As the friends, family members, spouses, or partners of a loved one who is in treatment for a behavioral health issue, we can find ourselves in a precarious position when our loved one is having a difficult time. Treatment for behavioral health is a magical, transformational, healing time. The journey to and through recovery is remarkable and life changing, which is why treatment can be such an important part of someone’s life. Treatment is, however, a challenge. Every day, your loved one is being challenged. They are asked to dig into their minds and hearts, be open, honest, and vulnerable, trust in ways they haven’t trusted, let go of what they’ve held onto for so long, and change in ways they never thought possible.
You want to believe that your loved one wants to be in treatment. You want to know that being there is helping them and not hurting them. When your loved one calls in tears of anger, sadness, fear, or frustration, you might be tempted to think the worst. Your instincts might be to pull them out, bring them home, and take a different approach. Treatment comes with difficult days. Treatment comes with days that can feel like they are too much to handle. Most often, these are some of the most transformational days. Repeated experience has shown that making it through these struggles in treatment is critical for continuing on in recovery. Listening to a loved one’s pain and plea to come home can be hard to do, especially if you are legitimately concerned there may be a persisting problem which they need to be removed from. Supporting your loved one through the challenge take an empathetic ear, a compassionate heart, and a few well versed sentiments.
You can’t skip the struggle
Lifestyle and wellness bloggers today are all about “life hacks”. We’re constantly looking for ways to make life easier for ourselves. However, in our our struggles there is profound wisdom. Life lessons, skills, and levels of resiliency come from our toughest moments, which we might not find in life’s easier circumstances. The struggle is part of the journey. Remind your loved one that they are on a journey to healing and sometimes struggles are part of the path.
This too shall pass
Everything in life is a cycle. Loved ones in treatment will often hear the phrase “ebbs and flows” to describe the continuous ups and downs life has to offer. Bad times will soon be replaced by good times and some time after that another series of bad times might follow. No matter the circumstance, the feelings, and the struggle, will pass. Encourage your loved one to have faith, and to stay strong.
I’m so proud of you
Your loved one might not understand what about their explicitly verbalized struggles makes you proud. Even though they are struggling, even though they are having a hard time, even though they might be asking to come home they are still there. Instead of turning to a harmful, self-sabotaging behavior, they are openly discussing their feelings and their fears. Sticking through the struggle is hard to do. Though they may not be able to recognize it, calling to talk it out is a tremendous leap in progress.
When you’re supporting someone in need, you’re in need of support. The O’Connor Professional Group offers you concierge style recovery services to support you and your loved one’s journey. From treatment planning to aftercare services, our professional and personal experience empower you to find healing. Call us today: (617) 910-3940