If your partner has made a commitment to attend rehab, they have taken a big step in addressing their problem. They will have a hard time as they stay at one of many registered alcohol treatment centres. The treatment aims to help them kick their habit and learn coping strategies to avoid triggers that take them back to addiction. Whilst in rehab, the patients are discouraged from communicating with partners and friends while they recover.
It may sound like a well-deserved respite from the trauma experienced during the peak of addiction, but a lot of people feel lost when their partners are going through this phase of their recovery period. This is a normal reaction as living with a person’s addiction can be an all-consuming affair, especially for those closest to the patient.
Your partner is not the only one on the road to recovery; you, too, are going through a transitional period. To help reach your destination, here are some things you should do while your partner is away.
1. Seek counselling
Your partner is not the only one who needs counselling. You may need it too because living with an addict can be traumatizing. To better cope, counsellors can help you manage your fears, disappointments, depression and anger.
You also need to be able to explain to someone who understands your situation. Your friends and family members may not be enough to help because they could be biased. The people closest to you may be more focused on protecting you and no longer see your partner as a reliable source of support.
Counselling is not solely focused on making you realize the constraints and stress you’ve experienced living with a drug or alcohol-dependent partner. Eventually, you need to figure out how you want to continue. Counselling is to help you manage your emotions as well as provide you with likeminded people who can help you navigate through this difficult time.
2. Stop the blame game
People who have a relationship with an alcohol-dependent person would sometimes play the blame game in order to make sense of their situation. Some would blame themselves for letting their loved one sink into the depths of their addiction. Others would blame their partners for ruining their lives.
Don’t do this when your partner is in rehab. It doesn’t matter if you’re no longer together or still in a relationship. Blaming someone will only keep you stuck in a situation from which you should remove yourself.
3. Live your life
It may hard to do this since you’ve been used to being the support system of your partner. But, it’s time to focus on yourself while your partner is in rehab. You should learn to live your life again and prioritize your needs.
So much has been taken away from you when you were still focusing on your partner’s addiction that you’ve probably lost a little of your own identity. You need to reclaim that and be your own person again. You need to focus on what will make you happy and confident. You can provide support to maintain the treatment of your partner after rehab, but you also need to ensure that your mental and physical health has recovered and ready for the next phase.
The role of a partner to support a reformed addict is an important part of a sustained recovery. It is not an easy task, so you need to look after yourself first before you are strong enough to look after others.