment? How do you make sure that you are helping them live up to their fullest potential? It can feel overwhelming to welcome your loved one back into your home in the early stages of recovery. However, you should seek support when you need it and find a support group of people going through a similar situation. Remember to practice self-care, which will help you you be the version of yourself for your loved one. You can establish routines for your loved one and yourself to create a sense of normalcy. Consider creating a checklist for your home and what you may need to rearrange before your loved one arrives back into the space. As long as you care for yourself, you can take care of your loved one and see them succeed. Call (949) 435-7449 today for help.