Having a good support system is imperative for someone in recovery. You want to have a network of friends and family that you can trust. However, even the best support systems rely on you to communicate with your loved ones, as well as other people in your support system, including professionals and peers, so that they know how to best help you in difficult times. Knowing how to communicate your feelings, triggers, and past experiences with your loved ones will help your loved ones understand what you’re going through and know the best way to help you.
Get the Support You Need From Your Loved Ones
Everyone’s journey through recovery is different and therefore it is important to communicate with your loved ones the best way that you would like to receive support from them. Think about how people can help you. Do you want people to not drink around you? Are you interested in attending family or couples therapy? How involved do you want your support system to be in your recovery? Remember that you will only receive the help that you ask for. People can’t read your mind.
However, be aware that sometimes the support that you require from the people in your support system might be too much for them to give. This is why it is important to keep an open dialogue about expectations and limitations. Discuss how you’d like to be comforted in times of emotional stress, anxiety, or depression. Regularly discussing your feelings with close family members could make it easier for someone to speak up if something is bothering them. It can be especially helpful to have consistent communication with the people that you live with.
Communicating With Your Community
Staying in touch and communicating with your peers is important during recovery. One of the best ways to do this is to research and join groups that provide a safe space for people recovering from substance abuse. You may also want to keep in contact with some of your friends from rehab. It’s good to have people in your life who have had similar experiences with substance abuse and therefore may be more understanding of your triggers and your past struggles.
Be Honest When Something Is Bothering You
If a situation or event makes you uncomfortable or is triggering, make someone in your support system aware of it. They may be able to help you get through the situation by giving you advice on how to deal with the situation or by offering a shoulder to lean on or an ear to listen. Your loved ones will be better equipped to provide you with comfort if you tell them how you like to be comforted. For instance, you might find comfort in physical contact like a hug or hand holding, while other people may prefer to be given space when they are upset. Some people find advice comforting when they are upset, while others might find it annoying.
It is also helpful to communicate with your therapist when an event or situation makes you uncomfortable or triggers cravings because they can help you work through the problem to mitigate this feeling. Whatever professional help you seek, it is important that you feel safe and comfortable. If the person providing you treatment is making you uncomfortable in any way then you must communicate this. The person may need to adjust his or her tactics or possibly refer you to someone else if you continue to feel uncomfortable around this person.
Explain Your Triggers and Your Past
The more people understand about your past the more they will be able to understand your relationship with substance abuse and the better they will be able to help you. You need to acknowledge your past no matter the negative emotions that may be attached to it. It may not be who you are now, but it is still a part of you and it can give people an insight into your triggers and help you avoid or mitigate them.
Everyone’s triggers are different and supporting any person in recovery is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Communicating your past struggles and triggers to a professional will help them provide you with tools that will help you remain grounded and in control of your recovery, even when you are triggered or are experiencing a negative emotion or reaction. The more information that you give and the more open you are about your struggles, the easier it will be for people to help you, both professionals and loved ones.
Communication is important for both professional and personal relationships. The more people understand your triggers and your past relationship with substance abuse, the better suited they will be to support you through your recovery. The professionals at Shoreline Recovery Center value communication among their patients by creating an honest and open space for clients to express their feelings and discuss their triggers and relationship with substance abuse in a safe and comfortable setting.
Our professionals can also help you develop the necessary skills to communicate with friends, family, and loved ones about your past, your struggles, and the best ways that they can help you during your recovery. An established and consistent open line of communication between your loved ones, professionals, and peers will make your recovery easier because people will be prepared to help you when you find yourself in a triggering or uncomfortable situation. If you are interested in learning more information about how Shoreline Recovery Center can help you, please call (866) 278-8495.