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Words of Encouragement for Someone in Rehab
What to Say to Help a Loved One in Rehab
A person who enters rehab for substance addiction has taken a momentous step toward transforming their physical and mental health and overall well-being. That being said–taking this step is often incredibly challenging and frightening for someone who feels completely dependent on drugs or alcohol. As family members and friends, we want to acknowledge this positive undertaking and also encourage our loved one to keep pushing forward in spite of the struggle. We want to help them tap into their hidden strengths and rely on their loved ones and the knowledgeable rehab staff when strength eludes them. The following are some examples of encouraging things you might say to someone you care about in rehab.
“I’m here for you”
Even though there are many caring treatment center counselors and therapists as well as other recovering individuals, the recovery process can feel lonely. As people work to change their lives, they may feel isolated and cut off from many aspects of their former life. Let them know that you are there for them when they need someone to talk to. Telling them that you’re thinking of them, praying for them, wishing them well reminds them that they’re loved, cherished, and not alone.
“What can I do for you?”
Anxiety, fear, and worry often accompanies an individual into rehab. If they’re entering an inpatient, partial hospitalization, or even intensive outpatient therapy, they may be worried about a pet, their home, or a relative. They may not be able to attend to many of the simple errands most of us do without a second thought. If you are able to attend to any of these tasks, let your loved one know, and ease their fears so they can focus on their health and recovery journey.
“I’m proud of you.”
Although we may feel like it goes without saying when a loved one enters addiction treatment, we should say, “I’m proud of you,” because these words are powerful and inspirational. Many people, even after taking this step, find it difficult to feel pride in themselves. Eventually, they will learn to take pride in their positive choices, but until then, we must remind them that we are proud and inspired by their decision to get help.
“What have you learned so far during your recovery journey?
Addiction recovery programs touch on many different topics. Therapists help clients learn about the various physical and psychological aspects of addiction, but also work with each person to help them consider what may have led them to abuse drugs or alcohol. Identifying these ‘triggers’ is a major part of relapse prevention. Your loved one may want to discuss all the different things they’ve come to learn about themselves, their families and relationships, and addiction.
“What is the most difficult part of your recovery journey?”
When you know what is toughest for your loved one in rehab, you can possibly find ways to help them cope. Also, these difficulties can seem more exaggerated when they don’t have an outlet. Just talking about the challenges can be helpful for someone in rehab. So often, people with addictions turned to drugs or alcohol when dealing with difficulties; talking about them is actually the healthier choice. You can help them establish new healthy coping patterns by discussing problems and finding solutions or coping strategies together.
“Focus on the Positive.”
Often, when a person has lived with addiction for some time, they may have made many choices or acted in ways that they wish they could undo. They may have hurt the people closest to them or disappointed people they esteem. Accountability is important, and therapists will help individuals address this subject matter in time, but what’s essential, particularly early on in rehab, is encouraging loved ones to focus on the positive–focus on their recovery. Guilt and sadness–these emotions can detract from recovery. Help your loved one understand that getting sober and staying sober is priority number one. When their mind, body, and spirit regain their health, they will be in a much better place to come to terms with their former behaviors and choices.
Saying the right thing to a loved one in rehab is so important. Your words may carry more weight and comfort than you could ever imagine. At JC’s Recovery Center, we know how words of encouragement profoundly and positively affect our clients because we see it and they sometimes talk about how much these words mean to them. If you’re unsure of what to say, remember that we also help families of addiction sufferers. We’re here for them and we’re here for you.