The first month of sobriety is one of the most difficult times for someone entering recovery. It’s during that time that you feel some of the strongest urges to go back to those old habits.
While you’re not home free if you get through the first month, it starts getting a little easier after that. You’re starting to build new, healthier habits.
So how can loving family and friends help during that all-important first month? Here are some things they can do to support their loved ones during their first month of sobriety.
The last thing a recovering addict needs is to be judged, ever. But it’s particularly important during that first month of sobriety. If you’re the family member or good friend of someone entering recovery, you should know they have already dealt with more than their fair share of guilt and shame.
They don’t need someone who loves them piling on. Rather than judging them, accept them with all their flaws, love them as they strive to do something better, and appreciate them for all of their gifts. This is a difficult thing to do, and you want to admire their efforts instead of judging their past.
Actively Listen When They Tell You Things
When your loved ones start to open up to you about their experiences or even their desire to engage in those old habits, listen to what they're saying with an open heart. Be engaged with what they are sharing with you, no matter what that is.
You might not agree with them, but you should still affirm their feelings. They have a right to their own perspective, and you should affirm that after you have paraphrased what they told you, so you know you understood correctly. That’s active listening, and it’s important for helping other people really feel heard.
Help Reduce Environmental Triggers for Using
You don’t have a problem, but you really want your loved one to be successful in their recovery efforts. So don’t drink or use drugs around them. If you wish to indulge, do so out of their presence.
If you live with them, don’t keep drugs or alcohol in the home, and whether you live with them or not, avoid going to social situations with them where they will feel the need to use. If such a situation can’t be avoided, then go with them and support them by keeping them accountable and staying sober with them to help them feel like they are not alone.
Finally, it’s important to remember that no one changes overnight. There may be times when your loved one makes poor decisions, particularly during that first month of sobriety. If that happens, you can help most by showing love, concern, and support for getting them back on the sober path.
Healing takes time, so be patient with your loved one, and let them know you’re there for them, always.
Sober Sidekick Can Help
Another way you can help your loved one through that first month is to get them the Sober Sidekick app. Sober Sidekick can provide them with a large community of people who know exactly what they’re going through, and if they can engage with people who’ve been there in that first month, they are much more likely to succeed. Give it a try today!