Take Care of Yourself when Helping Others in Recovery
Sometimes, when helping others in recovery, individuals forget about their own needs too much and suffer themselves. It is really important to take care of yourself when helping others in recovery. Supporting someone else takes vast amounts of time and emotional energy. Most of the time, financial pressure is involved as well. Often, those taking care of the individual in recovery let themselves fall to the bottom of the list of priorities.
Thinking that you will take care of yourself when your loved one is completely done with recovery seems like the right thing to do when they seem to be suffering so much and need so much support. However, if you don’t take care of yourself, it’s easier to be reactive, frustrated or unnecessarily anxious. Instead, if you are meeting your own needs, you can be positive, caring, and calm for your loved one in recovery.
Remember the safety announcement on airplanes about securing your own oxygen mask first before helping others? Doing things to enhance and uplift yourself and your life can benefit the individual in recovery too. Sometimes its ok to go to dinner with friends or go to a movie even though you feel like that seems selfish knowing what your loved one is dealing with. Knowing you are happy and secure and healthy can help your loved one want the same thing for themselves.
Keeping you energy up, your life intact, things running smoothly, and continuing to foster other important relationships in your life can help you navigate the bumpy road that may be ahead with your loved one. The road may be longer than you think and taking care of you sets an important example for your loved one while in recovery.