When a recovering addict comes home from rehab, things may feel a little awkward.
That is only natural considering everyone in the household is recovering as well. Addiction affects everyone and hopefully, everyone is getting counseling. Since everyone is recovering, be gentle on the addict and yourself. To be safe, it is best to remove all alcohol and intoxicating substances from the home. Any addict who really wants, can go and find the alcohol or drugs, but don’t make it easier by keeping them in the house.
Living with the addict before rehab was probably very tense. The temptation may be there to continually check on the addict but you shouldn’t. They have to keep the temptation at bay and that is something they learned at rehab. You should, however, be supportive toward the addict. Encouragement is always good. Hopefully the addict is starting a brand new life which will include finding a job and getting back on their feet. Make this as pleasant as possible for them but do not “over-do” for them.
* They don’t need to be babied, they need to be supported and encouraged.
The temptation may be there to continually check on the addict but you shouldn’t.
Not the first day, but certainly shortly after coming out of rehab, the addict should understand what YOU expect from them. For example, it’s fair to expect them to have a job in one month. Tell them that without criticism, but rather matter-of-factly. Help them formulate a plan for their own future. It may be that they tell you they are making their own plans and that is great.
You should also start getting on with your own life. Before rehab, the addict probably drew much of your attention and concentration. Now is the time to start rebuilding your own life.
* Don’t borrow trouble.
If the addict needs help again, you can deal with it at that time. Until then, you deserve a life too. Try to get to a point where everyone has a normal life without walking on egg shells. Chances are, the addict may need another round of rehab and that is common. At least you’ll know what to expect and you may seek out more help for yourself. If you are lucky, the addict will continue to progress and pull his or her life back together, which is what everyone wants.
Recovery does not happen overnight, which is why dating a recovering addict demands a different level of relationship commitment from their partner. They need a partner who can make them feel safe, accepted, understood, appreciated, and loved unconditionally. By taking enough time, and not allowing them to hold you as an emotional hostage, this love relationship can actually work.