Supporting a Setback
Supporting a Setback.
Have you ever tried to give up sugar, cigarettes, and sleeping pills, go on a diet, coffee, or that one after dinner drink and failed? Did you fail because the cravings were horrific and your brain kept telling you one more cookie won’t hurt? If you answered yes, than you have a bit of a clue what if feels like for your child when he/she has a setback otherwise known as an S.L.I.P. (Sobriety loses its priority).
The journey into recovery from addiction is not typically a straight line from Addiction to Recovery; it can be a path of in and out of detox facilities, treatment centers, jail etc.
It is important that parents do not take their child’s setback personally and rather than engaging in toxic behavior figure out how to take care of yourself during that trying time and how to support your child. It is normal for a parent to work at helping their child to regain their health; however, it’s quite often that parent’s works harder at their child’s recovery than their child does; including sacrificing your own needs and wants.
Keep in mind when a child has a setback (relapse):
1. Let your child be the one to seek help and Do Not try to guilt or shame your son/daughter back into treatment.
2. Stand firm on your boundaries and hold your child accountable for his/her recovery.
3. Suggest that your son/daughter talk to his/her counselor or sponsor and go to a support group meeting.
4. DO NOT dismiss the setback and DO NOT make excuses for your son/daughter. It is imperative in his/her recovery that he/she owns what happened.
5. Be supportive without enabling. Parents often ask why they can’t have a drink in their own home, the answer is, and if your child is allergic to strawberries would you have them in your home? If you answered yes, than why would you have something in your home that your child is allergic to?
6. Be optimistic, talk about positive outcomes, positive lifestyle and how treatment and recovery housing can help your son/daughter learn coping skills to overcome their addiction.
7. Don't dismiss the problem, in other words don’t make excuses for your son/daughter because it’s imperative that he/she owns their behavior.
8. Don’t get discouraged, setbacks happen and it does not mean that their past times in treatment didn’t work, it’s as simple as they were unable to implement the tools and coping skills that they learned.
9. Be the example of what healthy living is, live your life.