Preparing a loved one for treatment is a daunting task. For so long, the battle in the war against addiction and alcoholism has ruled their lives. Exhausted and depleted, they are likely scared to enter a period of such incredible change. As a parent or a family member, the promises can fall short. After all, for so long, it wasn’t that bad. Arguably, drugs and alcohol likely brought a great amount of joy to someone’s life, until it didn’t anymore.
In an effort to continue the production of pleasurable dopamine, the brain will send all kinds of messages convincing someone otherwise about this whole recovery thing.
Recovery is a Gift
“There’s still fun to be had!”
“We can do better this time.”
“We have this under control, who needs treatment?”
“They’re going to make us talk about our feelings!”
These and other rejections will be flying across the mental-visual ticker like incoming headlines for a breaking news story. Not having gone through the process of leaving drugs and alcohol behind, it can be difficult to convey what is about to happen when someone makes the decision to receive psychological and clinical care for their addiction. Though it may seem like a burden, punishment, or even low point of shame for a loved one, everyone else knows that getting to this point is nothing less than an absolute gift.
Seeing recovery as a gift is not always easy when shame and guilt have convinced a loved one suffering from addiction that they are worthless, especially worth less than someone who is receiving these gifts, let alone something called recovery. When someone makes great effort to change their lives, they alter more than just the thing it is they are looking to improve. Getting clean and sober from drugs and alcohol is about so much more than simply stopping the use of substances and cleaning out the body.
Recovery is a gift of learning how to understand one’s own self, redefine that person, and help that new person be loved. Endless possibilities come with recovery that could not even be conceived in the beginning stages of hitting bottom. Like a most treasured holiday present, recovery will come to be valued and meticulously cared for. Most people don’t enjoy losing their favorite thing. When someone accepts the gift of recovery, they will find that losing it to return to drugs and alcohol is something they earnestly want to learn not to do.
At the Center for Life Change in Temecula, we teach our patients how to care for their recovery by educating them on relapse prevention, and manageability. We believe in life transformation, not just getting clean. Call 951-775-4000 for more information.