The Response - 20

and accountability within a safe, sober,
and supportive living environment for an
individual to continue their journey of recovery.
	 At most locations you meet with a case
manager, attend in-house group meetings,
receive outpatient counseling, receive help
with employment, improve life skills, build
a support group, and establish a foundation
in recovery.

Guidance on the
Journey for Friends
and Family
	 As your loved one transitions out of
inpatient treatment, it's important to
remember that substance use disorders entail
a number of behaviors that do not stop
immediately when someone is no longer
using substances. Behaviors such as lying and
manipulating become ingrained as substance
use takes over a person's life. The good news is
that with time and practice, that can change.
For now, early on, please realize that these
behaviors continue but that it is not always
intentional. Be aware that you need to ask
questions and check things out especially
in situations involving money or the rules
of the program where they are residing.
It's important that this is done in a spirit of
caring and concern, not accusation. It will be
natural for you to feel anger and frustration.
The goal is not to be constantly investigating
and trying to catch someone in a lie.
When we do that, our lives are also being
controlled by substances. It's also natural
for you to have difficulty trusting your
loved one. If you find that your anger and
frustration are making it difficult for you to
interact in a caring manner, it's critical for
both of you that you get support for yourself.
You've been through a lot and you have the
right to your feelings, but your loved one is
not going to be able to help you work through
those feelings. This is where your support
group comes in - talk to a trusted friend who
understands addiction, go to counseling and
Al-Anon, talk to a minister. You need to be
able to talk about your feelings openly and
practice healthy coping skills.
	 This is a good time to practice setting and
maintaining boundaries. Your loved one will
probably need a lot of things. Money, clothes,
employment, transportation; the needs could
feel endless. You may feel like you need to

the response // summer/fall 2018

meet all these needs. The key is to provide
support in ways that are helpful and not
in ways that will encourage them to be
dependent on you. Taking responsibility for
our own lives builds self-confidence and is
necessary for moving forward. Check with
the program where they are residing if there
are other sources of help to meet these needs.
Some extra help is great initially if you can
provide it, as long as the message is clear that
it will not be ongoing. If you find yourself
turning your life upside down to try to help
them, you are likely going to end up feeling
exhausted and resentful, and that does not
benefit anyone.

Life after Transitional
"I had lived in transitional housing
for a little over a year and after several
conversations with my case manager
and support group I felt that I was
ready to move on, the question I had was
where to." - Anonymous Person in Recovery
	 Some of the most vulnerable periods
for people in recovery are during times
of change/transition. For this reason it is
recommended that the person follow a path
that will place them in a position to be
successful for the long term. The suggested
path consists of going to inpatient treatment
then transitional housing; from transitional
housing to a sober living environment; and
finally from a sober living environment to a
place of their own. A sober living environment
is a place where you live with other individuals
that have been abstinent for a certain period
of time and are committed to remaining
abstinent. The primary difference between
transitional housing and sober living is that
sober living is less structured but support and
accountability are available from the other
residents. Moving from transitional housing
to a sober living environment is a natural
step that allows an individual to gain more
freedom while remaining in an environment
that offers support and accountability.
	 The next step would consist of moving
from sober living to an independent living
environment. At this point the person in
recovery has had many ups and downs that
they have been able to deal with and remain
abstinent and have the tools to embark on a
life of long-term recovery.

Self-care for Friends
and Family
	 Just as substance use leads to unhealthy
coping mechanisms and behaviors in the
person who is using them, it can also do the
same to the people who love that person.
Our attempts to control someone else's
substance use can turn in to unhealthy
behaviors and patterns of interaction that
continue into recovery. Maybe you became
used to constantly checking on them, or
taking care of everything for them, and you
continue those habits without realizing it or
because you are afraid that without constant
vigilance that they will relapse. These habits
can be detrimental in recovery for both you
and your loved one. Continue working
on taking care of yourself. Remember that
you can't control someone's substance use.
Be gentle with yourself and your loved one.
You're going to make mistakes. There's no
perfect way to do this.


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Response

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The Response - No label
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