It’s often said that the opposite of addiction isn’t sobriety. It’s connection.
Let that sink in for a moment.
What it means is that, without human connection, life has a void, a gaping hole that must be filled. Some people fill it by working 70 hours a week. Others fill it with food, gambling or shopping. And still others fill it with drugs or alcohol.
The solution is obvious. To help your loved one stay sober, make them feel valued and loved. The only question is how exactly you do that.
Human Connection and Addiction—How You Can Help
The goal is to make your loved one feel valued so that he or she feels more connected to you.
The way to make someone feel more valued is to actually value them, which means that you make your loved one a priority. Here are a few specific suggestions:
- Show genuine interest—and not just in the recovery stuff. If your friend or family member is a movie buff, ask what’s next on the list to see. If working out is their thing, ask about that. You get the idea.
- Give undivided attention. With all of our devices, this kind of attention can be hard to come by. Make it a point to really listen when talking to your loved one. Put your phone down. Turn the TV off.
- Lend a hand. There is no doubt that life can be challenging right after rehab. Your loved one may have to find a job or deal with legal matters. You don’t want to take over your loved one’s life, but could you help by cooking a special meal, taking care of some busy work or even filling up a tank of gas?
- Offer encouragement. Many people battling addiction struggle with feelings of shame. Tell your loved one how much you respect what they’ve done. Offer compliments where they are warranted. Be positive and encouraging.
- Accept love back. If your loved one offers to treat you to dinner or do something nice for you, graciously accept the offer. Don’t say they can’t afford it or don’t have time. It feels good to give; let your loved one experience that feeling, as well.
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Human Connection and Relapse Prevention at The Raleigh House
At The Raleigh House, based in Denver, we believe that everyone deserves the chance to live a free, happy and peaceful life. We have all the tools your loved one needs to get sober—and build a new and better life without drugs or alcohol. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about our drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs.