Content medically reviewed by Vicky Magobet, PMHNP-BC, on April 21, 2020.
If your loved one is currently away going through addiction rehabilitation, it's time to take a deep breath. The journey to get to this point has probably been painful and messy — for both your loved one and yourself. But just because they're in rehab doesn't mean the process is over. In fact, one difficult part of it has just begun: missing them while they're gone.
The following tips will guide you through some self-care practices to help you handle your family member or partner's absence while they're away at rehab.
If you're having a hard time handling your loved one's absence, know that there is a very constructive way for you to be part of their rehab journey. At some point in the process, many programs reach out to family members to include them in workshops, therapy sessions or family days. You'll be given a chance to express your feelings, ask questions and show support to your family member. This can be a time of healing for everyone involved.
Loving someone who struggles with addiction can be tiring and even traumatizing. You've likely taken on a heavy burden of worry, fear, frustration, stress and perhaps guilt or anger. You might be struggling with depression, anxiety or emotional numbness. It's crucial to take the time to focus on yourself and process your emotions. Journal, speak with friends or family members and spend time de-compressing.
If you're feeling overwhelmed and having a hard time handling difficult emotions, it might be time to find a therapist of your own. Professional counseling can help you unpack your experience, establish healthy boundaries, work through negative feelings and provide you with an open communication channel to safely share your trauma.
Have you found yourself playing the blame game with your loved one? It's a difficult mindset to avoid. You might have experienced damaged relationships, lost trust or financial woes as a result of their substance abuse problem. Now that they're in rehab, it's time to start working on eliminating your mental blame game. They're in the process of recovering and attempting to build a new chapter in their lives. Prepare to support them — with your own healthy boundaries in place and a fresh start free of blame or guilt.
Support groups are one of the most powerful ways to deal with your loved one's rehab process. Addiction can feel like an isolating experience to everyone involved — but you are not alone. Countless families are also searching for healing following a loved one's addiction. Use local resources or network online to find a support group that understands your situation and can offer helpful tips and strategies. Utilizing a family support group such as Al-Anon may be a useful resource to help you get support and learn how to support your loved one in rehab.
Has your life felt consumed by your loved one's addiction? Between worrying, staging interventions, researching rehab programs and trying to support your loved one, you're likely worn thin.
Now is the time to breathe deeply and reclaim some of your own life back. They're going through their own rehab journey right now. It's important to remember who you are and focus on your own health: physical, mental and emotional. Get plenty of sleep and exercise. Enjoy a stress-free night with your friends. Go on a road trip or enjoy a cabin at the lake for a weekend. Recover a favorite pastime that may have fallen by the wayside.
Remember, the healthier and happier you are, the more you'll be able to support your loved one as they step into a new life after rehab.
If you're looking for a rehab facility you can trust, Diamond House Detox is here. We offer medically monitored detox programs and inpatient treatment for those struggling with substance use. Our individualized treatment plans ensure every client can receive the care they need at the pace and style that works best for them. To learn more about our treatment plans, browse our website or reach out to Diamond House Detox today.