It’s one thing for an addict to go through the tough phase of withdrawal and entirely another thing to have others truly support the individual going through recovery. The struggles are unique to every person and the motivation to do so comes from deep within the individual as well as from outside sources such as friends, families, and loved ones. It is of vital importance to have words of encouragement for addicts going through the recovery process. One cannot measure the depth, in terms of value, of what words of encouragement mean to someone in recovery as it could seem as mere simple words to an outsider. The truth is such words play a major role in abstinence and serve as motivation to build a life away from past experience. So truly, how can you help an addict?

What’s The Value of Words of Encouragement for Addicts in Recovery?

Anyone who has lived with an addict knows that addiction does not solely affect the primary person involved, but it also does affect loved ones. Most of the same experience is replicated and felt in recovery, as the recovery process is for a lifetime. So the value of the words uttered to support the individual going through recovery is seen practically in his/her life. There’s a strong memory of what the addict looked like as well as the experience for loved ones during rehab and as such noting those milestones and encouraging the individual through the process impacts even those speaking the words. Just as the pain is shared so also is the encouragement is beneficial to all parties involved.

How And When To Speak Words Of Encouragement?

Timing is pertinent in almost all aspects of our lives, and it is also crucial in knowing when exactly to speak words of encouragement to our loved ones going through recovery from addiction. This is enormously important so that the words spoken will have true meaning and be successful in delivering a positive impact. As far as timing is concerned, it is best to know when to be quiet in some tough situations where any word uttered could be less impactful or be even perceived negatively. One has to be careful not to oversell it but to be true to the person you support and to yourself. You can only be true in such situations when you speak words of hope, giving more meaning to their present life situation and linking it to a future of many possibilities.

Sometimes have activities to do together does inspire moments and opportunities to freely speak words of encouragement and you can explore some of these:

  • Fun and sober activities.

  • Play fun sports together.

  • Go to a play or the movies.

  • Make crafts or go gardening.

  • Play board games.

  • Go rock climbing or kayaking.

  • Try new experiences.

  • Go for camping or family vacation.

Does Comparison Fit Into Encouragement To Addicts In Recovery?

There’s a fine line between helping and pushing, just as it is very important to voice words of encouragement for sobriety to be timely and correct, it is also important to know how and when to compare addicts in recovery with other successful ex-addicts who have turned their lives around and truly validate such words. Using comparison as a helpful tool can be tricky and should only be used when you truly understand how to use it. Comparisons can only be done positively when it is true. If you try to reach too far and make comparisons that the addict cannot easily see or connect with, it can actually have a negative effect.

You want to make sure the message you are trying to share is motivational and allow them to see that they have the power to make the impossible, possible. That is the only time and situation to use this as encouragement when it seems like an impossible task. Knowing that someone once went through the same and not only survived it but overcame it and is living proof anyone who believes can also do the same and even more is empowering.

Examples of the best time to share your words of encouragement are:

  • Acknowledging positive changes in you observe in the behavior.

  • Celebrating the accomplishments in overcoming old habits

  • Noting confidence building.

  • Mentioning how truly proud of them you are.

  • Always hoping and having faith in them.

  • Applauding the good choices they make.

  • Participating in family therapy sessions.

Basic Rule of Recovery: Avoid Situations That Are High-Risk

One major thing to note when supporting and encouraging your loved one through a recovery process is that; true recovery is not achieved by stopping the addiction alone, but by creating an entirely new life that is far from the addictive lifestyle. Not adhering to that one rule gives room for weakness and a possibility of reverting to addiction. It does not mean a drastic change is necessary, but knowing weak spots or habits and avoiding them completely. It is hard to succeed in recovery when you hang on to old habits, friends or situations that lean toward addiction. Here are four things you can avoid as a general rule:

  • Anger

  • Loneliness

  • Hunger

  • Weariness

Are Your Words Actually Encouraging or Not?

Giving general compliments or words of encouragement for can be perceived as false and insincere, as such, it is best to be a little sensitive to the feelings of your loved one going through recovery and taking note of their body language whenever you utter words of encouragement. Picture your words of encouragement just a drop from an airplane which could either be food and relief materials to people in Africa hungry and in dire need of such support or as a missile bomb dropped on people who did not see, hear or expect it. That is how massive and impactful words of encouragement can be to any addict in recovery. Questions or concerns?  If so, make sure to reach out to us today to get all of your questions answered.

Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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